New kids’ destination makes a big splash

New kids’ destination makes a big splashBy CHRISTINA MACGREGOR, News Review Correspondent

Our family’s love for splash pads started when our oldest daughter, Ariadne, was a toddler. We were visiting her aunt in Arizona when Ariadne was introduced to a splash pad. She was enthralled by the dancing water, the sounds and the fun that could be had in it.

We planned to stay only a few minutes at the splash pad, but ended up spending most of the afternoon watching our daughter prance about in the water. Ever since that experience, we discussed over and over again how great a splash pad would be for the Ridgecrest community. Fast forward five years, and our wishes have come true. Now we get to watch Ariadne play in a splash pad again, this time with her four younger siblings in tow.

The Ridgecrest splash pad was built at the perfect time for our family, with my five children’s ages ranging from 9 months to 7-years old. All of our children have different parts that they love about the pad — one child rushes underneath the gigantic water bucket every time that it starts to dump; another tries to (gently) stomp the water back into the ground; another child sits in the middle of a ring of water as it shoots up around her. No matter their favorite spot, the giggles and large smiles remain constant on all my children’s faces.

It’s not just our family that loves the splash pad, either. Besides my family’s frequent use of the splash pad, one of our other favorite things about the splash pad is it is a free community place to hang out at. When we meet other families at events around town, and our kids want to have a playdate, the splash pad is such a great place to go. Church groups, homeschool groups, mothers of preschoolers (MOPS) and more have invited our family to share in the splash pad fun.

Another fantastic thing about the splash pad is the variety and abundance of seating options. My first time going to the splash pad I was worried that — since the pad was a brand new activity this summer — I wouldn’t be able to find a place to sit. Upon arriving to the venue, I was pleasantly surprised to find multiple picnic tables with large awnings, benches on the side of the splash pad, individual seating and a grassy area near a large tree.

In our family’s multiple trips to the splash pad, we have yet to have any issues with sitting or finding areas to play on the splash pad.

There are even porta-potties if children need to use the restroom (it is important to note that wet children are not allowed in the Kerr McGee Center).

In the past, we were sad that Ridgecrest didn’t have any free, outdoor places that involved water for kids to play when the intense summer heat came. The splash pad has changed this, making outdoor fun easily accessible and free for all. My family is grateful for this added fun to the Ridgecrest community.

The splash pad is open daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. It is free to the public.

Pictured: A member of the MacGregor clan enjoys the refreshing cool of the Splash Pad at Freedom Park — Photo by Christina MacGregor

Story First Published: 2019-07-26