The top choice for most people when it comes to cooling off in the summer is a beach or pool. For kids especially, pools and lakes can be inviting and fun, but also dangerous. In a 2009 Red Cross survey, nearly 1 in 3 said they had an incident when they nearly drowned between the ages of 5 and 15. Almost 2 in 5 said they have had to help someone who was in danger of drowning.
Eileen Reardon, Executive Director, American Red Cross Adirondack Saratoga Chapter believes that regardless of how the incident occurred, it could have been prevented. “Multiple layers of protection are critical to helping keep people safe in, on and around the water,” Reardon says. It is always recommended for children to have safety flotation devices accessible around the pool, to swim in only supervised areas, and to obey all rules and posted signs.
Reardon also warns that the water isn’t the only hazard.
“Dehydration and extreme sunburn are still risks, even when you are in the water,” she says. It’s important that families stay hydrated and use sun protection when outside.
With these safety precautions in mind, it’s time to hit the water! There are plenty of spots to swim in Saratoga, and here are some options.
Saratoga County Swim Spots
The Ballston Spa Village Pool across the river from Kelley Park is a great local and affordable option. Admission is $2 per swimmer, and kids under three are admitted free of charge. Open swim is Monday – Friday from 2 – 6 p.m. and family swim is 6 – 8 p.m. Saturday and Sundays offer open swim from noon – 6 p.m. and family swim from 6 – 8 p.m.
The Peerless Pool (opening Saturday, June 23rd 2012) in the Saratoga Spa State Park is a massive pool complex with a separate kid’s pool. Unfortunately it is not the most affordable option when you consider the $8 per vehicle entrance to the park, in addition to the cost of admission to the pool ($2 adults, $1 children). Reader tip: State Park admission is free to seniors over 62 making a day at the beach with grandchildren affordable! The Peerless Pool is also closed on Tuesdays. Operating hours are 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
The Victoria Pool (opening Saturday, June 23rd 2012) located near the Saratoga Spa Golf Course is a beautiful pool surrounded by brick archways and stunning architecture. While Victoria Pool may not be the most kid-friendly spot, it’s by far the prettiest place to cool off. Admission here is $8 for adults and $4 for kids and its open daily from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
For a beach experience, Moreau Lake State Park off of Northway Exit 17S is a wonderful option. We’ve visited Moreau many times and love how easy and safe it is for families. With lifeguards and clearly marked swim areas, Moreau is an excellent option. Park Manager Peter Iskenderian takes pride in the safety at Moreau. “We have a great training program for lifeguards. They are all Red Cross certified and train everyday,” Iskenderian says. The beach is open daily from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and the cost is $8 per vehicle to enter the park.
Not ready to take the plunge into a body of water? Saratoga Springs has four interactive fountain parks which provide a free spot for kids to cool down, a playground and benches and/or picnic tables. For a lot less commitment than going to a pool or beach, you can still keep your kids cool. The three parks are: Geyser Park, off of Geyser Road, West Side Rec. on the corner of Division Street and Beekman Street, and East Side Rec. on Lake Ave and Caroline Street. Check out the SaratogaMama Park and Playground Guide for details on all of these playgrounds and more!
Beat the summer heat by getting out and enjoying the many local options we have in Saratoga County. Remember to always stay safe in the sun and in the water.