Splash park proves popular source of relief from the heat

July 18, 2019

WTOP/Kate Ryan


The sound of happy children mixed with cascading water Thursday at the South Germantown Splash Park in Montgomery County, Maryland.

Families flock to the park on days when the temperature sizzles.

Logan Parks, 18 months old, is a big fan of the water slide at the South Germantown Splash Park. But here he takes time to investigate a water jet near the fountain maze. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
Nine-year-old Sebastian enjoyed the 280-jet water fountain maze at the South Germantown Splash Park. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
Samuel Rodgers, a lifeguard at the South Germantown Splash Park, keeps an eye on the visitors to the park. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
You can get endless streams of refreshing water to cool you off at local splash parks. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
Which bucket will dump water on you? Walk underneath them to find out! South Germantown Splash Park. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
Fountains are reflected in the sunglasses of Kelsey Guinan, manager at South Germantown Splash Park. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
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Parents Melissa Porter Parks and David Parks brought 18-month-old Logan to the park.

“The slide, the big-kid’s slide, is his favorite,” she said, while Logan splashed about in an area where fountains of water surged from the concrete.

“We don’t want to keep him inside all day; he likes being outside,” Porter Parks said.

She also said the splash park allows Logan to enjoy water, and she doesn’t have to worry about him not being old enough to swim yet.

Kelsey Guinan, who was managing the front desk entry, said that’s a common feeling among parents.

“We get a lot of kids who are slightly afraid to, like, super-afraid of water, who come here and face their fears, and by the end of the day they’re crying because they’re leaving.”

Seeing little kids develop a love of water, she said, “It’s awesome!”

Guinan always encourages families to take the next step, and introduce their children to swimming.

“There’s nothing like a summer at the pool,” she said.

Lifeguards are on duty at the facility, which includes buckets suspended from what looks like a large flagpole. Walk underneath it, and time it just right, and you may get soaked by the cascading water.

“When you walk in circles underneath it, you wait and see just which one’s going to splash on you,” said Guinan. “It’s super cool!”

Samuel Rodgers, an 18-year-old lifeguard, said another attraction at the park is the “Jumping Pillow” — a sort of open air moon bounce.

That’s something that kids have to be dry to use — if they’re wet, it’s too slippery.

But hands-down, he said, the favorite activity among the kids is simple: “Running through the water!” Whether it’s dashing through the 280-jet fountain maze, slipping behind the wall of water from inside a simulated cave, or slipping down one of the kid-sized waterslides.

WTOP’s Kate Ryan reported from Germantown, Maryland.

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