PLEASE NOTE: This post was written in 2015 and while it should still give you a great idea of the overall experience, it may also contain some outdated information. Please be sure to check their website for the most up-to-date information, especially about things like hours. If you notice something in this post that needs to be updated, please feel free to leave a comment with the updated information, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to make the updates. Hey, it takes a village, right? 🙂
The Colchester Spray Park opens for the season on the last day of school for Colchester Public Schools.
The Colchester Farmers’ Market is seasonal (June to October) and runs on Sundays from 9:00am to 1:00pm.
With the exception of today, which seems relatively cool, this week has been a hot and sticky one! Do you know what we all need for summer weeks like this? FREE places to cool down of course! So today I am going to tell you about one of my new favorite hot spots to cool down: The RecPlex Spray Park in Colchester, CT. And I’ve got eight great reasons why you will love it too!
1. It’s FREE.
Okay, so I may have mentioned this already. But the fact that this Spray Park is free and open to the public (and I do mean all the public; you do not need to be a Colchester resident to enjoy this park), is part of what makes it so awesome. There’s also plenty of FREE and convenient parking right out front. It’s hard to find access to a water activity that doesn’t come with an admission or parking fee, even for municipal pools or state park beaches. And when all you really need is a quick cool-down, it’s nice to have an option that doesn’t make you feel obligated to stay long enough to get your money’s worth 🙂
2. It’s open in the morning.
When town pools may be closed for morning swim lessons, this Spray Park is open for business! This is great news for those of us with little ones who nap in the afternoon and can’t always make it out for an afternoon swim. The Spray Park is not monitored by any personnel, so it’s completely self-service. If the water is off, you simply put your hand atop this blue post and voila! The sprinkler action resumes.
3. It’s fully fenced-in.
Of course we LOVE this! Activities are always more relaxing when you don’t have to worry about your kiddos making a run for it 🙂 Don’t try looking for an opening in that fence though– you won’t find one. You enter the Spray Park around the back of that building.
4. There are shady spots to hang out.
Check out these umbrellaed picnic tables right inside the Spray Park! A great place for grown-ups to sit, supervise (and maybe socialize too if we’re lucky!). Just note that food is not allowed in the Spray Park, so you can’t actually picnic at those picnic tables. No worries though. Because there are plenty of shaded picnic areas right next door at the giant playground (Yes! Playground! I’ll get to that in a minute.)
5. There are restrooms with a changing area.
For us parents with little ones, isn’t it such a luxury when there is a real restroom available at a park? There’s a shower area too (and although there is a wall-mounted diaper changing station in the women’s room, there doesn’t seem to be one in the men’s room– don’t worry, I sent the hubby in for that; I know we are brazen here at Out and About Mom, but we still have standards. Ha!).
6. There’s a fabulous playground right next to the Spray Park.
I’ve actually written about this playground before (when I did a post on the entire RecPlex a few years ago), so you can check out my original post for all the details on that, plus the nitty gritty on the rest of the RecPlex features as well. But for this post, suffice it to say that there is a wonderful, all-ages playground (from baby swings to big slides!) right beside the Spray Park for double the fun.
7. It’s close to Cragin Memorial Library.
The Spray Park is right down the road from this great destination, which has a wonderful kids’ play area as well as FREE daily activities for kids all summer long (see their July 2015 Newsletter for details; then check their blog for future newsletters). Can you say two-fer? Check out my previous post on that destination for more details.
8. On Sundays, you can visit the nearby Colchester Farmers’ Market.
Also nearby is the Colchester Town Green where every Sunday during the summer months there is a wonderful Farmers’ Market from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. A visit to the Spray Park + a stop at the Farmers’ Market for some treats = a great way to spend a lazy summer Sunday. Be sure to check their Facebook page for the latest news, updates and info about special events.
So have I convinced you to visit the Spray Park in Colchester yet? I thought so 🙂
Stay cool out there!
The Spray Park at the Colchester RecPlex
Colchester Parks & Rec Phone: (860) 537-7200
Colchester Parks & Rec Website: http://www.colchesterct.gov/Pages/ColchesterCT_Dept/PR/index
Don’t forget to check out my original post about the Colchester RecPlex for lots of tips and information on everything from parking lots to walking trails.
- The RecPlex is open every day from 7:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
- The Spray Park is open 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. seasonally (typically from the last day of the school year to the first day of the new school year based on the Colchester public schools calendar). It is weather permitting, and you can check the Parks and Recreation website for updates. If the water is on, but not spraying, touching the blue post at the front of the Spray Park will activate the sprinklers.
- Stroller Friendly: YES.
- Coffee Mug Friendly: NO for the Spray Park. YES for everywhere else. You cannot bring food or drinks (other than water) into the Spray Park. But you can enjoy your coffee first as your kids explore the adjacent playground 🙂
- Restroom: YES.
- Baby Changing Station: YES. In the Women’s Restroom. Then Men’s Room does not have a changing table, but there is a bench that you could use as a changing area.
- Parking: YES.
- Food for Sale: Sometimes. There is a snack bar at the RecPlex (“The Dugout”) but I can’t tell what the hours are exactly. Get a little more info here. I’ll try to do some digging and provide an update!
- Outside Food Allowed: NO in the Spray Park (water is the only beverage allowed in the Spray Park). YES everywhere else.
- Cash Required: NO. The park is FREE! But if you are heading over to the Farmers’ Market before/after, bring some cash for those vendors.
- Dress Code: Ummm, swimwear, of course 🙂 And babies should wear swim diapers under their bathing suits (like these, for example). I did not see any regulations about footwear. My boys went barefoot, but we also saw some kids wearing water shoes. Oh, and bring plenty of sunscreen. It’s easy to forget how hot the sun is when you are being cooled off by the chilly water!
- Age Recommendations: All ages can enjoy the Spray Park, but it is especially wonderful for toddlers and preschoolers who may not be able to really swim yet. It’s a great alternative to a baby pool. The concrete surface may be a little hard on the knees of crawlers (and the bums of wobbly walkers!), but if you’re willing to get wet too, babies will love all the squirting action!
- Evening/Weekend Hours: YES.
- Discounts: Can’t do better than FREE!
- NEW: Musculoskeletal Health Centers – Located in Simsbury, CT, MSH Centers specializes in general chiropractic medicine with a focus on pediatric and prenatal chiropractic care. This fall, they will also offer the first all inclusive fitness center in Connecticut with personal training memberships starting at just $55/month for one session/week.
- Connecticut Children’s Medical Center – The state’s only free-standing hospital that offers comprehensive, world-class health care to children. Based in Hartford, Connecticut Children’s also provides services at several locations throughout the state.
- Mandell JCC – The Mandell JCC, Zachs Campus, 335 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford, CT, welcomes and serves families and individuals of all ages, stages, backgrounds and faiths. Our fitness, wellness and recreation, arts and culture, camp, early childhood education programs, classes, clubs and services are open to all. You Belong Here!
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