Five Other Spots To Set the Kids Loose

Catch a faux wave at Massanutten Resort.
Catch a faux wave at Massanutten Resort. (By Serena Hepner)
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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Five Other Spots To Set the Kids Loose

Looking for a warm but totally cool place to pretend it's spring? Here are five indoor spots where children can run free.

* In the South American Upland Tropical Rain Forest at Baltimore's National Aquarium (501 E. Pratt St.), you'll find flora as well as fauna: poison dart frogs, piranhas, pygmy marmosets. Then go to the Glass Pavilion and experience Australia's wild extremes. Admission: $21.95 adults, $12.95 ages 3-11. Info: 410-576-3800,

* Get soaked at Massanutten WaterPark (Massanutten Resort) in McGaheysville, Va., where you'll find waterfalls, water cannons, slides, faux surf and a multistory water fortress. Don't forget towels; the resort sells but doesn't rent them. Admission: $38 adults; $26 under 42 inches. Info: 540-437-3340,

* Amazement Square (27 Ninth St.) in Lynchburg, Va., claims to have the nation's tallest indoor climbing structure: a 72-foot tower with slides, tunnels, rope walls and zip line. Four floors of hands-on exhibits include a walk-through human heart. Admission: $7. Info: 434-845-1888,

* Interact with droids and build a spaceport at Philadelphia's Franklin Institute (222 N. 20th St.), home to the "Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination" exhibit starting Saturday (through May 4). Darth Vader, Yoda and props from all six "Star Wars" films will be there, plus Luke Skywalker's landspeeder. Admission: $20.50 adults, $15.50 ages 4-11. Info: 215-448-1200,

* It's 54 degrees year-round in Shenandoah Caverns (Exit 269 of Interstate 81, north of New Market, Va.), where you'll see stalactites and stalagmites shaped like castles and even giant bacon strips. Above ground, see the Main Street of Yesteryear's animated mid-20th-century store-window displays, while American Celebration on Parade preserves 28 floats from presidential inaugurations and other parades. Admission: $22 adults, $10 ages 6-14. Info: 540-477-3115,

-- Sue Kovach Shuman

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