Sunday, August 15, 2010

Cermak Family Aquatic Center: An undiscovered gem

Just 15 minutes southwest of Oak Park, nestled in a quiet park along the Des Plaines river is a lovely little public water park for young children. Until a few weeks ago, I'd never heard of the place and, if my friends and the lack of crowds are any indication, few others have either.

The Cermak Family Aquatic Center in Lyons, IL features a lazy river, a large pool with a tunnel slide, sprays and dunking buckets and a splash pad with a toddler slide and assorted water works. The water ranges from zero depth to 2 1/2 feet, making it perfect for toddlers, preschoolers and young children. In fact, kids over 12 aren't allowed. There are lifeguards stationed throughout the park, locker rooms with private showers and a snack bar that offers pretty typical pool food fare, albeit at very low prices (e.g. $2 hot dogs)

I took the girls there yesterday and met up with a friend of mine, her 5 year old and her mother and aunt. All of us were impressed by how immaculately clean the facility was and how nice it was to relax in the lazy river and the pool without a gaggle of preteens cannonballing in off the side.

Address: 7600 W Ogden Avenue, on the south side of Ogden, just west of the Des Plaines river
Hours: 11-7
Admission: $5 adults, $3 for children 4 and over, free for kids 0-3
Free parking