Local watering holes: Splash pads and local beaches open for play this summer

Above: You won’t likely find the beach this uncrowded, but there are some local swim and splash options this summer. (photo by Beth Melo)

With the heat wave, you may have been looking for options for kids to be active without overheating. Since Southborough doesn’t have any public wading areas, each summer I post the options for splashing around in towns nearby. I was surprised to find that a number of the usual options are available this summer. (Though, some aren’t.)*

Splash pads and wading pools may get quite hot, but they can be an easy option for some fun water play for young ones. The following are free and open for the season. Below are the hours with safety notices from the Towns:

  • Ghiloni Park Splash Pad (by Marlborough on Facebook)Marlborough’s splash pad at Ghiloni Park is open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. The Town website notifies:

Please be aware that the splash pad is equipped with a chemical monitoring system that will automatically shut-off the splash pad if the chemical levels fall outside standard parameters. Such an event could be caused by many factors including but not limited to: inclement weather, power failures, high volume usage, etc.

Attention: When visiting the splash pad please adhere to social distancing guidelines and remain 6ft apart.

  • Ward Park wading pool (by Marlborough Rec on Facebook)Marlborough also has two shallow wading pools to splash in- at Sawin Street and Ward Park. Those are open daily through August 23rd, noon – 5:45 pm (with gates locked at 6:00 pm). There are some rules attendees are requested to follow:

Pool visitors are asked to set up at least 12 feet apart from other groups on their towels, limit groups to no more than 10 people; wear face coverings or masks when unable to maintain a 6’ distance from others including restrooms. When using the wading pool, masks are not necessary but should maintain 6ft distance between people not from the same household.

We are asking wading pool patrons to abide by the social distance guidelines above as it’s not the responsibility of city staff or lifeguards to enforce social distancing or the wearing of masks and face coverings.

Assabet splash pad (image posted to Facebook by Northborough Recreation)

  • Northborough’s free splash pad at Assabet Park is open five days per week until Labor Day. It’s hours are Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat & Sun 10:00 am – 6:00 pm. On Facebook, Northborough Rec posted:

Visitors should have a face covering with them at all times. Users must practice physical distancing by remaining 6 feet away from others, at all times. If 6’ of distancing cannot be maintained, face coverings should be used. Adults and children should wash their hands and use hand sanitizer before and after visiting this playground. No gatherings of more than 10 people are allowed. If Playground/Splash Pad is crowded, new arrivals should leave and come back another time or visit another playground.

The playgrounds and splash pad will be routinely cleaned by the DPW and School Dept. We do ask that you do not leave any toys at the playgrounds, staff will not clean them.
Enjoy and be safe!

If you’re family is too old for those options (or your kids are demanding real swimming) then you may want to find a beach. No need to drive for hours in traffic. Take advantage of area lakes.

The state’s local swimming holes include: 

Warning, the State Parks parking lots can fill up – especially this year. I’d advise shooting to get there early. You also may want to check DCR’s tweets to see if they announce any are at full capacity. There is a fee for parking. For state residents it’s only $8 per car (or $60 for season pass). (There’s also a $10 lifetime pass for seniors.) For the state’s guidelines on safety protocols at the beaches, click here.

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.

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

*Facilities not available:

  • Hudson has yet to confirm when (or if) the splash pad at Celucci Park will open. (A late June update did indicate that it may open sometime in Phase 3.)
  • Memorial Beach is only open to Marlborough residents this year.
  • Closed this summer:
    • Westborough’s Lake Chauncy
    • Centennial Beach in Hudson

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2 years ago

The Wayland town beach located on Lake Cochituate is available 7 days a week to both resident and non residents (cost $15 per person). They have implemented COVID safety measures so it is never overcrowded and is very well managed. We’ve been twice already and have been very impressed. If you are looking for a spot that is both safe and relaxing I’d definitely recommend!

Seath Crandall
2 years ago

Forgot to include the link. Wayland town beach is by reservation only to help keep things safe


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