Cool Off with Water Fun!

Note: this is a revision of an earlier post on the old blog.

Summer has arrived and it is hot!

How do you keep cool during the Grand Rapids summer heat?  If you don’t have access to a private pool or live near a swimming lake, you still have options!

The pictures above are from the Kentwood Splashpad…a relatively new and undiscovered gem.  (Located at Veteran’s Memorial Park (335 – 48th St SE, Kentwood MI) Here’s what I like about it:

-not busy
-fenced in
-grass & trees nearby
-play structures on premise, including climbing wall
-good for ages 2-12
-next to picnic pavilion
-visibly monitored by Kentwood Parks and Rec
-includes sand-box

Didn’t like:
-Splash pad itself has no shade
-Slides & Swings are in direct sun and are HOT
-no good way to clean off the wet sand
-opens at 11am.  Wish it were earlier.

Don’t Know:
-what the restroom facilities are like

Other options for cooling off with water:
Kentwood aquatic center at the KPHS of Kzoo & S. Beltline. There is a fee per use. $2 per person for residents and 0.50 more for non residents in 2009. I have heard great things about their zero entry pool for little ones.

Richmond pool (and other City of GR Pools). Just off of Leonard in the NW side. Its a public pool with beach entry, waterslide slow enough for young kids and life guard that catches them at the bottom. huge shallow end with water features, snack bar, large diving board area & a well-paced water slide that can handle kids in parents’ laps. Also a park with lake and playground on the same property, plenty of parking.

Holland Aquatic Center: I have this on my list of places to visit.  I’ve heard great things about the Holland Aquatic Center…that it is family friendly and has lots of options for fun.  It’s also nice that it is indoors, so you can enjoy it year round.

Millenium Park (beach area and a separate kids area with fun sprayers).  Fee.

Versluis Park, located off from Northland Drive, near Plainfield. They have a playground, picnic area and of course, a beach area.  It costs approx $8 (non residents) per car and has a lovely sandy beach and corded off area in the Lake to swim which is all fairly shallow at its deepest it is up to an adult’s waist.  Here’s a bit about our experience there.

Meyers Lake is located near Rockford, Michigan.  With a nice shaded picnic area, good bathroom facilities, a large playground and a grassy beach area, this place is a great find.  And it is free!

Dumont Lake … Allegan.  It’s a very small, quaint, in the middle-of-nowhere State Park with an awesome playground, clean beach and warm water!!!

East Grand Rapids Pools

Please leave your favorite swim areas in the comments section!


  1. Heather said

    Restrooms at this splash pad don’t have soap. It can sometimes be very busy, especially with unsupervised children and I rarely see anyone from the Rec department monitoring older kids who bully around the little ones. There is often a lot of trash scattered throughout the splash pad.

  2. Joy McCormick said

    LONG LAKE- entrance is on 17 mile road between cedar springs and kent city.
    *Swimming area (watch your kids closely–there is no lifeguard) has a great shallow area and then slowly goes deeper (not one of those drop off places like some lakes have)
    *A great playground
    *Large picnic area
    *Restrooms and changing area (not porta potties like some places have)
    *several places around the lake to fish (no fishing allowed in swimming area) or hang out and throw a frisbee or a football.

    Fishing is also a great experience for kids!

    • Joy McCormick said

      forgot to say …. it’s all well maintaine and the best part: IT’S FREE!!!

  3. kids love water slides, they go crazy about it “”

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