Cumberland County has a cool solution for beating the heat this summer.
With daily average temps hovering in the 90s and weekly heat advisories making outside fun exhausting and dangerous, parents with little ones to keep safely entertained need to look no further than their local splash pad and community pool.
With over twelve locations throughout Cumberland County, splash pads provide a fun, safe alternative for water play. It’s not uncommon to visit a splash pad and see children of all ages playing together amongst the various spouts, nozzles, sprinklers and dumping buckets.
Up & Coming Weekly spoke with Nacarla Webb, Public Information Specialist for the City of Fayetteville, about the splash pad’s many advantages.
“Fayetteville-Cumberland Parks and Recreation splash pads are free to everyone,” she said. “Many splash pads are located near recreation centers or schools which are visible, public sites. These locations are areas where neighbors and families can look out for each other.”
Another benefit of the popular water feature is that, unlike public pools, splash pads don’t require a lifeguard on duty and are generally much safer for children who are not yet confident swimmers, a relief to parents who may want to relax as their children have fun.
“The splash pad zero depth entry feature is welcoming because it means the play area is flat,” Webb explained. “Additionally, there may be children in the community who haven’t learned to swim or are afraid of larger bodies of water. A splash pad is a place where they can get wet and then easily step away. Also, a parent can be nearby to watch their child’s movements and join in on the fun with little hassle.”
The splash pad maintains a detailed seven-day-a-week cleaning schedule, ensuring those spaces stay safe and sanitary.
Cumberland County offers four public pools and several aquatic programs to develop safe, confident swimmers for children ready to move from splashing to diving.
For residents aged 12 and under, the pool costs $1, while non-residents in the same age group will pay $2. For residents 13 and up, the cost is $2, and $4 for non-residents.
Lifeguard certification courses are held throughout the year for those fifteen years of age and older. Registration for weekly swim camp is still open until July 25, with the last camp offered this summer Aug. 5.
The many aquatic offerings in Cumberland County allow parents to treat their kids to some fun without breaking the bank or a sweat, and many are grateful for the convenience.
“We’ve been to a few of the splash pads and have thoroughly enjoyed them every time,” local author K.M. Rives shared with Up & Coming Weekly. “We try to go once a week if we can. Our kids love them, and it’s a great way to get them outside during the summer.”
Cumberland County splash pads are open from May 1 until Labor Day, Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
For more information on the splash pad and pool locations, visit https://www.fcpr.us/facilities/aquatics.