By: Julia Drysdale
Guelph has many FREE splash pads and wading pools. They are excellent places to cool off in the summer. This year city wading pools, splash pads, and the outdoor pool open the last week of June.
Here is a list of my toddler's personal favourite water spots in the city:
1. Hanlon Creek Park splash pad is my son's favourite. It is one of the bigger splash pads in Guelph. I like that it is fully fenced in and has some shady areas under trees on the grass to enjoy a picnic snack. It is located at 505 Kortright Road West. It will be open daily from June 26th to September 4th, 2017 from 10am to 7pm.
2. The South End Community Park, more commonly known as Dragonfly Park, splash pad is fantastic. This splash pad is the newest one in Guelph. It has many different features. It's beside the popular Dragonfly Park playground and sports fields. The address is 25 Poppy Drive West. It will be open daily from June 26th to September 4th, 2017 from 10am to 7pm.
3. Exhibition Park wading pool is another of J's favourite spots to splash around. It is located at 81 London Road West. This wading pool ranks high for us because it is fully fenced in. The water is quite shallow. Last summer there were usually plastic water toys and balls to play with (or you can bring your own). It is close to the Exhibition Playground which is also one of our favourites. The hours for this wading pool are 10am to 1pm and 3pm to 7pm. This wading pool is open daily June 30th to September 4th, 2017.
4. Sunny Acres wading pool has been around for a long time (my mum still brings up how I as a toddler threw her book into the pool while she was playing with my younger brother). It isn't one of the biggest wading pools, but it wasn't usually crowded whenever we went last summer. The hours for Sunny Acres splash pad are 10am to 1pm and 3pm to 7pm. This wading pool is open daily June 30th to September 4th, 2017. The address is 45 Edinburgh Road North.
5. City Hall Market Square is a fun, interactive water feature. It is one of the largest wading pools in Guelph. For me it loses points because it isn't fenced in and is close to Carden and Wilson roads. Market Square is a popular wading pool in nice weather. The address is 1 Carden Street.
6. Norm Jay splash pad is located at 22 Shelldale Crescent. This splash pad is massive and has a lot of neat spraying water features. It will be open daily from June 26th to September 4th, 2017 from 10am to 7pm.
7. Guelph's only public, outdoor pool is in Lyon Park. This pool is located at 299 York Road. The hours are from 10am to noon, 1pm to 4pm, and 5pm to 8pm, from June 24th to September 4th.
8. Northview Park Splash Pad is Guelph's newest splash pad. It's a smaller, unfenced splash pad with a fun snail water feature and some structures that look like trees. Across the road from this park is a beautiful forested area so the trees design is quite clever. Beside the splash pad is a playground and a shade shelter. Northview Park is located at 83 Wideman Boulevard. This splash pad will be open from now until September 4th, 2017 from 10am to 7pm.
9. Jubilee Park Splash Pad opened for the first time in 2017. This splash pad is designed to look like bulrushes and pond-like. Last time I was at Jubilee Park we saw a turtle crossing the road so maybe it was trying to check out the area's new "pond" spot. This splash pad isn't fenced in. It's beside the fun playground, that is especially great if your child is a climber. Jubilee Park is located in the south end of Guelph at 11 Sweeney Drive. This splash pad will be open from 10am to 7pm daily until September 4th.
10. Mico Valeriote wading pool is open 11am to 3pm daily from June 30th to September 4th, 2017. This small circular pool was looking quite dated last summer – fingers crossed they have updated it a little. Of all the wading pools we visited last year this one usually had the fewest people (possibly because there's no great spot to park if you are driving to get to this park). This wading pool is located at 235 Elizabeth Street in the Ward.
11. Waverley Park splash pad is not a huge splash pad, but it's a great spot to spend a hot morning or afternoon. This splash pad is located at 76 Balmoral Drive. The main water features are giant flowers.
12. The West End Community Centre splash pad is located at 21 Imperial Road South. This splash pad is a lot of fun for little ones. To get to this splash pad you need to go around the side of the building, past the fire department and go to the back north east corner of the community centre. The hours 10am to 7pm daily from June 26th to September 4th, 2017.
Bonus: Rockwood and Elora also have fun splash pads to enjoy. African Lion Safari splash pad is incredible! Last summer we had a season's pass to the African Lion Safari and some days we would go just for the splash pad.