2015 Update: For 2015 the Glastonbury resident rates are $5 on weekdays and $8 on weekends. Car stickers at $25 for the first vehicle and $15 for each additional vehicle. Non-resident rates are double the resident rate.
The Hartford area has some great community pools, but most of them are closed in the morning for swim lessons. When it’s already 80 degrees by 9:00 a.m., who wants to wait until the afternoon to go for a swim? Not us! That’s why we love Eastbury Pond in Glastonbury.
Also known as “Eastbury Pool,” this large, beach-like pond opens at 10:30 a.m., so it’s the perfect swimming destination for those of us with toddlers who are just going down for their afternoon nap when most of the other Hartford area pools open. When we had that crazy heat wave a few weeks back, Mandy and I decided to take the kiddos over to cool off.
Eastbury Pond is located in East Glastonbury, just off Manchester Road. If you’re searching for it on your GPS, make sure you enter “Eastbury Pool,” since that seems to be the official name. The entrance is on Fisher Hill Road.
Before you enter the beach, it’s a good idea to check out this sign displaying the rules:
One particularly important rule to note is that flotation devices (with the exception of Coast Guard approved life vests) are NOT ALLOWED in the water. So that means no water wings, no floating infant seats, no inflatable tubes, no foam loungers, no wacky pool noodles. You get the picture.
As I mentioned earlier, the parking lot is right beside the beach entrance, which is good news if you’ve got lots of stuff to tote (and with kids of any age, who doesn’t?).
Mandy and the twinnies arrived before we did. I can always spot them in a crowd thanks to Mandy’s bright red double-wide stroller 🙂 Speaking of strollers, although it’s obviously sandy, you can definitely bring a heavy-weight stroller with you onto the beach. In fact, if I had been thinking ahead, I would have brought mine too. Turns out it was a lot harder to herd Boo back to the car while carrying all our wet, sandy stuff. Especially when I needed to hold his hand while we walked through the parking lot to our car. Not to mention the fact that every time I got Boo rinsed off, he ran back into the sand and got himself covered again. It would have been a lot easier to keep him clean if I could have put him in the stroller after his rinse-down. I should have taken a picture of the inside of my car after Boo and his muddy, sandy feet climbed all over the back seat. That would definitely be incentive to bring your stroller!
Besides the early opening time, another wonderful feature of this swimming spot is all the available shade. In fact, if you get there early enough to claim the choice real estate, you can set up shop in a broad swath of shade that stretches from a picnic area all the way into the water.
This beach setting with an extended shallow entry is perfect for toddlers. There are two smaller swimming areas that are roped off. The larger area has a maximum depth of 3 feet, and the smaller, “toddler area” has a maximum depth of 2 feet. For older kids, there is also a dock to swim off of in the deeper water (I was told the deepest part of the pond is about 7 feet deep). You can swim anywhere in this area so long as you don’t go past the far rope.
Even though parents are always required to supervise their own children, there are at least three lifeguard stands strategically positioned around the water. The lifeguards may be high school kids, but believe me, they mean business. They are incredibly watchful and ensure that everyone follows all the rules to the letter. I actually think that is such an important and valuable thing when you have older kids and little kids trying to enjoy an activity at the same time. It can be so easy for older children to inadvertently harm a small child just because they are playing a little too rough, and I am always happy to have an “official” in charge whose job it is to tell them to stop. That means I don’t have the awkward task of doing it myself.
When the kids were ready for a snack, there were plenty of nearby picnic tables.
The bath house offers restrooms, changing areas, and showers. Although there aren’t any changing tables in the bath house restroom, there are plenty of benches in the changing areas that you can use in a pinch. The changing area is spacious, so you can easily take your stroller in with you too.
The shower stall at the very back of the women’s dressing room is exceptionally large, so that’s where you want to head if you have a big stroller or several kiddos in tow. (Of course, note that there isn’t an actual door, just a shower curtain, so that could present a problem if you’ve got yourself a runner.)
In addition to being a swimming destination, Eastbury Pond is also used for fishing. Don’t worry, that part of the pond is completely separate from the swimming side. It is accessible either by the walkway on the far side of the pond, or by following the beach past the swimming area.
We spent a very pleasant two hours at the pond, which, despite the 90+ degree temps, felt quite cool thanks to the shade, the water, and the lovely breeze. So if you’re looking for a place to beat the heat before naptime, head on over to Eastbury Pond. You’ll probably see us there 🙂
Do you know of another swimming spot that’s open early?
Eastbury Pond (a.k.a. Eastbury Pool)
Fisher Hill Road, Glastonbury, CT (google maps calls this part of the road “Fisher Road” but the street sign says “Fisher Hill Road”)
Glastonbury Parks & Recreation phone number: 860-652-7679
Glastonbury Parks & Recreation website: http://www.glasct.org/index.aspx?page=171
Get directions here:
Recreational Swim Hours (2012):
Monday through Sunday, 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. (Adult Swim from 4:30-5:00)
Pond opens Wednesday, June 13, 2012. Late Season Hours: Effective July 29, 2012 pond will close at 7:30 p.m. Effective August 5, 2012 pond will close at 7:00 p.m.
Click here to view the entire pool schedule for all Glastonbury pools. (Please note that non-resident rates are DOUBLE the listed resident rates.)
DAILY PARKING: $4/weekdays; $6/weekends
WALK OR BIKE IN: No charge
CAR STICKERS*: $18/two vehicles
ADDITIONAL STICKERS*: $10/additional vehicle
*Must register in person; no online registration. Call 860-652-7679 for more information.
*Must register in person; no online registration. Call 860-652-7679 for more information.
- Opens daily at 10:30 a.m.
- Convenient parking
- Sandy beach
- Zero-depth entry
- Separate toddler wading area
- Picnic areas
- Bath house with restrooms, changing areas, and showers
- Cash only accepted for payment at the entrance; bring small bills as often there will not be change available for larger bills (and you will not be admitted unless you really want to overpay). There aren’t any ATMs nearby either, so be sure to double-check your wallet before you go.
- Residents: to get the resident rate you need to show i.d. (like your driver license). Hopefully, if you are driving you will already have that with you 🙂
- Admission rate (resident or non-resident) is determined by the driver of the car.
- Only Coast Guard approved flotation devices permitted in the water.
- Children who are not potty trained are required to wear a swim diaper.
- Plan to get there early if you hope to claim a spot in the shady area.
- Bring beach blankets or chairs to sit on as there are none provided.
- Bring buckets and other sand toys for the kiddos.
- Our kids went barefoot, and we didn’t find that there were any sharp stones or other objects in the water or on the beach to worry about. However, this is a natural environment, so if you want to be extra cautious, you can bring water shoes for your little one to wear.
- There is a large, shady area, but if you expect the beach to be crowded, you may want to bring a beach umbrella or other device for shielding the sun (we saw some people set up tents).
- The beach is a VERY short walk from the parking area, but it is also stroller accessible (we recommend using a jogging or other heavyweight stroller) if you would like to bring your stroller with you.
- No food available on site, but you can bring your own snacks and beverages to enjoy.
- Alcoholic beverages are not permitted (so you’ll have to wait until you get home for that pina colada 🙂 )
Next Tuesday, Mandy’s checking out a popular summer concert series. Then on Thursday, it’s officially berry picking season, and I’ve got more PYO fun.
Want to keep up with all our Out and About Mom adventures?
Check back every Tuesday and Thursday as we dish up more Momsense for getting out and about with your little ones. Don’t have time to check back in? Let us send you an automatic notification of new posts straight to your email inbox by signing up here. Also, you can like us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest posts and get some extra tidbits we share only through those sites.