Summer is here and it’s started with a BANG- an unseasonably early heat wave! Having to entertain young children in this kind of weather is a challenge. Its extra challenging if you (like me) have a preschooler and an infant in tow. Finding activities fun and active enough for a preschooler but in cool enough places to keep your infant comfortable is not easy. So, I have a few ideas I’d like to share with you all to beat the heat.
Ikea in College Park- If you have read my other articles you will know how much I love Ikea. It is basically a large, indoor playground complete with free coffee! You don’t have to use Small land or the provided play areas to enjoy the showroom as a playground. There are plenty of rooms to play “house” in or “cook.” There are facilities for eating, breastfeeding, charging your phone, and sitting and relaxing- in short, it has everything. If that isn’t enough, there is a free craft Tuesdays from 1-2pm and kids eat free Tuesdays with a purchase of an adult meal.
Lane Manor Splash Park in Adelphi- If you are looking for an outdoor pool day then you should check out the Lane Manor Splash Park. It’s just off Rt. 193 after UMD. It is a small facility but has everything you need. It features a walk-in pool, mushroom waterfall, and small in ground fountains near the water’s edge. It also has a small, fairly shaded kiddy pool. Kids under 2 are free, its $5 for kids and $6 for adults. Call ahead though and check when the local KIDSCO or other day camp have pool day. It can get rather crowded on those days/hours.
Fairland Aquatic Center in Laurel- If it’s just too hot to venture outside for the pool then the Fairland Aquatic center is worth your time. For the same price as the Lane Manor Splash Park, you can enjoy a small, heated indoor pool with a mushroom waterfall. It’s not quite as fun as the Lane Manor Splash Park but it’s a nice pool for a play date. They also offer swim lessons that are well worth the price.
Play N Learn in Columbia- This is a company that sells outdoor playgrounds but has a showroom fitted for indoor play. At a cost of $8 per child over the age of 1, you can enjoy up to 2 hours of air-conditioned play time on outdoor playground equipment. The space is nice and clean with 10 or so large jungle gyms, 3 large trampolines, basketball hoops and foosball and air-hokey tables. And there are several seating areas throughout the showroom for parents to sit and relax while keeping an eye on their kids. There are even infant swings and toddler trampoline so the little ones can get in on the fun!
Cabin John Park Playground in Bethesda- The playground in Cabin John Park is very large with jungle gyms appropriate for almost any age. It has a very dense tree canopy which makes almost the entire park shaded and it feels much cooler than the ambient temperature. The only downside is that because it’s a large park, you probably won’t be able to sit in one space for long. There is also a very reasonable train ride for $2.50, and a dog park for the other family “child.”
And, as always, download the Prince Georges Memorial Library app to see all the free programs offered. From Story Times galore, to water play dates in Laurel, performances, movie days, and so much more- the Library system offers a plethora of activities to keep the little ones entertained indoors. Most libraries also have attached or nearby playgrounds so you can have a choice of indoor or outdoor activities. They also have a fun Summer Reading program with lots of free prizes to win while supplies last.
Well, that’s all for now. Stay cool out there!