The Rollingcrest-Chillum Splash Pool was second on my list of indoor pools to visit this winter. The first was Germantown Indoor Swim Center, which you can read about in my post here. I apologize for the lack of photos of the pool accompanying this post. There are signs throughout the facility indicating that photos and videos are not allowed in the building. This may explain why there are so few photos of this pool on the Internet. In my opinion, the few photos that I did find through Google were not representative of how large it is and how many fun elements the pool had built into it. So, if a photo is worth one thousand words, then I will try to be as descriptive as possible.
|Main entrance to the splash pool|
We headed to the splash park on a Saturday afternoon. I called ahead to make sure they were still open, because we have about an hour and 45 minute drive to get there. The pool wasn’t difficult to find, but the parking lot entrance comes up fast. Go slow after turning onto Sargent Road, so you don’t miss it. When we arrived, we paid at the front desk, and they pointed us toward the family locker rooms located right by the pool entrance. There were two of these, and the rooms included a toilet, shower, two hand dryers, and a sink. The family locker rooms were big enough for the three of us, but a larger family may feel cramped.
After changing, we couldn’t find any lockers to put our clothes in. I looked in the ladies locker room and still could not find any place to put our clothes. We asked at the front desk and apparently they do not have lockers right now. We took our bulky stuff out to the car, coats and such, and left the rest of the stuff sit on the pool deck. There are a few benches and several hooks for towels on the deck.
I was pleasantly surprised when we entered the pool. There were more slides than I thought, and the whole pool area was larger than I imagined. There are two areas, a large, main swimming area, and one for children 48″ and below (parents can accompany their children). Children 48″ and below could still go into the main pool, but taller children could not use the “kids” pool. It wasn’t very busy on Saturday around 1:30 PM, but it got a bit busier as the afternoon went on.
The main pool includes a drop slide, rope and lily pad walk, tube slide, flume slide, whirl pool, and a crocodile and snake to climb on. The kids pool had a smaller flume slide and a play structure. The play structure had two double slides of different heights and a curved tub slide. We started in the kids pool, and it took a while to convince the 3-year-old to go down the slides. The play structure is one of those with water dumping and squirting everywhere. You can’t head up the steps to it without getting wet from above. My 3-year-old doesn’t like that and always tries to avoid the water. She eventually worked up the courage to do it, and then she wouldn’t stop using the slides. One thing to note about the kids pool is that it is colder than the main pool. We thought this might be because of the large windows and doors that are on the end of the building by the kids pool.
The big difference between Germantown Indoor Swim Center and Rollingcrest-Chillum Splash Pool was the depth of the water at the bottom of the slides. At Rollingcrest, the water depth at the slide exits was about 6 inches and there is padding at the bottom of each slide; the 3-year-old did not need to be caught at the end of these slides. Germantown had much deeper water, maybe 3 feet or so. A small child would probably prefer to be caught on these slides, since they would most likely go underwater when entering the pool at the end of the slide.
After playing in the kids pool, the lifeguards blew the whistle to signal everyone to get out of the pool. There is a 15 minute break in every hour, which starts at a quarter till the hour and ends on the hour. It was a great time to convince my 3-year-old to take a break and use the potty.
After the break, we headed to the main pool. The adults wanted to try the drop slide, but it was closed that day. Instead, we headed to the large tube slide, which was for children 48″ and above. They will check and measure the children. The tube slide exits the building and comes back in right at the end of the slide. So, it was impossible to see how long the slide actually was. I was pleasantly surprised at how long it was, and it was fast when laying down…except at the end. Right at the end, somehow I slowed down to a stop. I saw a lot of other adults doing the same thing. Don’t worry, it was at the end and not abrupt, and I just pushed myself the last foot or so. I didn’t even go under the water when exiting, so it was nice not to get my hair wet.
We ended our day at the splash pool by playing on the crocodile and the snake and taking a few rides down the double hump flume slide. On this slide, the water will really splash in your face at the end. It’s quite a surprise the first time. Overall, we had a great time at this pool, and it is really low cost, even for those that don’t live in the Maryland counties that receive a small discount.
Things to Remember:
1. There’s a fifteen minute break every hour. Prepare your children for this, so they are not disappointed when they have to get out of the pool.
2. Don’t bring a lot of extra stuff into the building until they get the lockers replaced. We took our bulky winter coats to the car; luckily it was warm that day.
3. Be prepared that your taller children (over 48″) will not be able to play in the kiddie pool. Two adult chaperons would be useful if you have one child above 48″ and one below.
4. With all of the water dumping and flowing, it is pretty loud in the pool area. If your child is sensitive to constant loud noise, you may want to prepare them for how noisy the pool will be. It’s one of those things you stop noticing after being in the pool for a few minutes.