The air was thick and heavy this Sunday morning. As my family and I walked out of church and the wall of humidity hit our faces, I was weary of a long day with the restless kiddos trapped inside. I brainstormed with the hubby about what we could do to tire the kids out, but not melt ourselves in this late summer heat wave.
Then it occurred to me that the pools were, in fact, still open through Labor Day weekend. Hooray! We’d found the perfect solution to our all-too-familiar, how-to-occupy-the-kids dilemma. Now we had the daunting task of deciding which pool to go to. Rather than trying a pool we’d never visited before and driving farther than necessary, we threw our towels and suits into a tote bag, quickly piled into the car, and headed to Barefoot Bay in Mundelein (1461 N. Midlothian Rd.). Mommy avoided making lunch and wasting more swimming time with a quick stop at McDonald’s on the way.
With our bellies happily filled with trans fats and preservatives galore, we set up camp on a grassy area that wasn’t completely filled, and the kids, once properly dressed in their swimming attire, eagerly walked, not ran to the pool’s edge.
It was all the fun we had remembered from the previous year’s visit and more. During our first visit in 2009, our youngest had only just turned one, so we were a little anxious about what to do with her there. We were pleasantly surprised to see that there was a fully enclosed, separate, zero-depth wading pool for tots that included a slide and shade for the littlest of water babies. My own water babies were quite content in the wading pool last year as a two and a half year old and one year old.
This year, however, my son was ready for the big time. He is now a very athletic, three and a half year old who taught himself to swim in the 10′ inflatable pool in our backyard, and he felt that he deserved to graduate to to the Main Pool. Not to worry! Barefoot Bay’s Main pool starts out at a zero depth with fountains and sprays the kids can control, and buckets that dump water on your head. It gradually increases to a depth of three feet where there is a clear, black line separating the next area of the pool that increases to a depth of five feet I believe. There were plenty of lifeguards keeping the kiddos safe from harm, and they were very vigilant as we witnessed a little boy being pulled from the diving pool, who wasn’t quite ready for the diving pool.
As happy as we were swimming in the two already mentioned pools, I almost forgot to make use of the three water slides and ginormous lazy river. You have to be 42 inches tall to use the slides, but that’s really the only rule. I took my daughter on a tube and rode on the River a total of three times, which she loved. Nothing could beat being thrown in the air by daddy, though.
I highly recommend this pool, having been a lifeguard myself back in the day. It’s kid-friendly, clean, a guaranteed good time, and wallet-friendly day with the kids.