I love that we live in an area with so many waterparks. Two miles from the I-66 Centreville exit rests the lost city of Atlantis. The waterpark is part of Bull Run Regional Park. You will be asked to show your id to prove residency. Non-county residents pay a $9.5 daily vehicle fee to enter in addition to admission to the water park.
The facility is well-maintained and I counted a dozen lifeguards strategically stationed throughout the park. Floatation vests are available, but don’t expect to find more than infant sizes as they don’t have a lot of stock overall.
MAIN Pool at the Water Park
There is a wading pool specifically for the 6 and under set with caregiver present. It’s a nice sized pool and has an overhead stream of water and a friendly octopus slide. Adjacent to the wading pool is a shaded sand area that was virtually empty the entire time of our visit.
The large, main pool begins at 2 ½ feet while the center of the pool is the deepest at 5 feet. There are a total of three slides here designed with children in mind. I loved that there are rubberized cushions in the pool. When you whizz down the slide your feet bounce on the cushion springing you to the surface. The pool water was a pleasant temperature.
On the other side of the main pool are a pair of waterslides; an open one and tunnel slide. They didn’t look to be too fast and the line to go on them wasn’t long. The waterslides empty to 3 ½-4 feet deep. The height requirement to ride these slides is 48”.
Play Feature at Atlantis Waterpark
The focal point of the waterpark is a play feature with huge dumping bucket. Once every five minutes, you hear a bell indicating that the bucket will dump 1,000 gallons of water on unsuspecting guests! As if that isn’t enough, the structure, outfitted with King Neptune, Nemo, seahorses and mermaids, features four small waterslides, shower pulls, water cannons, fountains and jet streams of water. The only downside is the water in the play feature is quite cold compared to the main pool water. Once you immerse yourself though, that cold feeling goes away. The play feature is a ton of fun for all family members.
Kids under age 2 are free, kids under 48″ tall are $7.00, and anyone over 42″ is $8.25. On non-holiday weekdays after 4 p.m., it’s just $5.25 per person. Consider purchasing an annual waterpark pass, which is good for 1 year from the purchase date. It’s valid at the following waterparks: Atlantis, Great Waves, Pirate’s Cove, Ocean Dunes and Volcano Island. Other perks include early admission to the waterpark and coupons. The pass varies in price from $85 per person then $70 for each additional member. If you live out of the jurisdiction, it’s $10 more.
- Memorial Day Weekend: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Until the end of the school year: weekends 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- After school is out until August 23: Daily 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- The last 2 weeks of summer: Monday to Friday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; weekends 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Labor Day Weekend: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
If you plan on leaving and returning to the park the same day, be sure to get a hand stamp. Spend some time exploring what else Bull Run Park has to offer. You can enjoy the playground, partake in disc golf, play soccer, hike, enjoy a picnic or spend a night camping. Bags are checked upon entry. This means only bottled water is allowed past the entrance.
- We worked up an appetite and our only choice was fried fare from Neptune’s Reef Café. Food was slow in preparation and the food lacked flavor, which included $5 kids meals, pizza, funnel cake and pre-packaged garden salads.
- Lockers are .75 and don’t fit much. We discovered that one family stuffed the locker so much they couldn’t get their stuff out.
- Don’t forget to keep your tootsies covered. The cement walking around the park gets very hot.
- Go early to stake out a spot. Atlantis has tons of seating and giant “funbrellas” providing shade. I also liked that there were umbrellas without chairs for bystanders to watch their kids have fun.
My family spent nearly 3 hours at Atlantis Waterpark. We wished we could have stayed longer! Even at the height of the day, the park was never overly crowded. This park has become one of our favorites and I’m sure you may discover that too!
Photos by Kathleen Molloy.