Swimming is synonymous with summer in my book. In the Midwest, outdoor pools are only open in the summer and they are sure to bring about some of the most exciting memories. With our local pools opening up for the first of the season this weekend, it's time to share a post about my family's summer swimming adventures.
There is one thing that my children can count on every summer - mom will swim with them. From the day the pools open until the day they close, the kids and I enjoy floating away in different locales. In Cedar Rapids there are five outdoor pools and our season passes will get us in to every one of them. Nearby we also have lakes that we enjoy visiting from time to time and only about an hour away is Lost Island
Each outdoor pool has something to offer that makes it just a little different from the rest. Take for example, the closest pool to our house, Ellis Pool, has a high dive. Other than a pretty low-key water slide and a baby pool that has been out of commission lately, the pool is very, very basic. It has a ramp, but is not zero-depth entry and I, personally, think it is a really chilly pool. However, they are definitely busy during the day, filled with kids from area daycares and lined with children taking swimming lessons in the mornings.
Cherry Hill Aquatic Center is another pool on the Northwest side of town. But it is way, way on the Northwest side of Cedar Rapids. It is one of the largest pools in town and it also has some of the most engaging equipment for people of all ages. My (almost) nine year old loves the crocodile walk and my husband enjoys the shade provided near the area where toddlers are most likely to play. it also boasts a diving board, a drop slide, a play tower, and two larger water slides.
Noelridge Aquatic Center is where you will find nearly the same equipment as Cherry Hill Aquatic Center, minus the crocodile walk and the shaded pool. My son (almost seven) really loves the sand at Noelridge though. Now that my children are a little older and my daughter is a very confident swimmer, I feel secure in letting her have a little more freedom in the confines of the center, as long as she checks in with me frequently, so my son and I will go play in the sand and she will go jump off the diving board.
The final two pools, Jones and Bever, are similar too. Both pools have some activities for younger children to find entertaining in the zero-depth area and both have a simple curlicue water slide. However, Bever has a deep end with a drop slide and a diving board, where Jones doesn't have a true deep end.
Each pool has something just a little more unique than another, which helps my children and I find a little variety in what becomes the doldrums of visiting the same pool again and again in the summer. But this Saturday, May 25th at 1 PM when the doors open for the first open swim of the season, my children and I will likely be there - until they get too cold or want a snack!
Noelridge Aquatic Center is the only pool open in Cedar Rapids, Iowa from May 25th through May 31st.
Family Swim Times at Noelridge Aquatic Center for Memorial Day weekend.
Saturday, May 25th 1-6 PM
Sunday, May 26th 1-6 PM
Monday, May 27th 1-5 PM
Brandi Parsons is a freelance writer, book blogger, mom, educator, and authorpreneur. Her first book, Kidnapped Asylum, is now available as an ebook. She is currently working on her first nonfiction book, 10,000 Messages: How to Reach Inbox Zero in an Infinite Messaging World. If you're interested in Brandi's freelance services or to receive exclusive updates about her upcoming books, contact her here.