Plan on spending an entire day enjoying all the fun filled activities at Splash Down Water Park in Manassas, Virginia. A full 13 acres of water themed adventures for new walkers up to adults awaits you in this suburban paradise.
Prices for customers 48″ and above are $14.95 per person, under 48″ $10.95 and kids two years and under are free. After 3pm on week days, admission is $9.00 for everyone. Tickets can be purchased at the gate or online. Group discount rates and season passes are also available. Most days, the water park does not open until 11 a.m. Check the schedule for the season’s dates and times.
Only bottled water is allowed to be brought onto the premises and bags are hand inspected for contraband when you walk through the entrance. Locker rentals are $5 for the entire day. A small shop selling sundries, including sunscreen, swimsuits, waterproof cameras and towels is located immediately to the left as you enter the park. Swimsuits must be worn in the pools, no cut-offs, shorts or other clothing. Tee shirts are allowed to be worn over swim wear. Free life jackets for the kids can be borrowed.
Showers and places to change clothes are located in the restrooms scattered around the park. Changing tables and wipes were available in the same places.
The park is broken up into several areas offering a variety of water activities. As you enter the park, walk to your right if you want to visit the small children’s area. There is a zero entrance pool with four small slides and fountains in the “Splish Splash” section which is reserved for tots under 48″ tall. Low to the ground beach chairs surround this area where you can monitor your toddler playing under water “raindrops” and bubblers.
A 770 foot Lazy River offers single tube rafts for rides through swift currents. The water is not over 4″ in the Lazy River; tall adults will need to keep their legs up to avoid getting scraped. The best entry and exit to the Lazy River is near the Splish Splash pool where the lack of movement makes it easier to get in and out of the rafts without having to fight against the current.
Two cannonball slides in the rear of the park are surrounded by hilly grass with dozens of adjustable lounge chairs. At the top of the hill is a covered pavilion with picnic tables where you can eat lunch. A few words of caution: The two cannonball slides appear innocuous in size and shape.
However, they propel riders out and dump them into 12 feet of water. I witnessed four saves by lifeguards; they swam out to rescue swimmers who emerged from the deep water and either were not strong enough swimmers to get to the side of pool, or may have been surprised at the depth of the water. Only strong swimmers who can stroke unassisted to the side of the pool should use these slides.
The adventurous and thriller attractions are two huge seventy foot tall waterslides. After a climb up several flights of stairs, riders have the choice of riding down a slide which requires a one person raft or going down solo on the other slide. These slides empty into a pool of water that is no more than 4.5″ deep.
In addition to the slides mentioned above, there is also a 25 meter lap and leisure pool, volleyball court, children’s play area, lily pad and log walk, and assorted beach chairs and loungers scattered throughout. Covered and shaded areas are plentiful and available in many different sections of the park.
Food and Beverage
There are several places to eat in the park and each food establishment has different options. The main restaurant “Coney Island” has kid’s meal deals (popcorn chicken, Smuckers pb&j, jr. hot dog, mac and cheese wedges) for $5.25 which includes an eight ounce beverage, small fries and choice of go-gurt, fruit cup or carrot sticks. There is also a dollar menu with baby carrots, fruit cup, small fries and small popcorn chicken for those with tiny appetites. Salads, burgers (including veggie) can be purchased here as well.
A pizza shack sells pizza by the slice, by the pie and sub sandwiches and wraps. A snack truck offers up a variety of fries such as sweet potato, boardwalk style, curly and spicy along with other fried food like taquitos and onion rings.
Ice cream is sold throughout the park and at most of the eating establishments. Popcorn, pretzels, juice, soda and milk are drink options.
Since you cannot bring your own food, you will either have to purchase their food or enjoy your own picnic food outside the entrance. Although the choices were plentiful, the quality of the food was fair. A turkey sub consisted of a large hard, sub roll, two extremely thin slices of turkey, American cheese, lettuce, and was served dry without any condiments.
Contact Guest Services at 703.361.4451 to help you set up a catered event or book group ticket rates. Special services include packages for birthday parties, picnics, after hour rentals and private swim lessons. Pavilions can be reserved and complete catering and entertainment options can be arranged.
Photo by Marla B. Hughes