If there are any places you love to go to keep cool that aren't on the list, send me an e-mail and I'll update the post.
Mall at Prince George's. It's cool and shady and indoors. You can walk around the mall with the kids. Not a bad place to hang out. Mall at Prince George's, 3500 East West Highway, Hyattsville, MD 20782-1916, (301) 853-6054, http://mallatprincegeorges.com.
IKEA College Park. This is a great place to hang around or, even get a break from the kids. IKEA offers up to 1 hour of free care in supervised play in its first-floor Smaland. Parents get a buzzer when they leave, and store workers will buzz if there is a problem, or when your child's time is up. If your child is not the right size for the play area, there are several play areas throughout the showroom, where children can be entertained. Food at Ikea is pretty cheap, too. Kids meals are $2.50, including a drink. Ikea College Park, 10100 Baltimore Ave., College Park, MD 20740, (301) 345-6552, http://www.ikea.com/us/en/store/college_park.
Wegmans. In the air-conditioned eatery, there is free wi-fi. Also, they have a small children's area that includes a TV and a trainset. I don't let my kids watch much TV at home, so sometimes they beg to go to Wegmans so they can see TV. This is a great place to just sit for a minute. Wegmans Woodmore Town Centre, 9001 McHugh Drive, Lanham, MD, (240) 487-5445.
Wheaton Mall. This is a little bit of a hike, but the mall has a kids play area filled with soft plastic things kids can climb on, little slides, and the like. Of course, just walking around the mall is great, too. Wheaton Mall, 11160 Veirs Mill Road, Wheaton MD 20902-1094, (301) 942-3200, http://www.westfield.com/wheaton.
University Town Center. This development has a fountain that children can frolic and play in for free. There are nearby shops and restaurants to play at when you're finished. Please be aware, the fountain is not always active, so do call ahead. University Town Centre, 3325 Toledo Road, Hyattsville, MD, (301) 277-0925, http://www.universitytowncenter.net.
Downtown Silver Spring. There is a fountain here that allows children to run in and frolic as well. It tends to run more often, but again, call ahead to make sure it's running if your goal is to take the kids and cool off. There are lots of shops and restaurants nearby, too (including a Cake Love, which often has a $2 special on cupcakes). Downtown Silver Spring, 908 Ellsworth Drive, Silver Spring, MD 20910, 301-587-0867, http://www.downtownsilverspring.com.
Public Pools (list is from Parks & Rec. website: http://www.pgparks.com/Things_To_Do/Sports/Aquatics/Summer_Pool_Openings.htm)
Allentown Splash, Tennis, and Fitness Park, 7210 Allentown Road, Fort Washington, MD 20744. This facility features an outdoor splash pool, wading pool, diving well, picnic area and volleyball court, as well as an indoor aquatic complex.
Glenn Dale Splash Park, 11901 Glenn Dale Blvd. (Rt. 193), Glenn Dale, MD 20769. The seasonal, outdoor family splash park offers play areas for pre-schoolers, water spray features, and a lily pad crossing adjacent to Glenn Dale Community Center.
Lane Manor Splash Park, 7601 West Park Drive, Hyattsville, MD 20783. Located in Lane Manor Park, this outdoor facility offers a 25-meter pool with lily pads, mushroom waterfall, water slides, and a wading pool.
Ellen Linson Swimming Pool, 5211 Paint Branch Parkway, College Park, MD 20740. This facility offers a 50-meter pool, water slide, and funbrella picnic areas.
North Barnaby Splash Park, 5000 Wheeler Rd, Oxon Hill, MD 20745. This newly renovated 25-meter, outdoor pool includes a lily pad crossing, tipping-buckets waterfall, aqua climbing wall and wading pool.
Hamilton Splash Park, 3901 Hamilton St., Hyattsville, MD 20781. This outdoor pool features a completely new pool configuration and decking, new slide, spray features, and lily pad crossings, along with an aqua climbing wall.
J. Franklyn Bourne Memorial Pool, 6500 Calmos Street, Seat Pleasant, MD 20743. This newly renovated 50-meter, outdoor swimming pool includes the addition of new Funbrealla picnic areas and a pool deck, baby pool, and locker room facilities.
Allentown Fitness & Splash Park, 7210 Allentown Road, Fort Washington, MD 20744, 301-449-5566. Call for fees. http://www.pgparks.com/Things_To_Do/Sports/Aquatics/Allentown_Splash__Tennis_and_Fitness_Park.htm.
Fairland Sports and Aquatics Complex, 13820 and 13950 Old Gunpowder Road, Laurel, MD 20707. Resident fees are $5* for adults, $4* for children. http://www.pgparks.com/Things_To_Do/Sports/Fairland_Sports_and_Aquatics_Complex.htm.
Prince George’s Sports & Learning Complex, 8001 Sheriff Rd. in Landover, 301-583-2400. Resident fees are $5* for adults, $4* for children. http://www.pgsportsandlearn.com/aquatic_fees.html.
Rollingcrest-Chillum Splash Pool, 6122 Sargent Road, Chillum, MD 20782, 301-853-9115. Call for fees. http://www.pgparks.com/Things_To_Do/Sports/Aquatics/Rollingcrest-Chillum_Splash_Pool.htm.
(*Add $1 for people who are not PG or Montgomery County residents)