The best thing about summer? A quick (or not so quick) dip in the pool to cool off. Here are a few of the area’s best offerings, where the water’s cold and the splashes come free.
Smith Aquatic & Fitness Center
1000-A Cherry Ave., 970-3072
The biggest and baddest of public pools in the area, 27,000-square-foot Smith Aquatic features two indoor pools (one competitive, one leisure), water slides, a play structure and a lazy river.
Onesty Family Aquatic Center at Meade Park
300 Meade Ave., 295-7532
This outdoor pool near Woolen Mills boasts water slides, in-water playgrounds, a lazy river, a diving board, lap lanes and a zero-depth play area.
Washington Park Pool
1001 Preston Ave., 977-2607
A well-known sledding spot in the winter, Washington Park comes through in the summertime, too, with a lighted swimming pool, zero-depth play area, water slides, a diving board and a mushroom waterfall.
Forest Hills Spray Grounds 1022 Forest Hills Park Ave.
Greenleaf Spray Grounds 1598 Rose Hill Dr.
Belmont Spray Grounds 725 Stonehenge Ave.
(Open daily 11am-7pm from Memorial Day to Labor Day)
Mint Springs Valley Park
6659 Mint Springs Park Rd., Crozet
Eight water acres, one beach acre
Chris Greene Lake
4748 Chris Greene Lake Rd.
Fifty-three water acres, three beach acres
Walnut Creek Park
4250 Walnut Creek Park Rd., North Garden
Forty-five water acres, two beach acres