Photo courtesy of Fred Paynter
Cost: Roswell residents, $3; Non-residents, $4.50; Under age 2, free
Times: Tuesday through Friday, 1 pm to 5:15 pm and 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm; Saturday and Sunday, 1 pm to 7 pm. Hours vary when school is in session; check website for details.
Location: Roswell Area Park Pool, 10495 Woodstock Road, Roswell, GA 30075
Seasonal: As an outdoor facility, the pool is generally open Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Kelly’s Comments: An “Old Roswell” mainstay, the Roswell Area Park Pool has been around a long time. It has three distinct parts: a shallow end (where my 6-year-old can stand up, yay!), lap lanes, and a deeper end with low and medium diving boards. Ankle biters age 4 and under can enjoy a kiddie pool, complete with water mushroom. An on-site snack stand will fuel you with all the junk food your heart desires. There are lounge chairs and umbrellas available, and there is a nice grassy lawn area upon which to put down a beach towel and ponder the meaning of life (or watch your children try to dunk each other). Youth can take lessons or join the associated swim team.
Image courtesy of shootthehooch.com
Cost: Varies by activity, age, length, etc. Averages between $15 and $40/person.
Times: Varies. Some rentals are on an as-needed basis; other float trips meet at specific times. Roughly between 9 am and 5 pm.
Locations: Shoot the Hooch, 203 Azalea Drive, Roswell, GA 30075
Seasonal: Operates during warm/non-rainy weather and under optimal river levels.
Kelly’s Comments: The Chattahoochee River was named as one of the Top 10 urban paddling areas by USA Today, and it lives up to the reputation. Different sections of the river have decidedly different personalities. The upper areas around Roswell are more lake-like (smooth water, gentle currents, wide passage, deeper water) and the lower areas nearer the City are a bit wilder (rocks, narrower, a few “rapids” [I use the term very loosely], fewer houses). River explorers can choose from inner tubes, kayaks, canoes, stand-on paddleboards, and rafts. Shoot the Hooch also offers rides on The Spirit of Roswell riverboat. Smaller children are better suited for canoes or rafts; older kids will appreciate the relative ease of the kayaks and inner tubes. All children 13 and under must wear a life jacket at all times.
Cost: Varies. See http://www.ymcaatlanta.org/metro/pdfs/rates.pdf for details. Alternately, become a “Program Member” for $35/year, which allows you to take classes at the YMCA at the non-member price (usually a surcharge of 25%-50%).
Times: Monday through Thursday, 5:30 am to 10 pm; Friday, 5:30 am to 9 pm; Saturday, 8 am to 6 pm; Sunday, 1 pm to 6 pm
Location: McCleskey-East Cobb YMCA, 1055 E. Piedmont Rd., Marietta, GA 30062
Kelly’s Comments: Although I have never actually joined the YMCA, I’ve made use of its Program Membership classes over the years. The McCleskey-East Cobb YMCA has some of the best infant/toddler swim classes that I’ve ever seen (and I’ve been to quite a few). In addition, kids can participate in camps, after-school programs, parents’ day out, art, dance, gymnastics, tennis, basketball, soccer…and the list goes on. There are several classes, leagues, and programs for adults, too (in fact, my sister-in-law teaches a mean Zumba class at this very location..she will put a hurt on you).
Cost: Adults, $40 ($30 advance online); Children under 48″, $30; Children 2 and under, free; Parking, $15. Save 5% if paying with a Discover Card.
Times: Generally 10:30 am to 7 pm; starts closing at 6 pm toward end of season
Location: Six Flags White Water, 250 Cobb Parkway #100, Marietta, GA 30062
Seasonal: Open Memorial Day to Labor Day (weekends only after local schools start back in the fall)
Kelly’s Comments: I would generally recommend White Water for older kids, probably around age 7 and up. It really depends on how adventurous your children are and how much they like the water. The park is too expensive for the age 3-6 set to just splash around in a few areas. On the other hand, if you have little tots who’d be free anyway, and you want to use White Water as a swim membership of sorts, buying a season pass for yourself actually may not be a bad deal. Regardless, White Water is a really fun, really large water park, especially for the ‘tween and teen set. Lockers are available on-site (for a fee, of course) to hold all your gear. I recommend wearing water shoes, especially for the little kids, to avoid falls (and the resulting meltdown [“But I must have a Buzz Lightyear band-aid!!”] that is sure to follow).
Cost: $10 per car from Memorial Day to Labor Day; free rest of year
Times: 8:30 am to 6 pm
Location: Cauble Park, 4425 Beach St NW, Acworth, GA 30101
Seasonal: Swimming only available in the summer, but the park is open year-round
Kelly’s Comments: My kids tell me that they love this “lake beach” as much as the “ocean beach!” This hidden gem is the closest part of Lake Allatoona from East Cobb, and at $10 for the whole family, the price is great. The water is shallow and wave-free for the little ones (not a lot of boats go by in this location), but older kids can venture out further and go swimming. There are decent bathrooms, and it’s really easy to get from the car to the beach, especially with all the gear that little ones require. My only complaint is I wish the park had some kind of snack bar, so make sure you bring your own food and drinks. There is the occasional triathlon or waterskiing/wakeboarding competition at this location.
Cost: $2; under 12 months free
Times: Monday through Friday, 10 am to 7 pm; Saturday, 10 am to 6 pm; Sunday, 12 noon to 6 pm. Riverside location closed Tuesdays; East Roswell location closed Wednesdays.
Location: There are two locations. 1) Riverside Park, 575 Riverside Road, Roswell, GA, 30075. 2) East Roswell Park, 9000 Fouts Road, Roswell, GA, 30076.
Seasonal: Generally open Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Kelly’s Comments: These cheap and fun spraygrounds are a great way to cool off on a hot summer’s day. Each location has its perks–the original sprayground at Riverside Park is next door to a great playground, green grassy area, walking trails, picnic benches, and the Chattahoochee River. Downside: Your child may see the playground through the sprayground fence and decide s/he wants to go over there now, even though s/he has only just been at the sprayground for 3 minutes, is soaking wet, and has no shoes. (Not that I speak from experience.) The newer sprayground at East Roswell Park is a bit farther from East Cobb, but it’s better-suited for the littlest splashers. There’s not a lot to do at this park besides the sprayground, as it’s mostly baseball fields. The sprayground is at the very back of the park, so just keep drivin’ and you’ll see it.
Website: http://www.alpharetta.ga.us/index.php?p=215 or http://willspark.com/html/swimming
Cost: Under 3, free; 3 and Up, $3
Times: Hours vary depending on swim lesson schedule. Generally open after 12:00 noon weekdays and 10:00 am weekends. Call ahead at 678-297-6107 to make sure the pool is open.
Location: Beside Wills Park, 1815 Old Milton Parkway, Alpharetta, GA 30009
Seasonal: Open during summer/warm weather only (outdoor pool)
Kelly’s Comments: Since my neighborhood doesn’t have a swimming pool, we usually head over to relatives’ pools or hit the very large and clean Alpharetta pool. It’s about a 15-20 minute drive from East Cobb, and it’s a very nice facility. It’s one of the few pools to still have a high dive (and yes, I jump off it as an adult, thank you very much). There is a children’s play area featuring splashy fun, plenty of chairs (many under a shaded canopy), decent bathrooms, and lots of free parking.