Kids (and their elders) keep cool at spraygrounds

08/03/2008 12:00 AM

07/30/2008 5:26 PM

I recently discovered a new favorite way to cool off: the sprayground.

One recent Saturday, I coated my 19-month-old daughter in sunscreen and headed for the sprayground at Latta Park in Dilworth.

It's one of Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation's five spraygrounds – where children run through mini geysers and fountains of water shooting up from underground nozzles.

My kid had a blast jumping around in the water. She couldn't stop giggling (none of the kids could) and when it was time to go home, she didn't leave easily.

How did I cool off? Well, at first I had to go in with my girl until she got the hang of it and then occasionally I had to slow her down. (Note to self: Wear a swimsuit next time.)

If your kids love frolicking in sprinklers but you don't want to get your backyard muddy or are being conscientious about water consumption, the spraygrounds – where the water is recycled and chlorinated, by the way – are perfect. And they're free – with high gas and food prices, the heat isn't the only thing we need a break from, right?

One tip: If you have a younger child who isn't so sure-footed yet, make sure to bring well-fitting rubber shoes or water shoes. My child kept sliding out of her shoes, and after I let her go barefoot she was slipping on the pavement.

The five sprayground locations: Nevin Park, 6000 Statesville Road; Cordelia Park, 2100 N. Davidson St.; Latta Park, 601 E. Park Ave.; Veterans Park, 2136 Central Ave.; and West Charlotte Recreation Center, 2400 Kendall Drive.

They are open daily in the summer, 10a.m. to 8 p.m. More info: 704-336-3854; www.

Editor's Choice Videos

Join the Discussion

Charlotte Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service