We’re a few weeks into our first Ohio summer, and I’m doing my best to keep us all on an active, loose schedule. That means factoring in enough time for my freelance projects, normal life stuff and then the rest we’ve been exploring local parks, pools and spending time with neighbors and friends. I’m not quite as exhausted as I was expecting, and I find myself refreshed and just as excited as the boys when we explore new spots. Good thing we are in Columbus because it seems like our summer bucket list keeps on growing!
Prepping for the Park
When I saw it was going to be close to 90 on Monday, I was hesitant to go to a normal park for the day, and our regular pool was closed. I saw several other Columbus bloggers post about the Delaware YMCA dinosaur-themed park (Veteran’s Park) and decided to give it a try. Despite the possible 40-minute drive (we are in New Albany, the east side of Columbus), I thought the splash pad and park combo would be perfect for the day.
I didn’t take packing lightly and packed both wet and dry clothes, our lunches, lots of water and sun hats (linked below) for the boys since I knew it would be so sunny. They hadn’t worn sun hats yet this season since we’d been places with plenty of shade, but figured this was a good spot to bring them out.
What to Expect
Once I got to Veteran’s Park, I was totally impressed with the layout. The splash pad is in the front with plenty of picnic tables and seating for parents and caregivers. There’s also lots of shade options when you’re ready for a break.
The water at the splash pad turns on right at 10 AM, and there were parents who had done this before, that’s for sure. I think they probably arrived 9:30/9:45 and grabbed the spots right under the shade before it got busy (they had the right idea!). Plenty of families were waiting for the water to come on right at 10 AM, and it filled up fast. When we go again I’ll definitely do my best to get us there a little before 10 AM.
The actual splash pad area is exactly what we were looking for, but I have a few suggestions and flags for you to be aware of. First, the dinosaur splashers spray out very strong, and when bigger kids got ahold of them I saw several smaller kids (like Beau’s size) get sprayed hard and were pretty upset. When Shep got ahold of the splasher, I made sure he pointed it away from other kids (or I at least tried to.)
The BEST part about this park is the fact you can go between the large, huge playground and the splash pad. I guess that’s also the downfall because there were times that Shep wanted to be on the playground and Beau wanted to be at the splash pad. But first world problems, right?
The playground itself was huge – lots and lots of slides, interesting play spots for little kids with instruments, small slides and climbing areas. It had really soft astroturf, which I’m a huge fan of because Beau wasn’t tempted to each mulch (win!) At this stage for him, I always appreciate playgrounds that have low sections for toddlers as well as some more stimulating areas for bigger toddlers like Shep. Of course the hit of the playground was the giant dinosaur slide at the top of a little hill. There were lots of kids who enjoyed rolling and running down the hill too.
Our Favorite Summer Gear
Where is your favorite local splash pad?