As the summer temperatures continue to rise, finding a good place to cool off is key. When trying to plan a swim outing with little ones in tow, it is always helpful to get a few suggestions. Well I am here today to do just that, make a few suggestions for beaches, lakes, ponds and pools that I think you might enjoy!
We have only reviewed one pool on the site and that is mainly because pools are a tough destination when you have little ones. All the public pools that we have found are only open in the afternoon which is (hopefully) the time when our kiddos are napping. But, I did take pictures of my favorite swimming destination in West Hartford, Fernridge Park Pool. We usually get over there for an evening swim every once in a while and the kids always have a great time.
- Fernridge Park Pool (West Hartford, CT) – This pool is fairly new, opening just two summers ago. It is a great pool for little ones because there is a very large zero entry area and no deep end. The park also contains a spray pad (FREE) and two playscapes. For 2014, the spray pad is open daily from May 24th to September 1st and the pool is open from June 21st to August 17th. Get all the details on West Hartford Aquatics programs for 2014 here.
Living in Hartford, we are about an hour from the shoreline and therefore about an hour from the closest beach. Sometimes I want to take the kids to play in the sand and water, but without having to drive all that way. As a solution, Shawna and I have found two swimming hole destinations in Hartford County that are wonderful options.
- Eastbury Pond (Glastonbury, CT) – This is one of our favorite swimming holes in the area, especially with young kids. Parking is easy and it is a short walk from the parking area to the beach. Eastbury Pond has lifeguards on duty, picnicking areas, and convenient restrooms. There is a daily parking fee, but annual passes are available as well. The fee for residents of Galstonbury is $4 weekdays/ $6 weekends/ $18 season pass. Rates for non-residents are double the resident rates.
- Stratton Brook State Park (Simsbury, CT) – Located in beautiful Simsbury, this park has a lot to offer. There is a pond and beach, picnicking areas, a nature center, bridge and trails. There is even a FREE fishing program available some afternoons. There are no lifeguards on duty here, but the nice thing about this destination is that it is FREE during the week. The weekend rates are $9 for CT residents and $15 for non-residents.
Going to the beach with little ones can be a wonderful outing. There is so much to keep them busy: sand, water, boats, and sometimes even trains! The key to a fun beach outing, though, is knowing where to go and what to expect when you get there. Well, we have been to several beaches in Connecticut and have the scoop for you on a few of our favorites.
- Hamonasset Beach State Park (Madison, CT) – This is a very large beach with all the amenities needed for a great outing. I love that there is a walkway that runs along the backside of the beach so that I can easily get my stroller down to the perfect spot. There are also snack stands, restrooms and lifeguards available at this location. Rates are $9 during the week and $13 on the weekend for CT residents and non-residents are more. Season passes are also available and start at $67 for CT residents. But, if you are looking to make this a FREE family outing, be sure to check your local library and see if they have a state park pass available as part of their museum pass program.
- Hole-in-the-Wall Beach (Niantic, CT) – This beach review is hot off the presses as I just posted about it last week! The beach is much smaller than others I have visited, but it has so much to offer. Not only is there a beach for family entertainment, but a train, playground, and restaurants (in easy walking distance). Daily parking rates are $5 for town residents and $20 for non-residents. Season passes are also available.
- Jennings Beach (Fairfield, CT) – Another wonderful beach on the Connecticut shoreline, Jennings is a great family destination. There is easy parking, restrooms, a snack bar, lifeguards and beautiful views. There is also an amazing playground, Sand Castle Playground, right across the street from the beach area. Fairfield residents can obtain a parking sticker, but non-residents will need to pay a daily parking rate. The weekday rate is $20 and the weekend & holiday rate has gone up quite a bit to $50.
- Rocky Neck State Park (East Lyme, CT) – Only a few miles down the road from Hole-in-the-Wall Beach is a much larger state park with a beach area. Like all of the other beaches listed, Rocky Neck has the amenities you need for a fun family outing. Of course it has a beautiful beach and views but there is also parking, restroom facilities, a snack bar, picnicking areas, and lifeguards. Like other beaches in this area, there is a train track running right along the beach which provides constant entertainment for the kiddos every time a train passes by! Rates are the same as Hammonasset Beach State Park (Residents: $9 weekdays/ $13 weekends and Non-Residents: $13 weekdays and $22 on weekends) and the state park season pass can also be used here. As mentioned above, you might be able to make it a FREE visit to this park if a pass is available through your local library’s museum pass program.
I hope this list of swimming destinations has you excited to try out a new spot with your little one(s)! If you want to know more about any of these locations, check out our post (of course) or feel free to ask us a question in the comments section below!
- 4D Vision Gym – A vision training center located in Cromwell, CT where Dr. Juanita Collier, MS, OD and her staff show members how to utilize Vision Therapy to correct visual issues and make learning and playing easier and more fun.
- The Independent Day School – Located on a rural campus in Middlefield, CT this private pre-school, elementary and middle school serves families from over 20 communities.
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