Just because Hartford County is centrally located doesn't mean that you have to venture very far to enjoy the water. Even though waves and beach sand are not in close proximity, there are still plenty of options to enjoy water play in lakes, pools, water parks, and splash pads. If you’re looking to cool down in the hot summer months, check out one of these fun locations.
In addition to its great playground and picnic areas, the park also features a splash pad, a pool, a basketball court, and walking trails. It is easy to spend a day here, especially considering other child-friendly area attractions.
North Main Street, Bristol
Cotton Hollow Preserve
Enjoy 80 acres of outdoor adventure in a historic atmosphere. For a refreshing escape from the heat, visit the naturally formed swimming holes, the cascading and tumbling fresh water, and the roaring banks of the roaring brook. A beach area located at the bottom of the main falls features the best conditions for a relaxing dip in the water. Unfortunately, it is limited to Glastonbury residents and guests only.
493 Hopewell Road, Glastonbury
Willow Street Park
Bring a towel and a cooler because the largest (and free!) splash pad in New England will keep the kids entertained for hours. Open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. until Labor Day weekend.
43 Willow Street, New Britain
West Hartford Splash Pads
Conveniently located next to playgrounds, concession stands, and restrooms, you will find four splash pads featuring several water features, making for a fun day out. Spray Pads are located at Beachland, Fernridge, Kenney, and Wolcott Park, and are free for children ages 2-8. Open Memorial Day weekend until Labor day weekend, daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Beachland Park, 847 South Quaker Lane
Fernridge Park, 567 Fern Street
Kennedy Park, 160 Oakwood Avenue
Wolcott Park, 1341 New Britain Avenue
Elizabeth Berner Pool
Located at Norton Park, it features two water slides, a raindrop fountain, and a zero depth entry tot pool. According to the town recreation department webpage, the pool is open for Plainville residents and guests beginning June 10, but non-residents can purchase a daily pool pass for $14 per person.
72 Norton Trail, Plainville
You'll find more ways to cool off here than just a splash pad. The water park features water rides, a wave pool, water play areas for little ones, a lazy river, and swimming is allowed in the lake where paddle boats can also be rented.
186 Enterprise Drive, Bristol
Photo Credit: photo courtesy of Lake Compounce
Originally published 6/24/13.