Report from Watkins Spray Park

Happy Monday, neighbors! Yesterday morning, AJ and I went to Watkins spray park for the first time this summer. I got him all pumped up by showing him photos of how much fun he had last year. Then I took him to Lincoln Park to work up a sweat. “This is NOT spray park, Mommy,” he said, so after a little bit we headed over to Watkins, arriving just before 10 a.m., which is when it is scheduled to open (10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily).

A throng of kids were waiting and running around the (dry, hot) spray park. Many long minutes rolled by. Yes, everyone touched the green pole–the water really wasn’t on. Parents commented that the water came on several minutes late last weekend, too.

In the meantime, I remembered that a MOTH mom recently reported that her son got second-degree burns at this park from stepping onto metal plates that had been baking in the sun. A solution was in place:

A strip of metal is still exposed on the right.

The minutes continued to swelter on. “It’s a lesson that will help them deal with the rest of their lives!” I heard one mom say– and it’s a fair point and a healthy perspective. I was still disgruntled, though, because with little kids you can only budget so much time in the full sun on a hot day.

Finally at 10:16, the water came on. The people rejoiced! Even the big water features were on! This was different from last year, when the big features were mostly off, at least when I visited.

Lest this sound too complainy-pants, I really am grateful that we have this spray park in the neighborhood. It’s awesome! Here are my takeaways:

  • Plan to visit well after 10 a.m. to avoid an uncomfortable wait.
  • Have the kids always wear water shoes–those metal plates are now mostly covered, but better to be safe than sorry.

Explore more splashy fun on the Hill: Outdoor Pools, Spray Parks and Waterworks

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