Ten Places to Get Wet: Ann Arbor Pools and More

Note: This list of 10 Places to Get Wet: Ann Arbor Pools and More was originally written in 2015, but was updated for 2016

Are you looking for Indoor Pools? Be sure to check out our Indoor Swimming Guide.

Ann Arbor Indoor Pool Guide

One of my daughter’s favorite parts of summer is the water – whether it’s swimming, water slides, splash parks, or just getting wet. With the hot start to the summer of 2016, it’s a good thing that there are a number of Ann Arbor Pools and more for kids to get wet and cool off this summer. 

Places to Get Wet in Ann Arbor this Summer: Ann Arbor Pools & More

Ann Arbor Pools

The easiest Ann Arbor Pool option for most residents is the The City of Ann Arbor. They run  3 outdoor pools that are open to the public through either daily admission or a season pass (individual or family). The decision between a pool pass or daily admission will depend in part on your family size and the frequency with which you expect to use the pool.

Each of the Ann Arbor Pools offers swim lessons with select pools also offering Tot Splash. Tot Splash is a time for kids age 7 and under when only the tot pool is available for open swim. Each pool has their own schedule for Tot Splash. There are also special events throughout the summer at the pools such as Summer Splash Days and Dive-In Movies.

Admission to the Ann Arbor Parks is $5 adults (18-54), $4 for youth (age 4-17) and seniors (ages 55+), and free for children 3 & under accompanied by an adult. The cost of a seasonal membership varies based on the date of purchase, residency status, and membership option. 

1. Buhr Park Pool

Buhr Park Pool is one component of Buhr Park. Buhr Park (2751 Packard Rd) also has a small playground, outdoor ice rink (in the winter), sports fields, tennis courts, and Cobblestone Farm. Buhr Park offers a separate zero-entry tot pool with interactive water toys. Tot Splash at Buhr Park Pool is 10a-1p on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and noon-1p on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Ann Arbor Pools - Buhr Park Pool Tot Splash

2. Fuller Park Pool

Fuller Park Pool is part of the Fuller Park Complex. In addition to the pool, Fuller Park (1519 Fuller Rd) includes sports fields and a wooden play structure. Fuller Park Pool has a water slide that looks really cool from the road. We have never been to this pool though, so my daughter has not tried it. Fuller Park Pool is not offering a Tot Splash this year.

3. Veterans Memorial Pool

Note – Veterans Memorial Pool is open for 2016 as of June 30.

Veterans Memorial (Vets) Pool is located at 2150 Jackson Ave. If you are heading to Vets Pool, be sure to plan ahead with the construction on Jackson Rd. Vets Pool offers a water slide and a zero-entry kids area with water spray areas. They offer a Tot Splash each weekday from noon-1p.

Veterans-Park-Swim-Lesson

Swim Lessons at Veterans Park (Many years ago)

A reader recommended Ypsilanti’s Rutherford Pool as another great outdoor pool option that offers a daily admission option.

Washtenaw County Water Parks

The two Washtenaw County Water Parks are each a portion of a larger county park. Each county park has a daily vehicle admission fee ($6 Washtenaw County Residents, or $10 for non-residents) and separate admission to the water park. We typically buy an annual vehicle pass ($30/Washtenaw County Residents, $45/non-residents) that is valid for all Washtenaw County Parks since we visit several times a year.

4. Rolling Hills Water Park

Rolling Hills Water Park is part of Rolling Hills County Park (7660 Stony Creek Rd, Ypsilanti Township). The water park at Rolling Hills is quite extensive featuring a wave pool, two slide towers, zero entry section, and a lazy river. They also have a sandy area and a spray scape. My daughter loves Rolling Hills Water Park! We always have a great time as a family when we visit, especially after they added a second slide tower a few years ago.

Rolling Hills Water Park New Slide Tower

Admission to Rolling Hills Water Park is based on day of the week, height, and residency status. Children 36″ tall or less are always admitted free of charge, so they are not included on the table below:

  • Washtenaw County Resident
    • Weekday (after 5p)
      • Adult – $8 ($6)
      • Children 36-42″ $6 ($4)
    • Weekend/Holiday
      • Adult $10
      • Children 36-42″ $8
  • Non-Resident
    • Weekday (after 5p)
      • Adult – $10 ($7)
      • Children 36-42″ $8 ($5)
    • Weekend/Holiday
      • Adult $13
      • Children 36-42″ $11

5. Blue Heron Bay at Independence Lake

Blue Heron Bay is a spray scape with a slide tower at Independence Lake. Admission to Blue Heron Bay is $4 for Washtenaw County Residents and $5 for non-residents. Admission is discounted by $1 after 5p on weekdays. We have really enjoyed Blue Heron Bay when we have visited.

Water Dump at Independence Lake's Blue Heron Bay

In addition to Blue Heron Bay, you can also swim in Independence Lake. Unfortunately  Blue Heron Bay is not adjacent to the swimming beach and you may need to drive between the locations.

 

 

Free Spray Scapes

In addition to the pools and county parks, there are sprayscapes located in Plymouth and Canton. These sprayscapes offer a free place for kids to run through the water and get throroughly soaked.

6. Plymouth Sprayscape

The Plymouth Sprayscape is at 46640 W. Ann Arbor Trail, just east of Beck Rd. The sprays cape is free and operates from 10a-8p during May and August and 10a-8:30p during June and July. The sprayscape is free to use. The park also boasts a wooden play structure that resembles a fort. The kids always have a great time letting their imaginations run wild as they explore the structure.

7. Canton Heritage Park

Canton Heritage Park‘s address is 1150 S. Canton Center Dr. Once inside the park, the Splash Playground is near Summit on the Park Community Center. We visited once years ago with a group when my daughter was not a big fan of Splash Playgrounds. At the time, the splash playground seemed fairly small.

Indoor Options

Cool summer days that don’t break the 70 degree threshold mean that the local outdoor pools do not open. So, it is always nice to have an indoor option.

8. Indoor Water Park: Splash Universe or Splash Village

Splash Universe is in Dundee, about 20 minutes south of Ann Arbor. They offer water slides, spray scrapes, and a lazy river as well as a zero entry kids pool. Be sure to mention that you are from Washtenaw County as they typically offer a discounted daily admission rate for local residents.

Splash-Universe-Slide

Zehnder’s Splash Village in Frankenmuth is a fun indoor water park that was expanded recently. This new expansion is light, airy, and offers a number of thrill slides for older kids. Day passes are available, but they are fairly pricey ($42/full day, $35/half day). It is also a little further from Ann Arbor than Splash Universe.

zehnders-splash-village-drop-slide-conquered

9. Goldfish Swim School

Goldfish Swim School is located at 2107 W. Stadium Blvd in Ann Arbor. They offer swim lessons in their heated pool. They also offer public open swim times from noon-1p on Monday through Thursday, 7-8p on Fridays, and 6-7:30p on Sundays.

10. Get Wet at Home!

There’s no reason that the kids can’t enjoy getting wet at home which is good since there is no end to the ways that kids can get wet at home. Some ideas are to break out the sprinkler, water guns, sponges, water balloons, kiddie pool, slip & slide, and so much more. I even filled my daughter’s sled with water to give her a place to play with boats and splash a little when she was a preschooler. It was easier to fill and move than a kiddie pool since it doesn’t hold as much water and is designed to slide.

Getting-Wet-at-Home

What about your family? Where do your kids like to get wet around Ann Arbor?

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