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Posted on Sat, Jul 25, 2009 : 6 a.m.

$25 A Day: splash park adventure

By Tammy Mayrend

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IDEA #2 - Splash Away The Heat Of The Day Canton's Splash Playground at Heritage Park

This is the second post in a series aimed at helping families of four find activities in the area for under $25.

It's hot and the kids are cranky, which makes you cranky. So what can you do to cool off your temper and the temperature? The sprinkler works, but you want to get out of the house. How about visiting a local splash playground? Spray away the heat of the day...

We love going to the nearby splash playgrounds, and I love them even more when they are free. Today I'd like to highlight a local gem that's within a 30 minute drive from Ann Arbor - Canton's splash playground. It's well well worth the short drive to stay cool, and it's free!

We have visited this specific sprayground several times in the past two years. I enjoy sitting in the shade reading a book or visiting with friends while the kids run in and out of the water. It's the perfect hot weather activity.

This summer, Canton changed the hours of the sprayground to accommodate birthday parties and event booking. The hours are Monday-Thursday, 1 p.m.-7 p.m. with weekend hours from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

What I liked:

The park is well set up with available picnic tables, and a small playground next to the sprayground (A larger wooden structure is also within walking distance). Parking is also very convenient.

Of the last several times we visited, the ice cream truck stopped by (which can be a pro or a con depending on how well trained your children are to the sound of the trucks music!). The last time we visited a bicycle "ice cream" vendor pulled up too - He sold bottled water and cold beverages, as well as ice cream novelties. Most items on the bicycle cart were less than $2.

Potential drawbacks:

Say the word "free" and people come running. In this case, at certain times of the day, buses pull up with day-campers. That means many children are there to enjoy the sprayground. Many children of many ages, sometimes children much older and larger than my preschoolers.

I would also prefer to have some shade provided at the sprayground; there is little to no shade except for a single tree nearby which is often "in use" by the time we arrive. Otherwise the treeline is too far away to enjoy the shade provided by it. That's why we always bring either a beach tent or our Easy-Up tent to give us instant shelter from the sun!

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The restrooms are within walking distance but far enough away to be inconvenient for small children. Make sure to head over to them before the children need to use them!

There are plenty of other local spray parks available in the area - Not all of them are free, but all are worth checking out if you are up for a fun family outing. Check out my Mom Blog for information on other area spray parks!

Be sure to check out my previous $25 A Day Post too!

photo: Canton Splash Playground. Photo taken by Tammy Mayrend.