Family Fun by Laura Churchill Duke: Waterslides a big splash with kids

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Laura Churchill Duke
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Owen Schofield loves going to the Windsor Playland waterslide because it’s the fastest and tallest. - Submitted

They’re fun, they’re fast and they’re wet. They are waterslides and kids love them!

Between Windsor and Annapolis Royal, there are only four waterslides. Two are indoors and two are outside.

In Windsor, there is an indoor waterslide that is open to the public at the Super 8 Motel off Highway 101 Exit 5A. For $8 per person, the general public can use the pool and slide for two hours, and children under three are free. Phone 1-902-792-8888 before you go to confirm availability, as sometimes birthday parties are held there, and bring your own towels. There are no height restrictions for the waterslide. There is also no lifeguard on duty, so you must monitor your own children.

What's great about the Super 8 pool is that the pool gradually shallows to being only several inches deep, so toddlers or infants can splash around in a safe area while older children use the waterslide.

Windsor is also home to Windsor Playland on the Exhibition Grounds, also at Exit 5A off the 101 Highway. Besides a go-kart track and mini golf, it also has an outdoor waterslide open from June to August. You can buy tickets for individual slides or purchase a day pass. There are no height restrictions. Lifejackets are available and a lifeguard is on duty.

The water at the bottom of this slide is quite deep with a strong current, so children need to be good swimmers or wear life jackets.

In Greenwood, at the 14 Wing Fitness and Sport Centre, their indoor waterslide is open to the general public. For $6 per person, you can get a day pass. There are no height restrictions on the waterslide and it is available during casual swim times. Lifejackets are available and a lifeguard is on duty.

The waterslide in Greenwood empties into a separate pool from the main swimming area. The water is not overly deep and the slide is not as high as those in Windsor. An added bonus is that the water is warm.

Finally, there is an outdoor, 230-foot waterslide located within Upper Clements Park. This ride is included with the price of your entrance bracelet, or separate tickets can be purchased. Anyone who goes on this waterslide must be able to swim and at least 48” tall.

Jenny Haynes, Kentville, often takes her three boys to the various waterslides in the Valley. Owen, 10, says his favourite waterslide is the outdoor slide in Windsor as it is the highest, while his brother Wyatt, eight, also likes Windsor because "it's fun and there is a lot of space and other fun stuff to do."

As a parent, Haynes also prefers the Windsor Playland waterslide.

“In Windsor, they let the kids go down together, so if you have a nervous child, you can go down with them,” she says. “This is a better bang for your buck,” because it is reasonably priced at $11.50 and open all day.

“The Greenwood waterslide is definitely the cleanest though,” says Haynes.

Christianne Rushton, Kentville, recently attended a pool party at the Greenwood slide with her six-year-old son, Aaron.

“The pool party was simply amazing! It is a perfect place – with lifeguards and lots of lifejackets. It was so much fun and I loved the pool,” she says.

Added Haynes, “The Greenwood waterslide is $6 each but only open at certain times. Upper Clements Park has the height restrictions so it's not as friendly for young families.”

Haynes says younger children may need encouragement at first, but once they get going, be prepared to do a lot of stair climbing. “My legs were sore after the first visit,” she says.

Rushton suggests starting out on a waterslide that slows down at the bottom. These are great for kids who are a little fearful of the water.

“You don’t enter the pool with as much force or splashing. This can be great for the first time down a slide,” she says. None of the waterslides in the Valley are like this, but they do exist elsewhere.

“Bring lots of sunscreen and even a shade umbrella to Windsor as it can get hot,” says Haynes. “And make sure the bathing suit is tied on well!” I didn’t ask her to elaborate on that one!

When you go to the waterslides, make sure you get a pass for yourself as well. It will be hard to determine who will have more fun – you or the children!

Laura Churchill Duke (www.valleyfamilyfun.ca) and her family stay in a specific hotel in Halifax every year just to go on their waterslide. Her sons have no fear and have never met a waterslide they could tire of!

 

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