Where kids can splash around (Updated)

Above: Sometimes when the Cape’s too long of a drive and the kids are bugging me for the beach, I like to grab a pass from the library and head to Hopkinton State Park. (photo by Beth Melo)

Today and the weekend are forecast to be hot ones. If you’re staying in town with kids, you may be looking for a place they can cool off and splash around.

My kids love to swim, but we don’t have a pool. Making do with the sprinkler gets old rather quickly. Luckily, there are some better options nearby.

An easy option is local splash pads. A couple of years ago, Southborough Recreation had to give up the dream of opening one at the Arts Center. But there are free spots in surrounding towns:

  • Northborough has a splash pad at Assabet Park. (Note: According to Southborough Wicked Lodal the hours listed on their website were incorrect for this summer. The real hours are Mon, Wed, Fri – noon – 6:00 pm; Sat & Sun 10:00 am – 4:00 pm)
  • Hudson has a splash pad at Celucci Park
  • Marlborough has a public wading pool at Farrell Field**

All of these are now open for the season – though you may want to double check the hours before heading there. (You should also make a decision up front about whether or not to bring money for the ice cream truck. There’s a good chance one will come by while you’re there!)

If your kids are demanding actual swimming, then you may need to find a beach. No need to head to the Cape. Local Mass State Parks fit the bill.

They generally charge for parking in the summer.  But you can reserve the state park pass for the day from the Library or Southborough Rec Dept. Local swimming holes include:

*Both Hopkinton and Cochituate websites warn that parking may be closed when they reach full capacity. I’ve never experienced that at Hopkinton and been there on very busy days. I couldn’t tell you how commonly that occurs at Cochituate.

What about you?

Do you have a favorite water play spot not listed above? (Or have a tip about one of these to share?) 

Shout out in the comments.

Throughout the summer, for more tips on what to do with your kids, you can pull down stories from the Features menu.

**Updated (7/13/15 10:48 am): I originally posted Marlborough’s two wading pools. But on Facebook a commenter informed me that Marlborough’s wading pool and playground were closed/under construction. Presumably that’s Ward Park, which is still listed on Marlborough’s website, but with TBA as the opening date. Meanwhile, the town lists the wading pool at Farrell Field (off Sawin St) as open every afternoon since June 23rd this summer.

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7 years ago

hands down ashland st park if you have a canoe or kayak, even a tire tube.
its way less crowded than hopkinton. crystal clear water, great for swimming. an island with a rope swing, a walking path that goes around the whole place. great fishing. take olive st off of 135, then a left on spring st. boat ramp is on your left at a sharp turn.. pack a lunch, few cold beers.. everyone that you see out there is friendly and there for the same reason..the beach can get loud and crowded, the island is great. kids and adults will have a blast.. ENJOY.

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