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Beat the Summer Heat in Arlington County

Spraygrounds, pools and more summer fun! Summers in Northern Virginia can get hot. Arlington County has plenty of places to stay cool when the temperature rises. Here is a list of the best places in Arlington County to beat the summer heat.

Long Bridge Aquatics & Fitness Center

Long Bridge Aquatics & Fitness Center is Arlington County’s newest attraction dedicated to all things wellness. The best part about Long Bridge? The pools! There’s something for everyone.  The 50-meter pool is perfect for cool workouts, the spas are there to relax, and the leisure pool is perfect for family fun. It’s got a lazy river, indoor sprayground and best of all – a slide! Check ahead to see what’s open and set up.  There are also options for water basketball and volleyball.  Learn more about Long Bridge Aquatics & Fitness Center here.

a group of children play in the water at Long Bridge Aquatics & Fitness Center
Long Bridge Aquatics & Fitness Center


No matter where you are staying, there probably is a park nearby to cool off with water fun. Arlington has spraygrounds – think playgrounds with squirting water at Drew Park, Hayes Park, Lyon Village Park and Virginia Highlands Park. Kids 8 to 80 love the interactive water features at Mosaic Park and Penrose Square. (Note to self: Check out Echo, the public art piece created by Richard Deutsch in the square to see how your voice is magically projected. Come prepared to get wet and wear water shoes. Learn more about spraygrounds and find the one nearest you here. Another wet option in Arlington is Ocean Dunes Waterpark, which is part of Upton Hills Regional Park.

Children play in the water at Virginia Highlands Park
Virginia Highlands Park

Keep Cool in Nature

Commune with nature and history in Arlington’s three nature centers: Long Branch, Gulf Branch, and Potomac Overlook nature centers, which include indoor (think air conditioning) and outdoor exhibits and trails.  Fort C.F. Smith Visitor Center is nestled within a beautiful park near the Potomac River and has interesting exhibits about Arlington’s rich Civil War past. 

an employee at Long Branch Nature Center views a snake in an exhibit
Long Branch Nature Center at Glencarlyn Park

Author bio:
Hannah Wintucky is a Management Intern with Arlington County’s Department of Parks and Recreation. In her free time, she loves to bike, hike and climb all around the country.

Author: Hannah Wintucky