Even if you didn’t own a calendar, you’d be able to tell that August is is upon us. That smothering, sweltering feeling that hits you right in the face as soon as you walk outside is a steamy reminder that Cincinnati does, in fact, turn into the Equator for a few weeks every year. It’s easy to want to run and hide in the deepest, darkest, coldest corner of your basement until September if you don’t have a chlorinated oasis in your backyard. Luckily for all of us – wet playgrounds are now a thing, and they’re popping up all over the city. I’ve heard great things about Parky’s Pirate Cove Wet Playground (website) at Miami Whitewater Park right down the street from us. We gave it a shot on a particularly humid, but cloudy, day and I can assure you we will be back several times before the end of summer.
One of the best things about this place, little splashers under 2 years old are free! And while most of the kids there are running and jumping, or at least walking, our little guy who’s “cruising” but not walking just yet, had fun just sitting in the water splashing. I made the wet-playground-rookie mistake of thinking I didn’t need to wear my bathing suit. “He’s only 1, how much water can he possibly send in my direction?” I thought. Boy, was I wrong. Ten minutes in we were both soaked … but both having the time of our lives. The playground itself is huge! There are spraying and splashing areas for every age and every level of water loving little ones. From “misters” to a drenched-in-two-seconds waterfall – they have something for everyone.
Parky’s Pirate Cove is right in the center of one of our favorite parks – Miami Whitewater Forest! There are plenty of dry places nearby to have a snack, reapply sunscreen or have a picnic. Tables with large umbrellas and places for weary parents to take a rest are also surrounding the wet playground. When the kids are done splashing – change into some dry clothes and explore the rest of the park! Go for a hike, paddle around on a paddleboat, or move the kids over to their huge dry playground to keep the fun going all day!
Parky’s Pirate Cove opens at 11 a.m. and closes at 7 p.m. during the summer. Children 2+ are $3.50 and must be wearing a swim diaper if not potty trained.
Emily grew up just north of Cincinnati in Hamilton, OH and now lives in Western Hills with her husband Jim, their son James and their lunatic yellow lab, Rosey. Emily graduated from Xavier University (Go Muskies!), and is now a stay at home mom after working in marketing and promotions for local radio and TV stations.
Emily spends most of her free time visiting the manatees (James’ favorite) at the Cincinnati Zoo, shopping at local antique shops, or singing Beatles songs with James who typically just stares at her like she’s crazy. Emily hopes one day he’ll join in but for now she enjoys his giggles. She also enjoys photography and has quickly turned into a Pure Barre addict while trying to melt away the daily milkshakes she consumed while pregnant. So far it’s going well, but Skyline frequently gets in the way.
Emily loves to write and is looking forward to connecting with other Moms in Cincinnati while writing for Cincinnati Parent.