Dive into fun all year long! Make a splash with The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission's (M-NCPPC) public swimming pools. M-NCOOC offers summertime and year-round opportunities to enjoy a variety of aquatic activities. Children and adults can enroll in swimming lessons, lifeguard training, swim teams and aquatic safety classes. Children, ages 6-17, can also enjoy free swimming on Fridays and Saturdays, now through August 22, from 4 p.m. to closing. Parents can also sign their children up for free swim classes through the Make a Splash initiative, which teaches water safety and introductory swim lessons. $$. Prince George's County, MD. pgparks.com

Plunge down more than 850 feet of high-speed thrills at Water Country USA. Surf's up in the kid-friendly Cow-A-Bunga zone. Grab a double tube with your little one and splash down into a shallow pool waiting below. The fun doesn't have to stop when you're feeling hungry - snack with speed at the grab-and-go Chow Market. Once you're feeling tired, pick up a raft and take a leisurely road trip down the Hubba Hubba Highway. $$. Williamsburg, VA. watercountryusa.com

Enjoy a great day at the beach without all the traffic at Ocean Dunes Waterpark. Located at Upton Hill Regional Park, visiting Ocean Dunes is like a trip to the Outer Banks. Get soaked by the 500-gallon dumping bucket, water slides, squirters and more. Feel like staying dry? Wander over to the batting cages and 18-hole mini golf course right beside the waterpark. $$. Arlington, VA. oceanduneswaterpark.com

Climb aboard matey and have a taste of the pirate life at Pirate Cove Waterpark. Older children will love zipping down the water slides, while little ones can enjoy a clam shell slide. Land lovers can stay dry and scour Bucaneer Beach for buried treasure. For delicious food and drinks, make sure to stop by the Captain's Galley. $$. Lorton, VA. piratescovepohick.com

Visit the tropics without even needing your passport at Volcano Island Waterpark. You'll feel like you're island dreaming as your relax surrounded by tiki thatches and palm trees. Daring water slide enthusiasts will love plunging in 170 feet of complete darkness. Once your kids have conquered the slides, head over to the Splash Pad for a game of Neo - a 10-foot-tall interactive game. $$. Sterling, VA. volcanoislandwaterpark.com

It's a daredevil's paradise at the Water Park at Bohrer Park. Feel the need for speed with two 250-foot slides that send riders twisting and turning into a main pool. For the less adventuresome, there is a tumble-bucket and children's splash pool - designed for children who are shorter than 54 inches. As a bonus, be sure to play a round on the 18-hole miniature golf course, or head into the indoor activity center. $$. Gaithersburg, MD. gaithersburgmd.gov

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Arts al Fresco
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