Update 2015: Beachland Pool is undergoing a complete renovation this summer and a wading pool will no longer be part of the water offerings at this park. The new pool area will feature a brand new spray pad. More details will be available once the pool is up and running!
Living in West Hartford, we are lucky to have several swimming options. One of my favorite locations at the moment is the spray pad at Fernridge Park. I think many of my friends and neighbors are enjoying both this new feature plus the new pool.
Some of them have mentioned, though, that they really do miss the wading pool that used to be a feature at Fernridge. It was perfect for the little ones and, of course, we loved that it was FREE! But, fear not, I have found a replacement for those looking for a wading pool in the area.
The Fernridge park wading pool may have been the cat’s meow, but there is another very similar wading pool option at a park not too far away. It is located at Beachland Park off of South Quaker Lane in West Hartford. Not only does this park have a wading pool, it also has a regular pool, playgrounds, picnic tables, basketball courts, baseball fields and soccer fields (plus I hear it is a great sledding destination, but who can even think about snow when it is this hot outside!)
So, I decided to try out the wading pool on an afternoon when my husband was home. I had heard that the walk from the parking area to where the activities were was a bit steep. Being 36 weeks pregnant at the time, I thought I might need some help.
First of all, you need to find the park. It is located off of South Quaker Avenue near the intersection with Trout Brook Road and is a bit hidden. The easiest way to find it is to look for this landmark.
The entrance to the park is right next to this building.
I actually have been wondering about the history of this building and found this information:
The area now known as Beachland Park was at one time a ‘model farm’ of the early 1900’s. Produce and dairy products were produced in hygienic conditions – it was the forerunner of what we would now call an organic farm. The former creamery building is still located at the entrance to the park. The dammed pond adjacent to that building once powered a woolen mill and was later used to harvest ice for use in refrigeration.
A little history lesson is always good. I think this building is now used for park equipment storage. I wish someone would turn it into an ice cream shop or a restaurant. It would be so cute and it has a nice view of the park. I feel like I read somewhere that it was being looked at for a restaurant site, but my Google searches found nothing. Hmmmm.
Anyways, back to the wading pool . . .
Once you enter the park, you will see parking on your right and then more parking further ahead on your left. This second lot is where you will park to access the pool and other activities. On the day we were there, it was a bit crowded and people were also parking on the side of the road.
Because my husband was with me, we were able to drive up the hill, past the parking lot and to the handicap parking area near the pools. People were right in saying that the path from the parking lot to the pool was rather steep. Fortunately, I got dropped off at the top of the hill, but for those traveling on their own, if your kids are young, you will certainly want to bring a stroller. I think the real little ones would find this hill rather challenging.
Once at the top, we headed straight for the wading pool.
The pool area is completely fenced in and has a great kids lock on the gate. Personally, I love these locks because I know my kids can’t escape. It can sometimes be a little tricky (and maybe embarrassing) for parents who have no idea how these things work either, so pay attention. We have discussed these types of locks before and, just as a reminder, all you need to do is push down on the grey bar sticking up and the lock will open.
My kids had a great time in the pool and were particularly interested with practicing their new bubble blowing skills.
Oh, and they really wanted to belly flop into the pool. That was fun. I think I spent most of my energy trying to keep them from doing the belly flopping technique. They are some determined one year olds.
There are many great things about this little wading area including the fact that it is FREE and that it opens daily at 10:00 am. For all of us with little ones who still nap in the afternoon, most of the pools in town are off limit because they are only open during nap time. This wading pool, along with the spray pads at Fernridge, Wolcott, and Kennedy are good options for those looking for morning water activities.
During the week, the wading pool hours are 10:00 am – 4:30 pm. I will warn you, though, that when we were there, they turned off the spray feature and asked everyone to get out at 4:20 pm. Not a big deal, but just something to be aware of if you are trying to squeeze in a post-naptime dip.
The pool also has evening hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm (this will change to 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm for the last week, Aug 14 – 16) and the weekend hours are 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm.
Oh, and here are the wading pool rules:
While I am at it, I will also give you a quick tour around the rest of the area near the wading pool. There is also a regular pool.
There are picnic tables.
This playground area is almost completely fenced in except for this one break in the fencing. There was also only one bench in the playground area, so, if you can elbow your way to get a seat on that bench, you can guard the exit in case your kids are runners like mine are.
Last, but not least, there is a playground for the older crowd.
847 South Quaker Lane, West Hartford, Connecticut
For more pool information, visit our Hartford County pool post here.
Get directions here:
- Monday – Friday 10:00 am – 4:30 pm
- Tuesday and Thursday evening hours 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm (this will change to 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm for the last week the wading pool is open, August 14 – 16)
- Saturday and Sunday 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
- The wading pool will remain open until August 19th
The wading pool is FREE for both residents and non-residents.
For information on fees and hours for the regular pool at Beachland Park, see our Hartford County Pools post here.
Wading Pool Features:
- Wading pool (2 feet)
- Spray feature in center of pool
- Playgrounds nearby with playscapes for kids ages 2-5 and kids ages 5-8 and swings (including baby swings)
- Toddler playground is almost completely fenced in
- Restrooms available near main pool
Tips & Things to Bring:
- Swimsuit and swim diaper (for the little ones that aren’t yet potty trained)
- Suntan lotion (there wasn’t any shade)
- Chair if you want to guarantee a place to sit. There are 3 benches available, but they are hot commodities.
- Also, the area around the pool gets very, very wet (puddling of water) so don’t meet your husband there in some fancy pumps before girls night out. They will get ruined.
- Prepare for a bit of a hike from the parking area to the pool area. Bring a stroller if you have little ones. Also, if you carpool with another mom, you can drive all the way to the top of the hill, drop everyone and everything off, and only one person has to make the trip back up.
Time is running out! Don’t forget to enter our GIVEAWAY for a $25 Price Chopper Gift Card!
Tomorrow, we have a special guest post from our friend Jodie over at Love Them Madly. She will give you the inside scoop on a Connecticut farm where your purchase will help those in need (plus you will have a fun family outing in the process). Also, on Thursday, Shawna has a new PYO adventure.
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