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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Germantown Indoor Swim Center - Germantown, MD

While doing a massive amount of Googling looking for indoor water parks, I came across a few unique community pools.  It feels like there is way too long of a time during the winter when we don't get to go down water slides and splash in a pool, so I am always looking for a great place to play in the water indoors.  We've been to a few indoor water parks, including Great Wolf Lodge in Texas and Sahara Sam's Oasis in New Jersey, but I was looking for some less expensive options.

I found a few community pools that I am hoping to check out this winter:
  • Cub Run RECenter in Fairfax County, VA
  • North Arundel Aquatics Center in Glen Burnie, MD
  • Rollingcrest-Chillum Splash Pool in Chillum, MD
  • Germantown Indoor Swim Center in Germantown, MD
Largest of 3 pools at Germantown Indoor Swim Center.
Notice the water slide entrance in the upper right.
I was particularly drawn to Germantown Indoor Swim Center because it had many water slides that I thought would cater to the ages of the kids we would be taking to the pool, a 3-year-old and 7-year-old.  Since it's almost a two hour trip for us, we decided to go on a weekday during Christmas break.  I was nervous about how crowded it would be, so I called ahead.  The woman I spoke with confirmed my fears, she said that the previous day's afternoon crowd was the biggest she's ever seen.  With this information, we decided to go to the early swim time that started at 11:30 AM on that particular day.  The pool facilities were following a special holiday schedule all that week.  

A portion of the splash pool.
The girls' favorite slide is in the upper left.
We arrived around noon, and while the pool was busy, it wasn't overwhelming.  We went downstairs to the locker rooms to change into our swim suits.  I would assume you could bring your own lock for the lockers, but I didn't see anyone using one.  When we went out to the pool, I was happy to feel that the water was warm, and so was the air.  The 7-year-old immediately went down the smallest slide, which is in the shape of a clam.  The 3-year-old eased her way in by playing in the small fountains in the kiddie pool area.  We tried to get her to go down the clam slide, but it had water shooting out at the top.  She is quite the dare devil, but doesn't like it when water shoots at her.  The 7-year-old tried out the tunnel slide, which is short, but fast.  The 3-year-old followed her, and when my husband caught her coming off the slide, he said she was going pretty fast.

Next, the 7-year-old and I raced down the double slide, and then I went to try the two big water slides while my husband stayed with the girls who wanted to splash around in one of the larger pools.  The height requirement was 48", and the 7-year-old just missed it.  I noticed they were checking heights at the top of the big slides.  For my first ride down the big slide, I sat up as I went down and it was pretty slow.  Next time, I laid down and got a nice, fast ride.  Finally, we went to the last slide we hadn't tried in the corner of the splash pool.  It has one turn in it, and the girls must have gone down this slide thirty times.  They loved it.  I was able to sit on the side of the pool and watch, while my husband caught the smaller child each time she came down.  This slide was just the right size for them!

When we decided to leave after almost two hours both kids were sad to go, but very tired!  I got the kids changed back into their clothes, and I let them stand under the hair dryers while I got dressed.  We went back upstairs, and I noticed that there was a nice viewing area with seating.  It was a perfect place to snap a few photos of the pools to remember our trip.

Things to remember:
1.  Get ready to catch your younger children at the end of the slides.  They come fast!
2.  Towels can be brought to the pool deck and hung on a hook.
3.  I was told by front desk staff that there are free lockers for your valuables upstairs.  Ask about that if you'd like to lock up your phone or wallet.

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