The heat index is climbing. Need a fun idea for cooling off? Try one of these Baltimore pools, splash pads, or swimming holes. Some are close to town and others are definitely worth the drive!

the (cool) list: baltimore pools, splash pads, and swimming holes

Beaver Dam Swim Club
Beaver Dam Swim Club spans 30 acres in Cockeysville. Known for their fresh-water quarry and infamous rope swing, kids will also love splashing in their pool or racing down the sliding board. Bring your own snacks or hit the snack bar. Admission is $12 – $18. MORE

Baltimore City Pools
No pool membership? No worries! Baltimore City operates six large Park pools, 12 neighborhood pools, three indoor pools (limited Summer availability), and two splash pads. Admission is just $2 for Park pools and $1 at walk-to pools per two-hour session (you can get a summer pass for $30). Roosevelt Park, Patterson Park and Riverside Park pools all have wading pools, too! MORE

Cascade Lake
Enjoy 6 acres of lake nestled in 70 acres of rolling hills and wooded areas in Hampstead. There’s a large roped-off area for swimming including waterslides and platforms. Have little kids? They’ll love the Spray-n-Playground full of geysers, bubblers, and a water tunnel. Take a paddleboat out and enjoy the cafe. Admission is $8-$15. MORE

Chesapeake Beach Water Park
If you’re up for a drive, head to Chesapeak Beach Water Park in Chesapeake Beach. Lazy river, eight water slides, fountains, waterfalls, a lagoon, kids activity pool and more. MORE

Cunningham Falls State Park
The hour drive from the city to Thurmont is definitely worth it! Swimming is allowed in three designated areas of Hunting Creek Lake, between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Lifeguards are on duty daily between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Cunningham Falls, the largest in Maryland, can be reached by a half-mile hiking  trail. Swimming is not permitted in the falls. MORE

Gunpowder Falls State Park | Hammerman Beach
As Gunpowder’s featured day-use park, , Hammerman features a swimming beach, food concessions, four picnic pavilions, picnicking, playgrounds, canoe/kayak and sailboat rentals, fishing, short hiking trails and two short water trails. Opens at 8 AM. There is a $3 per person service charge ($5 per-person for non-Maryland residents) for entrance into the Hammerman Area. MORE

Kilgore FallsRocks State Park
he Falling Branch area of Rocks State Park is located about five miles north of the main park on a separate 67-acre parcel of land. It is home to the 17-foot high Kilgore Falls, which is Maryland’s second highest vertical drop waterfall. The shallow tide pools are great for young kids — but be sure to wear water shoes.  It’s just a short family-friendly hike to the falls. MORE

Patapsco State Park
Swimming is allowed in all areas along the Patapsco River unless posted otherwise. In the McKelding Area, swimming is prohibited in the rapid area and the pool below the rapids. This is an unguarded swim at your own risk area, and as with all areas of the river, swimmers should be cautious of swift currents, and sharp stones along the river bottom. Admission is $2/per vehicle (in-state). MORE

Sandy Point State Park
The park’s lengthy beaches located at South Beach provide plenty of room for stretching out and enjoying the sun’s warmth as you dry off after swimming in the cool tidal waters of the Chesapeake Bay. A portion of South Beach is protected with lifeguards from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends and holidays, Memorial Day to Labor Day. A bathhouse is located near the beach and provides park users with restroom and showering facilities. Snack food, beach and picnic supplies are also available at the South Beach area of the park. Admission is $3-$7/pp. MORE

South Germantown Recreational Park
Another one that’s a bit of a drive — but you can make a fun day trip out of it! The Splash Park is one of the most popular features of South Germantown Recreational Park. Kids will love playing in the one-of-a-kind 280-jet water maze, cave with a waterfall, water bucket drops, slide, and spraying animals. Tables and umbrellas provide shaded rest areas. Rest rooms, changing rooms with lockers, and vending machines area available onsite. The Splash Park also features a fun Jumping Pillow that will keep kids hopping all day long! MORE

Walter Sondheim Fountain
One of our favorite places to cool off in the city! Kids (young and those who are kids-at-heart) can skip, hop or just run right through the streams of shooting water at this interactive fountain in West Shore Park! MORE