Yesterday, The Boy, The Girl, The Baby and I splashed around the water park at River Park, located near Foster and Francisco, across the street from the Galter Lifecenter and Swedish Covenant Hospital. It was such a nice change from the water park and zero-depth pool at Portage Park, where there is invariably a line, a crowd and a trio of cranky lifeguards. In contrast, the water park at River Park featured an open gate and no lifeguards -- just a handful of kids romping in the sprinklers above a foam floor painted bright blue and a big red button on the side to turn said sprinklers on.
The Boy had a fantastic time. He was quite waterlogged at the end, after playing slip-n-slide through the center fountain with a pair of 8-year-old boys. We went with both our neighbors, D. and H. and their grandmother, and our friends B., S. and F. D's grandmother brought a zippered pouch full of sand/water toys, and the kids had a great time altogether with the toys, bringing us moms buckets full of cold water to pour on our feet while we supervised from a wide black bench located within the gates of the water park. The Girl, D. and S. were all running around holding hands, as little girls are wont to do. We all had a picnic lunch on towels spread out on the grass just across from the water area; all the kids ran races in their bathing suits. The Baby cried every time I went through the misters to cool off. Next year, I predict that he'll be toddling through the sprinklers like a little mad man.
We walked over to this park from B., S., and F.'s house, a distance of about a mile, so I got my exercise -- pushing a stroller with two kids in it while carrying a baby strapped to my chest -- in as well.