If you have water babies like I do, the announcement that Cedar Rapids/Marion pools will not open this summer was not a welcome one.
I, for one, was excited that Little was old enough to have an afternoon at the pool and miss her nap without being a monster later. But alas, I found myself saying what so many of us have in the time of ‘Rona: It is what it is.
So, now what?
As soon as the announcement came out, folks started buying up pools like they were toilet paper on March 15th. Backyard pools are hard to come by nowadays and I thanked the good Lord that I bought a $6.99 unicorn pool on clearance at Aldi last fall. We blew that bad boy up and the girls went to town. We also are learning the art of running through the sprinkler, squirt guns, and water cannons. I’ve found that kids don’t really need fancy pools, as much as they enjoy them, and throwing soap down a $10 slip-n-slide totally counts as a bath.
Splash Pads are an option this summer! Cedar Rapids and Marion have some awesome ones! Click here for a list of all the local splash pads and beaches that are open! You can also visit many of the creeks and ponds at the Sac and Fox, Pinicon Ridge, Prairie Creek Fishery, and Squire Point recreation areas.
Thankfully, if you want to get neck-deep in the good stuff, we are surrounded by great lakes and beaches for all your aquatic entertainment. Here are a few of our faves”
Lake MacBride: A local favorite for all things watery, this tends to be packed with families enjoying boat rentals, concessions, quick access to restrooms, and beautiful views. We camped there last summer and my behind sat in a donut floaty and marveled at the sun setting between the trees. My kids made epic sand sculptures and we were picking sand out of our blessed assurances for days. Totally worth it. If you’re looking for one of the most popular spots in the area, Lake McBride is it.
Palo Lake: This little gem is situated just a few minutes west of Cedar Rapids. You can camp, boat, and fish here and you may find that it is less crowded than other area swimming spots. If you’re the kayaking, boating, or fishing type, this spot is great.
Sugar Bottom: Ok so full disclosure, I call this lake diarrhea bottom because one year, I don’t know if it was the weather or what, but the sand in the lake felt like well, baby poop. Other than that it’s a dope spot with wonderful sunshine and great on a hot day.
Palisades-Kepler State Park: If you’re looking for a spot to skip rocks, fish, or take in the view with your tootsies in the water, we love Palisades. It is not a swimming hole necessarily as it sits on the Cedar River and is not safe to swim in like a lake would be. But if kids are antsy on your way to or from Cedar County it’s a nice stop to take in the beauty of the area.
These are a few of our favorite spots to get our water on. I’d love to know yours!
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