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Posted at 6:03 PM ET, 07/17/2006

Rolling on the River

By Anne Kenderdine

Get this: I thought it was hot yesterday. I hadn't been to any waterparks since last summer when I went to Water Country USA, a huge, commercial park near Busch Gardens. But yesterday I was so desperate to cool off, I drove to Splash Down Waterpark in Manassas solely in anticipation of its advertised 770-foot-long lazy river, and then spent the entire time coasting there.

You have to wait a bit for a free inner tube to come bobbing by, but it all works out soon enough, because like the Beltway, someone's usually getting off the loop when you're getting on. However, unlike the Beltway, the commuters are laughing and shrieking and splashing each other, and no concentration is needed, because there's a current that powers you onward. (Don't even think about trying to swim upstream.) Starry-eyed couples drift along, holding hands across their tubes. Parents, with their kids hanging on to their floats, actually look relaxed. Sometimes you kind of get caught in a traffic jam, but just around the bend, it's all good.

The park also has other pools, kiddie attractions and bunch of waterslides -- including two that are four stories high and two that are "cannonball" style, meaning they start lower, but you soar through the air for brief moment before you hit the water -- but I didn't bother with those. The inertia of the river sucked me in. And then, you know, since I'd had such a workout, I really needed those Boardwalk fries.

With a locker for 75 cents, veggie burgers on the menu (you can't bring in outside food) and shady pavilions and lounging areas, I could really have spent the whole day there. The park is open until 8 Friday and Saturday, and 7 other nights. Happiest of all, if you go after 4, you get half-price admission. And by evening, I truly had cooled off.

By Anne Kenderdine  | July 17, 2006; 6:03 PM ET
Categories:  Misc.  
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My God it takes long to download these GOG sites.

Posted by: Me | July 20, 2006 5:14 PM | Report abuse

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