Summer is heating up and there’s no better way to cool the whole family down than to get water involved. But don’t turn on the sprinkler just yet. Instead, pack everyone up and head to your favorite Huron-Clinton Metropark for a truly refreshing aquatic adventure.
You may recognize the Metroparks as great places to get reconnected to nature year-round, but they’re actually more than great places to hike, bike and picnic. Huron-Clinton Metroparks have some of the best water facilities and aquatic centers in southeast Michigan.
“Aside from our conservation and stewardship work, your Metroparks are all about recreation,” says Hilary Simmet, marketing specialist with Huron-Clinton Metroparks. “And that’s especially true in the summer when we get to 90 degrees and need to cool off.”
Feel the need to bring down the temps? Read on for more heat relief from Huron-Clinton Metroparks.
Splash pads galore or get cool in the pool
Splash pads are by far the best way for kids of all ages to enjoy water fun without being fully immersed. But, for those who want to swim — or for families who like to do it all — pools are available, too.
“My kids are little, so we really head for the splash pads,” Simmet says. “At Kensington the splash pad is great for multiple ages and it’s right on the beach, with concessions right there, too. It’s great when families with little kids and bigger kids want to enjoy one location easily.”
Kensington Metropark in Milford has a Splash ‘n’ Blast where kids of all ages can get sprayed among the serpents, palm trees and spray cannons. There are also two 240-foot twisted water slides that thrill and chill kids who are 42 inches or taller.
Indian Springs Metropark in White Lake has a Spray ‘n’ Play with ground sprays, dumping bucket and water cannons. Because this splash pad is close to other play areas, including a rock-climbing wall, maze, painted labyrinth and cargo net, it’s a place you can spend the whole day and never run out of things to do.
Lake St. Clair Metropark in Harrison Township has a super fun Squirt Zone Spray Ground that has an unbelievable tunnel of water to run through, water cannons and ground sprays. There’s also an Olympic-size pool with two 120-foot-long water slides with a 17-foot vertical drop. Check out the inflatable obstacle course and climbing walls, too.
“This really fun area that has it all, even 600 feet of sandy beach. There are also concessions and a beach shop if you need a swim diaper. Everything is right there,” Simmet says.
Willow Metropark in New Boston has a wonderful family pool with water basketball, zero-depth pool and spray. “The water slide at Willow is extra wide, so parents or older siblings can sit next to little ones and they can go down together,” Simmet says. “It’s great for kids just starting out.”
Tried the slide?
There’s a new slide at Stony Creek Metropark in Shelby Township that is absolutely designed to thrill.
“This is the Quadzilla Water Slide — which is a great name for this slide. It is a giant inflatable slide with four lanes. It’s 50 feet tall and 230 feet long. Climb to the top and cruise on down,” Simmet says, adding that families can buy a wristband for all-day Quadzilla access.
“Part of the fun is just climbing the slide and it’s a great way to wear out the kids,” Simmet says.
If nature’s more your thing
In southeast Michigan, it’s hard to find more tranquil natural surroundings than the Huron-Clinton Metroparks.
If kayaking, canoeing or standup paddleboarding is your family’s favorite way to chill, Metroparks have ample opportunities. You can even rent watercraft at most of the Metroparks, making your experience easy and stress-free. That’s the point, right?
At Lower Huron Metropark in Belleville, you can paddle along the scenic Huron River and take in the diverse natural surroundings. Or plan a longer trip and paddle your way from one Metropark to another, even stopping to camp for the night.
While we wave goodbye to the worst of the pandemic, some of the Metroparks’ facilities may experience delayed openings. Be sure to check first before heading out to Turtle Cove Aquatic Center at Lower Huron Metropark or The Great Wave pool at Lake Erie Metropark and always check out the Metroparks website before setting out for your summer adventure.
Find out more at the Huron-Clinton Metroparks website.