A Hot Time to Get Soaked

The updated water feature at Fairfax Corner has 48 dancing water jets.
The updated water feature at Fairfax Corner has 48 dancing water jets. (By Beth Kubovcik -- Sugar Rush Photography)
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By Jessica McFadden
Special to The Washington Post
Friday, July 25, 2008

Swimming pools are tons of fun in summer -- for kids. For parents and caregivers, pools can be nerve-racking play destinations. Whether supervising an unsteady toddler in a baby pool or keeping track of big kids in the crowd of identically clad swimmers, relaxation is probably not the adult chaperone's dominant feeling at the neighborhood pool.

Thank goodness for spray parks.

A "sprayground" is a play area of fountains, jet streams and a variety of sprays that allow children to cool down in a safe, fun environment. Water is drained away before it can accumulate, reducing drowning hazards and parental panic attacks. Meanwhile, parents and caregivers can supervise play in (relatively) dry clothes and while seated on the sidelines.

The following parks throughout the area offer an array of interactive water features for local families to enjoy. All are free unless otherwise indicated.

The District

Riggs-LaSalle Recreation Center Spray Park

501 Riggs Rd. NE

Open: Through Aug. 15. Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 3 to 7 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., closed Sunday.

Riggs-LaSalle offers kids in Northeast a new facility in which to cool off. Open for the first time this summer, Riggs-LaSalle Spray Park is part of the $9.8 million state-of-the-art recreation center and is free to all. The environmentally conscious design operates all fountains on timers so water is conserved. With spray structures in a variety of intensities, the park is fun for toddlers through teens. Riggs-LaSalle is wheelchair accessible.


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