(This list was originally published in 2011):
Welcome to Moms Talk, a forum for local parents to weigh-in on a hot topic. This week, we asked what is your favorite sprinkler/water park? We found some close by and others in neighboring communities, but all are worth a visit when the weather heats up.
Cathi Lodato: We just tried Grimmons Park in Somerville. It's on Governor Winthrop Ave. There is only permit parking on the street, but at the end of Shore Drive there is a parking lot and you can walk down to the park. It is not that far. There are no bathrooms.
It's for all ages. My niece is only 17 months old and was walking along getting her feet wet. She enjoyed it. The park is definitely parent friendly! We were all walking through it wetting our feet. That day was hot and it felt refreshing. It was my first time there; I will be more prepared next time to get wet. There are two tables with seats to the right and the rest of the park has slides and swings. It is open, so there is minimal shade.
Cathi is the mother of a 4 year-old boy and has lived in Medford for 11 years.
Tiffany Reevior: My sprinkler park picks are a bit of a distance, but I really like two Cambridge sprinkler parks. The first is a sweet little park on Dudley Street and Cedar Street called Rev. Thomas J. Williams park. It has a small sprinkler area, a very cool climbing structure, and a small grassy area, but the best thing about it is an abundance of shade! It's street parking only, but I haven't had a problem there.
Another favorite is Danehy Park in Cambridge; park at the Sherman St. entrance, which has a good-size parking lot, for easy access to the playground and a large sprinkler area. The Danehy sprinkler area has seating all around it, some shade, and bathrooms. An even bigger sprinkler park we like when we're up for a bit of a drive is at Beaver Brook Reservation in Waltham, on Trapelo Road and Waverley Oaks Road. There's a lot of street parking, as well as a parking lot off Waverley Oaks.
Tiffany is mom to a 7-year-old and has lived in Medford since 2007.
Jen Lewis: We have a few favorites: or are great because they are close and have a lot of other things to do when kids get tired of being wet. And the water is on already! Dugger has better shade and a better climbing structure, and Capen Street has sand to thoroughly baste a wet little body. We've also enjoyed the Thompson School Park in Arlington with jets shooting about 30 feet high, but the playground isn't very close to the water so it can be tough to keep track of multiple kids.
When we decide to make a day trip, both my kids love the Rings Fountain in the Greenway, near Milk Street in Boston. The water jets are random so kids don't know when they're going to get wet, it is great to play in! Sometimes there are bands and the people-watching is more interesting for moms. If you get bored, or need to dry off in the sun, you can easily walk a block over to see the seals outside the Aquarium. It's a short walk from State Street on the Orange line, an additional subway "adventure" for my kids, and the carousel isn't far away if you are willing to shell out a few bucks. Garage parking is ridiculous but if you're willing to circle and get lost a bit in the business district, you can usually pay quarters easily enough. There's not much shade, but when you're soaking wet that's kinda good.
Jen is the mom of an 7 year-old girl and a 3 year-old boy, and has been in Medford for eight years.
Judi McLaughlin: Frog Pond (opens June 29) is my hands-down favorite water sprinkler park. I played in it as a kid, and I love that my children enjoy the same locale. You can gamble for a meter in town but I tend to take the T from Wellington/Station Landing, adding the adventures of the skywalk (from the garage to the T station) and the train ride to our outing. I love the playground next to the Frog Pond, which has tiny water sprinklers for the smaller set. We've been going every year since the girls were small and it always is a pleasure.
Judi is the mother of two girls, ages 6 and 8, and has lived in Medford for 11 years.