New Dunedin sprayground adds to cool summer fun
Oh to be young -- read toddler to about third grade or so -- and live in a city with a splash pad or sprayground. Usually these water filled play areas are connected to a facility with a pool but not always. So, in Florida where the heat hits you when you walk out the door in the morning, it's important to find your favorite, inexpensive -- read free or cheap -- place to cool down with the kids. I wrote about the new Dell Holmes splash pad that opened in May in St. Petersburg. And last year, when we launched our blog and Web site Go Momma, we wrote about great places to cool down around the bay area. And we missed one: Cypress Forest Park in Oldsmar which has a 1,500-square-foot sprayground with all manner of shooting and cascading water.
On Thursday, a new sprayground joins the club at 10 a.m. at the Highlander Pool, 1937 Ed Eckert Drive, Dunedin. The ribbon cutting ceremony will usher in the latest of the water playgrounds, this one officially called the Kiwanis Sprayground and featuring a Loch Ness Monster theme. There are plenty of ways to get wet: mushroom and spinning sprayers, dumping buckets and troughs, water canons, spray from the ground, even a bench that shoots up water as you sit. That sounds pretty refreshing.
According to Alicia Castricone, Highlander’s aquatics coordinator, the sprayground will hold a maximum of 90 people and regular hours will be from 9 a.m. to sunset. And there are two cool features parents will love: The pool has a lightning detection system which will automatically turn off all the equipment and then lifeguards will alert folks to leave. And there are some shaded areas that will allow parents to be nearby to watch the kids as they play. For the grand opening, enjoy some free hot dogs, lemonade and tropical steel drum music. If only there were a tiki bar nearby.
So, once all the rain clears out, you'll definitely want to check it out. Try a new park so you and your kids don't get bored at your favorite.
-- Sherry Robinson
[Photo: City of Dunedin Parks and Recreation]