As the mercury spikes, kids are looking to cool down. These stellar spraygrounds let squirts splish splash to their hearts' delight. To prevent serious slippage, aquatic shoes or sandals are suggested (and are required at one of our recommendations).
This eye-catching fountain adds further flair to the already Instagram-worthy Potomac River in the background. Walk under its arching sprays or run straight through them. Either way, it’s fun for kids and any adults looking to connect with their inner child. At night, the water is illuminated with a dazzling rainbow of lights, creating yet another photo opportunity. If you want to treat the kids afterward, both Olivia Macaron and Baked & Wired are a short walk away. Corner of Wisconsin Avenue and K Street NW. Open daily. Free.
Perched on the eastern end of the trendy waterside development, Seventh Street Park was created with its littlest neighbors in mind. Small fountains and misting sprays shoot up from the stony street surface to offer a cooling distraction. The water feature is complemented by a series of colorful rocking horses to give junior another outlet for her energy. For a refreshing pick-me-up, stop by Dolcezza or Milk Bar afterward for a scoop or two. Corner of Maine Avenue and Seventh Street SW. Open daily, except in the winter months. Free.
Not even a foot deep, the Canal Basin is safe for toddlers, fun for elementary-schoolers and refreshing for adults who just want to soak their feet. To get really wet, splash through the waterfall or run through the fountains, which feature a kaleidoscopic light show once the sun starts setting. Located on the banks of the Anacostia, it’s close to plenty of family-friendly eateries — including Rasa, Ice Cream Jubilee and Shake Shack — as well as a plaza full of fountains just a few blocks away at Canal Park. 355 Water St. SE. Open daily through September. Free.
This splash park is amazing. It’s also an actual maze. Nearly 300 mini geysers form a puzzle that’s equally captivating and refreshing. Additionally, little ones can hang out in the cave behind the waterfall wall, slip their way down the slide or get cooled off by the spraying animal sculptures. Parents who don’t want to get in on the action can keep an eye on the frolicking from one of the shaded picnic tables nearby. 18056 Central Park Cir., Boyds, Md. Open daily through Sept. 3. $5.50 per person age 2 and up.
Spend a day at the bay without the long drive. The Chesapeake-themed sprayground at Lee District Park features a giant Chessie the sea serpent statue, a lighthouse and interactive "crab baskets." Tiny tots can play at the “beach,” which is equipped with interactive water tables. 6601 Telegraph Rd., Alexandria. Open through Sept. 3 (park is closed Aug. 27-31). Free.