Now that the weather’s getting warmer, I am trying to figure out our “Get Wet” agenda for the summer. Historically, we have gotten a membership to the city pools. However after two years of rarely using it, I finally am ready to accept that the hours just don’t work for my family right now. The pools don’t open until the afternoon (when my kids are napping) and by the time they wake up, it’s almost dinnertime. So, instead, I have decided to fill up our baby pool on most days and let my kids romp around in it to their heart’s content. And when we need a change of scene, we will hit up the city’s spray parks since they normally open at 9AM!
Because of our location close to Rt. 28, we usually visit the Troy Hill Spray Park located on Goettman Street. This is probably the largest in the city and is always a fun time. Unfortunately, it’s not very easy to get there and it’s even HARDER to get back home with all the construction on Route 28. So I was excited to hear that a new spray park was slotted to open this Spring–at Mellon Park in Shadyside!
During a recent birthday party at one of the Mellon Park shelters, we were able to pay a visit to the brand-new spray park. Here’s what we thought:
1. The new spray park is much smaller than the Troy Hill one. It has a couple sprinklers, some misters, and a bucket-dumper. It definitely does not have as much equipment geared toward babies and toddlers. However, I think that it’s probably perfectly adequate for most kids.
2. It’s in a super-convenient location at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Beechwood. I am thrilled to have a spray park in the Shadyside/Point Breeze/East Liberty area, rather than having to drive to Troy Hill or Beechview to get to one. It is wonderful to be able to combine a Spray Park visit with a shopping trip to Trader Joe’s or Target.
3. There’s a bright, clean bathroom very close which always makes life easier– especially when it’s guaranteed that my kids will need to be changed since they will be soaking wet!
4. There’s a nice playground very close. The Mellon Park playground is located immediately adjacent to the spray park, which makes my life WAY easier. My daughter usually prefers to avoid getting wet and instead enjoys playing at the playground. However, my son loves to get wet and spends most of his time in the spray park area. At Troy Hill, I often have trouble balancing the two different preferences since the playground is a little removed from the aquatic features. However, at Mellon Park, it was easier to keep my eye on both kids.
5. Parking is quite easy here. There’s a parking lot located immediately adjacent.
6. There’s a lifeguard on duty, which is a nice perk if an emergency comes up.
Overall, I think the new spray park is a nice addition to the city’s summer repertoire. It reasonably-sized, easy to get to, and has a lot of perks–including convenient parking, nice bathrooms, and an adjacent playground. We will definitely be revisiting it sometime soon!