Summer is always an exciting time for children.
But the heat can sometimes make it hard to get out and be active, and an afternoon excursion can quickly devolve into complaining about it being too hot outside. Luckily, Maryland is home to many pools, lakes and water parks that make cooling off easy. From humble local parks to massive water park resorts, here are five spots to beat the heat with swimming, boating and other water activities.
Hammerman Beach at Gunpowder Falls State Park
7200 Graces Quarters, Middle River
8 a.m. to sunset
Spend a day at this beautiful beach along the Gunpowder River. Swimming, canoeing, kayaking and fishing are all options for family members who want to get their feet wet. Prefer to stay dry? The park also offers playgrounds, hiking trails and an archery range for target practice. The beach’s pavilion can be reserved for events. dnr.maryland.gov
Druid Hill Park Swimming Pool
3002 East Drive, Baltimore
1-6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Saturday
11 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Sunday
Over 100 years old, the Druid Hill Park Swimming Pool was originally built in 1921 as a set of two segregated pools. Now, the remaining pool is open to everyone for free, with the formerly Black-only pool serving as a memorial. The pool offers free swimming lessons for swimmers young and old, as well as free pool parties during the summer. Those interested in history can check out the Druid Hill Park Pool No. 2 memorial as well. druidhillpark.org/druid-hill-pool
Marshy Point Nature Center
7130 Marshy Point Road, Middle River
Nature Center open 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Park open sunrise to sunset
Explore the natural wildlife of the Chesapeake Bay at this nature center and park, which offers interactive exhibits, birdwatching walks and more. Those interested in boating can take the Dundee Creek Paddle Trail, Baltimore County’s first-ever aquatic trail, and a tour of the bay’s protected corners. The center also frequently holds group nature walks and boat trips. marshypoint.org
Great Wolf Lodge at Perryville
1240 Chesapeake Overlook Parkway
Perryville | 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Great Wolf Lodge’s new Perryville location—roughly 15 minutes from Havre de Grace— is set to be its biggest yet and features all of the fun attractions one might expect from the hotel chain, including an arcade, its signature MagiQuest activities and of course, a water park. The indoor water park features attractions for kids and adults of all ages, including a wave pool, a water treehouse, a lazy river and several exciting slides. Come for a day or make a vacation of it! greatwolf.com/maryland
Beaver Dam Swimming Club
10820 Beaver Dam Road #2209, Cockeysville
11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday,
10 am.-7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Whether you prefer to swim in a natural lake or in a chlorinated pool, there’s something for everyone at the Beaver Dam Swimming Club. Kids can even make a splash on the club’s famous rope swing or slide down its water slide. With its 30-acre campus centered on a freshwater quarry, the club offers a more natural, woodsy environment than the average public pool. beaverdamswimmingclub.com
Maybe your family prefers not to get wet but is still sick of the summer heat.
Here are some indoor alternatives that don’t involve a pool but will still cool you down.
Jurassic Golf and Arcade | Bel Air
Stratosphere Social | Eldersburg
iFly Indoor Skydiving | Nottingham
Port Discovery Children’s Museum | Baltimore
DoodleHatch | Columbia
Looking for a few games to entertain the kids at a lunch or dinner outing?
Check out pinballmap.com to find out which locations near you include the classic arcade game.
According to the map, two of those locations include Whole Foods Market (Towson) and Racer’s Café (Parkville).