Sometimes it’s all about the simple things, and in the summer, some days a little while splashing around is all you need. Our list below offers descriptions about, and links to, spraygrounds or splash fountains in Northern Virginia. These are free and often quick “get in, get out” experiences that require little time but still give little ones a great day of fun. Please see the site websites (official links provided for all) for hours of operations and rules, such as type of water shoes required, if any.
NORTHERN VIRGINIA SPRAYGROUNDS AND SPLASH FOUNTAINS
All these are free and open to the public. See the map below for locations, and read our individual listings for descriptions and links to the official websites.
Old Town Square
The latest sprayground to “splash” onto the scene is the splash pad in Old Town Square in the City of Fairfax! The splash pad, which opened in 2015, is located at Old Town Hall in downtown Fairfax. It features 15 water jets that shoot up from the ground with a full spectrum of colors (which also makes for a pretty view at night).
Our Special Harbor
Lots of fun options await kids at Fairfax County Park Authority’s Lee District Park. The fully accessible complex features Chesapeake Bay-themed attractions including a spraying osprey nest, Chessie the sea serpent, misting sunflowers and a lighthouse. The beach area is quieter with softer bubblers and interactive water tables. The computerized water maze and dumping crab basket provide more lively activity. Nearby is a fully accessible tree house and accessible Tiki Village playground.
Fairfax Corner Fountain
Located near the Fair Lakes area, the Fairfax Corner fountain is a super popular spot in the summer for families with kids, especially the very young ones, who like to dash in an out from the fountain that sprays from the ground up in varying patterns. Fairfax Corner also has a movie theatre, lots of shopping and dining, a little train, and a free kids’ show/concert series on Wednesdays (alternating between day and evening shows). Bring some dry clothes to change into, since you’ll want to hang around a bit!
Reston Town Center
In the busier section of Reston Town Center, across from the pavilion, is Mercury Fountain, the big fountain which is fun to watch. But over on the west side, at Reston Town Square Park, is an interactive fountain where the kids can actually play in and splash around. Reston Town Center has lots of shopping, dining, movies, and regular entertainment (free, outdoors) so bring a change of clothes and make a day of it after splashing around! (See a map of the Reston Town Center here).
Lake Anne Plaza
This lakefront residential and retail community has a fun fountain where children can cool off. Right around the fountain are family-friendly restaurants that feature indoor and patio dining. During the summer kids can enjoy free live entertainment just for them!
This shopping, dining, and entertainment district has interactive fountain with lots of spots for kids to dart in and out of the water shooting up from the ground. Mosaic District also offers free summer movies at night and Saturday morning cartoons, both outdoors.
Village at Leesburg
Village at Leesburg (VAL), a retail, dining, and living community, has a Village Pop-Up Fountain with Bubble Spectaculars that is open 10 am to 10 pm. seasonally. The fountain is at Village Market Blvd. near Rita’s Italian Ice. (Don’t confuse this with VAL’s Fire & Water Fountain, at Village Market Blvd. and Balch Drive, next to Travinia, which while very pretty, is obviously NOT a kids’ play area!)
A hot spot for cooling off is in nearby Ashburn at One Loudoun, a shopping, dining, and entertainment center. The large splash fountain in front of the Alamo Drafthouse movie theatre is also fun to watch at night with its multi-colored lights.
Virginia Gateway Fountain
This shopping complex, a sister property to Fairfax Corner (see entry above) also has an interactive splash fountain kids can play in, and also hosts a free Little Tots Series with children’s entertainment in the summer.
Lansdowne Town Center Water Feature
Lansdowne Town Center has a splash pad with more than a dozen spray spots. Look for it on the plaza, where the center hosts free concerts on summer nights.
The Drew Park playground has a large spray ground, open daily except for Tuesdays. Hours are Monday 2-8 pm, Wednesday 10 am-3 pm, Thursday 2-8 pm, Friday 10 am-3 pm, and Saturday and Sunday noon-8 pm. Restrooms are accessible only when the community center is open. This is one of four spraygrounds operated by Arlington County open from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekends.
This circular sprayground in a large park has multiple water streams and circular sculptures, one shaped like planet Earth. There is a restroom nearby. Hours are Mondays 10 am-3 pm, Tuesday 2-8 pm, closed on Wednesday, Thursday 10 am-3 pm, Friday 2-8 pm, and Saturday and Sunday noon-8 pm. This is one of four spraygrounds operated by Arlington County open from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekends.
Lyon Village Park
This sprayground has bright colors, water jets on the ground, and a tall structure that also sprays out water. The spray ground is closed on Thursdays; operational hours are Monday 10 am-3 pm, Tuesday 10 am-3 pm, Wednesday 2-8pm, Friday, 2-8 pm, and Saturday and Sunday noon–8 pm. There are no restrooms and parking is very limited (and two hours maximum). This is one of four spraygrounds operated by Arlington County open from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekends.
Virginia Highlands Park
This large, circular sprayground has multiple water jets and structures, including some vertical ones that spray sideways and two tall ones that also spray downward. The sprayground is open daily 10 am-8 pm, there is a restroom, and parking is plentiful. This is one of four spraygrounds operated by Arlington County open from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekends.
All photos and graphics (c) P. Hall