I’ve mentioned before just how much we enjoy all of our free summer events, thanks to our local parks and recreation departments along with so many other wonderful programs throughout not just our city but neighboring towns as well. And given that it is summer, we especially enjoy anything that we can enjoy for free that involves water play and staying cool during the hot, hot heat of the summer months.
The City of Lakewood’s FREE wading pools are hands-down our favorite place to go and cool down on the quick. For those days that I just don’t want to pack for a full-blown trip to the beach (did anyone else read this essay? I was seriously dying because IT’S TRUE!), these pools come in way handy for when we moms need an easy go-to when the kids just can’t decide whether to make it a playground or a swimming day. Here, they can do both!
Lakewood’s wading pools are open from June through August daily at different parks (I’ve posted the full schedule in this previous post, and I’ve talked about them before on my blog here). As you can see from the photos, these pools are appropriate for children of all-ages (adult supervision required); although posted rules at the pools list an age range of three- to seven-years-old, I’ve never once seen park personnel ask anyone to leave if there was a baby too young or a child too old enjoying the pool. You can read other pool rules here along with more information on Lakewood’s aquatic programs in general.
Our favorite Lakewood park, playground, and wading pool combo has to be Boyar Park. This is also known around the area as “Dinosaur Park,” and I am sure you can tell from the photos enclosed why that is. Yes, there’s some dino-themed playground equipment here for the kids to enjoy, along with a pirate ship and the usual general monkey bar-slide-swing sets; the play area is also enclosed by a fence and closed off with a gate tot-lot style, though the play equipment is age-appropriate from babies to tweens, making it a perfect choice for those all-ages play dates that tend to happen more often in the summer months.
Along with the wonderful playground space, Boyar Park also boasts two lovely covered picnic areas with tables and benches, one inside of the playground and then another at the open green space surrounding the play yard. Speaking of wonderful green spaces, there are several surrounding the playground as well as the wading pool, all which are great options where you can throw down your blanket for a picnic lunch if table dining just seems too constricting (or the shade too cool like it was on one of the days we were there).
I’m going to warn you though, on most days in the summer, Boyar Park can get very warm (OK, desert-style hot), and there is very little shade other than those covered picnic areas I mentioned (along with some limited covered seating at the wading pool). Because of this, please be sure to bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and maybe even an umbrella to put up for additional shade if you need it, especially if you plan to be there at all during the mid-day peak temps. We normally go here though from mid-morning until 1 p.m. latest to avoid the hottest times of day and to beat most of the crowds; as you can also see from the photos, we’re not the only ones who think Boyar Park’s wading pool is a splashing good time.
Boyar Park also renovated their facilities sometime within the last couple of years, and I have to say that for a public park, they have one of the cleanest recreation buildings and set of bathrooms I’ve come across in a long, long time. Hey, clean bathrooms mean a lot to us parents, right RMT’ers?
I hope if you find yourselves anywhere near Lakewood, CA, you and your kids make some time to go and check out some of what Lakewood Recreation and Community Services (their version of parks and rec) has to offer. It’s not our hometown city, but we’re very happy to have Lakewood as our friendly neighbor. And you’d have to be crazy not to like a neighbor with a pool or two (or half-dozen) to share.
Boyar Park’s wading pool is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays through Sept. 3, and it’s also open for summer nights on Wednesday evenings 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. through August 29. All of Lakewood’s wading pools are also open on weekends (Saturdays and Sundays) through September 30 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.