Water and children equals lots of fun. Period. Even if it’s raining. We were luck enough to have some lovely sunny days this week where we could enjoy Wallingford Splash Park without getting too cold.
Just half an hour away from home is Wallingford, Oxfordshire, which many locals call the poor relation to Henley-on-Thames. But we like this quirky town with its old, misshapen houses and narrow streets and its Riverside Park offering free outdoor Splash Pool and heated swimming pool.
Known locally as Wallingford Splash Park, it’s situated near the river Thames although there are barriers between the Splash Park and the river so you don’t have to worry about little people straying into trouble.
The Splash Park is essentially just that – a series of splash pools with fountains, water jets and giant water sprinklers for anyone to run in & out of and just enjoy the thrill of not knowing when the next water jet will appear and squirt you in the face!
Although it was the Summer holidays, the Splash Park didn’t feel busy – although I’m sure when it gets really hot it could get very busy.
Our day there was warm with patchy sunshine, so the children were in wetsuits [purchased in Aldi, btw, at just £9.99. Bargain! but I digress…] The water features were on a patterned timer keeping the children on their toes, running section to section!
Although it wasn’t brilliant sunshine the Little Shires managed to enjoy themselves – proves my point about children & water!. They’d run in and out of the fountains, come back to the mat for a quick dry off & cuddle in the towel and then they’d be off again. The day was full of squeals, lots of laughter and you can imagine in warmer weather the parents running in and out of the fountains too!
The Splash Park also has a heated swimming pool, which operates like any other municipal pool, with a lifeguard and where you book a two hour slot. We didn’t venture in, that would’ve been toooo cold!
The Splash Park has all the basic facilities on site – toilets which are clean and a Kiosk selling food but I only saw Slush Puppies, an ern of hot water for tea & a filter coffee, an ice cream & lolly freezer and plenty of drinks. So I’d suggest you bring a picnic and top up at the Kiosk with a drink or treat for the kids as necessary.
What’s amazing is that this facility is free; The children spent hours enjoying the water and the unpredictability of the fountains whilst I enjoyed the company of friends, sitting on my picnic blanket giggling at the Little Shires get totally outdone by shooting water jets!
It’s certainly a place we’d revisit often & one I couldn’t imagine the children getting bored of.
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