Last week, our own Sally J mentioned taking her kids to their local sprayground for a day out. I was intrigued. I had never heard of a sprayground, but it sounded fun. She told me that it was like a playground with sprinklers instead of slides.A playground full of sprinklers? By cracky, that does sound like fun! So I asked the great Google if I, too, could take my kids to a sprayground, and the great and all-knowing Google said “Yes, yes you can.”
The closest sprayground to my house is about 25 minutes away. I have no problem with driving 25 minutes for myself, but when I am driving the 6 year old who gets carsick easily, the destination had damn well better be worth it. Spraygrounds vary in their level of fanciness, from plain-jane to Ã¼ber-cool. Ours seems to be somewhere in the middle. It has about ten different kinds of sprinklers in an area slightly larger than a swimming pool, two playgrounds outside the sprinkler area, and a small concession stand. It only costs a dollar to play in the water area. The sprinklers range from a row of ground spouts where water bubbles up about eight inches to a 10-foot tall tree-like sculpture that creates a rain storm around it. It was slightly crowded, but nothing like the crowds I’ve fought through to swim at a public pool.
So, was it worth it? Absolutely. MiniB was nervous at first. She gets a little shy around new people and has a weird thing about getting her face wet. (Knowing this, it almost seems like a sprayground is the last place I should take her, but when I told her about it, she was wildly excited and pestered me about it for a week, I swear.) We played in the water for a bit, got some popsicles, and explored the dry playgrounds. By the time we had done all this, we were hot enough that she was more than ready to overcome her shyness. We went back to the spray area, and she dove right in. The second time around, she played in all the sprinklers and tried to make friends with the other little girls. By the time we left, MiniB gave it a solid thumbs up and said she was excited to come back with some friends later in the week.
The mom verdict is also positive. The great thing about a sprinkler park is that adults have the option of getting wet, but they don’t need to if they don’t want to. At a pool, you are always on lifeguard duty, but you don’t really have to worry about drowning in a sprinkler. I saw lots of moms who were just sitting in the shade chatting. I also saw lots of moms standing in the sprinklers chatting. I didn’t bring a bathing suit, so I stayed mostly dry (the call of falling water was too strong for me to stay entirely dry). I won’t be making that mistake again, let me tell you. I am not one who is happy to sit on the sidelines when there is fun to be had.
I asked Google about other spraygrounds, and he told me that there are lots of them. If you are looking for some cheap summer fun, I highly recommend checking to see if there is one near you.