The Spray park is one of those places that we spend hours on end at through the summer months. We bike to the local one, bike trailer in tow or drive to some of the more exciting ones around the city. We’ve spent a lot of afternoons outside at the spray parks, and have learned a few things along the way about what to bring with us to make the afternoon a success.
BYOS – Bring Your Own Shade
Pop up tents or shades are your friend when it comes to these new spray parks – they’ve mostly got no shade. And even if they do have a bit of shade, they’re easily taken up if you’re not the first one to the park. Bring your own shade or pop up tent, especially if you are bringing along infants and toddlers. This pop up shade is on sale + simple to set up and you can get free shipping from Amazon.
Keep the Snacks Cool
Bringing snacks to the spray park is a must. Easy to bring along snacks like crackers, cheese, fruit and even freezies can be kept cool by choosing a soft cooler and ice to keep everything nice and refreshing, including the drinks. Long lasting ice packs and a cooler make sure it’s going to be easy to stay hydrated because no one likes to drink warm water and juice.
Tip: If we are going to be at the spray park during the hot afternoon for a few hours, I will freeze some of the water/juice so they stay nice and cool throughout the day.
For dinner, if we are going to be spending the day, I will enlist Jamie to meet us there and surprise the girls with a picnic dinner for the family.
Choose a Spray Park with a Bathroom
That’s going to save you the trouble of finding a bush for your kid to pee in – and you can go too. Our favorite spray park, at Cloverbar Ranch at 875 Jim Common Drive in Sherwood Park has a portable bathroom there through most of the summer, and it makes it easier to spend the afternoon there, if we know there is going to be somewhere to bring the kids to the bathroom.
Skip Disposable Swim Diapers
Disposable swimming diapers are terrible for hours and hours of spray park fun. The kids are in and out of the water all afternoon long and the diapers are going to get filled with sand. Having a diaper, like Finis Swim Diapers, make it simple to take it on and off and replace with a regular diaper. Since it’s easy to pull on and off, like underwear, the kids can do it themselves. Finis has affordable swim diapers in sizes from infant to toddler and preschooler, making it simple to get the right fit.
Get an Outdoor Blanket
Picnic blankets are designed to be soft on one side, to sit on, and durable on the other side. You can find these at Target, or order an outdoor blanket online and they’re a great way to keep it simple. They often fold really well and you can stash them back into the trunk, or bicycle trailer, without worrying about grass sticking to every surface, like a regular blanket brought along to the park.
Dress the Kids at Home
It’s much easier if you get the kids into their swimsuits before you arrive at the park, so you can spend time setting up the blanket before you have to wrestle with kids to put on their clothes. Dressing at-home also makes it easier to grab a change of clothes and stash them in a bag to bring along with you.
When we go to the park, the kids play with other kids. At the playground, I am not the entertainer. They are there to interact, play, chat and make new friends. Bring along a friend to chat with, or make sure that your favorite magazines are downloaded and ready to read on the iPad from an app like Next Issue (lots of magazines for one monthly cost). I make sure that my phone is charged so I can read through my favorite blogs, and so that I can chat with their Dad throughout the day.