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Sprayparks Come of Age

By Megan Anderson, editorial intern

The local town wading pool and playground were once the center of attraction during the hot summer months when we were children. Playgrounds have come a long way since then.

Nowadays, the swings and teeter-totters have been replaced by colorful wood and plastic climbing structures with wild, curving slides. Today the marketplace is full of different designs and play options for the typically dry playground setting.

The latest transition in playground equipment is occurring with town pool facilities and wading pools. Sprayparks, splash pads, sprayground, and water playgrounds are the latest buzz words that describe a new revolution in water play.

Every municipal park's wading pool is now replaced by different spraypark designs that offer children self-actuated ground jets, colorful spray features, tipping vessels, interactive watertoys(R) and an overall new world of water fun. Without standing water, the unsupervised spraypark is a safe and exciting alternative to the old wading pool. Towns and cities across the continent have begun installing sprayparks at an incredible rate.

A radical transition to new water attractions is also taking place as architects and landscape designers work on new recreational facilities. The single pool with the shallow end, deep end and diving board is now a creation of the past. The new facilities contain lap pools, heated spas with ramps for the older guests, waterslides for the teen, and water play areas for the kids.

Designs for children's water play include beach entry shallow pools with a new breed of corrosion resistant playground structure specifically designed for chlorinated water. Combined with ground jets at the entries and a combination of interactive water spray features and watertoys(R), the new aquatic playgrounds provide hours of safe fun for the younger generation.

Once only seen in waterparks, the spraypark is now becoming an integral part of facility design in YMCA's, country clubs, campgrounds, military facilities, hotels and residential communities, as operators and owners search for affordable entertainment alternatives.

Bissell's Hideaway

Bissell's Hideaway – A camping resort near Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, has just completed the installation of a new 4,000 square foot spraypark to complement their aquatic facility and add an attraction for the younger families. Owner Ed Miklavcic wanted to create a colorful aquatic playground that would offer the safety of a shallow pool and an abundance of water activities to keep the younger set busy for hours. The playground has an Aquadek central climb and slide structure surrounded with Aquaton(R) spray features, ground jets and interactive water toys. A little standing water adds a lot of play value and slows the running to maintain a safe and fun-filled play attraction. Parents can relax as they can always see their children and know that they are not near deep water.

Cobourg Spraypark

Cobourg Spraypark – Designed in the shape of a ship, this municipal spraypark is an unsupervised water attraction on the shore of Lake Ontario in Cobourg, near Toronto Canada. With no standing water, the spraypark design includes ground sprays, above ground Aquaton(R) spray features, such as the Aquabow, Aquaspiro, Aquadome, Aquasphere and Aquatot. Each feature presents water flow in a different way. A Tippin' Toucan structure is the central feature where the vessels fill with water and randomly dump on the players below. The spraypark is animated by a controller and each water feature comes on at a different time creating an element of surprise. The sequence is initiated by the children touching an Aquastart activation bollard.

ZooZ Nature Park

ZooZ Nature Park – A day at the Zoo can be great fun, but on a hot day the activity can be curtailed quickly without some relief from the sun. Zooz Nature Park in Niagara Falls has found the answer to the problem by adding a creative aquatic playground to cool the guests and increase length of stay. The pool has a constant beach entry around the perimeter and slopes to 12" (30 cm) in depth. A variety of ground jets, bubblers, Aquaton(R) spray features, interactive water toys and a Splashing Rainforest with tipping vessels create hours of water play for children and adults alike.

Wilderness Resort

Wilderness Resort – Indoor water play is now becoming a common site in Wisconsin Dells, Wis. The Wilderness Resort has found that indoor water play significantly increases room sales and extends weekends for young families at the hotel. Often a forgotten age group in water play area, the babes in arms now have a water play structure of their own. The Baby Bungee is a structure with four baby bungee jumpers. Here, parents can place their babies in appropriately sized seats for some bouncing fun. Usually situated away from the boisterous activity of the older children, the Bungee is a great way to give parents a rest and babies some fun water activity.

For more information, visit Empex Watertoys at

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December 7, 2019, 4:20 am PDT

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