Recently, my family and I went to the splash pad at Beatty's Ford Park in Denver.Because we live in Sherrills Ford, the park is not terribly close to our house; it's about a 20-minute drive. But after our visit, we realized it was worth the trip.I thought I'd mention it, especially for Sherrills Ford readers who may not be familiar with the park and its facilities.As I said, we went to the park for its splash pad. In case you're wondering what a splash pad is, it's a concrete play area (in the case of Beatty's Ford Park, a circle) with water features like rainbow-shaped pipes, water cannons and spouts.Because no water accumulates on the pad, it poses little to no risk of drowning. That makes it a great alternative to a swimming pool, especially for those (like me) who have young children. The water is treated at the same or better standards than the water in a swimming pool.My oldest kids, ages 5 and 3, had a blast poking their arms, legs and faces into the spouts, directing the water cannon shots at each other and filling up buckets. My son had so much fun, in fact, that he didn't want to leave - a reaction common on the day of our visit.The splash pad has a brick wall around it that's perfect for lounging while the kiddies play. Those who try to limit sun exposure (like me and the baby), can get into the shade at a picnic shelter beside the pad. The area also has an outdoor fireplace, restrooms and a playground.Across the parking lot is a sand volleyball court and a disc golf course, both circled by a walking trail. The park, just off Unity Church Road, overlooks the Beatty's Ford access area on Lake Norman.The park is open daily from sunup to sunset. The splash pad is open daily from 10:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. You can reserve the shelter for a fee. For more information, visit www.lincolncounty.org.