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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Grinnell Mutual Family Aquatic Center

Grinnell Mutual Family Aquatic Center

Location: 80 8th Street, Grinnell, Iowa (641) 236-2621

Cost: Ages 3 and up $4.00; Seniors $3.00; and anyone who walks or rides their bike to the pool is given $1.00 off admission. Passes are also available and start at $60.00.

Hours: Noon to 7:00 pm Daily. Tiger Shark meets will close the pool early. Lap swim and walking the lazy river are available 11:00am to noon daily and other times. Check the web-site at http://www.grinnelliowa.gov/index.aspx?nid=161

Note for Summer 2012:  The lazy river is also open 6:00 am to 8:00 am Monday through Friday and Saturdays 7:00 am to 9:00 am for exercise.

Description: The pool has a large zero depth entry with a kiddie play structure with water sprays. There are semi circle lines painted on the pool floor in various colors to indicate a depth change at 1 ft, 2 ft, and 3 ft. There is a climbing/walking lilly pad type feature with a net overhead and floating creatures to navigate across the water. This area is also adjacent to where the drop slide empties riders. A rectangular portion of the pool connects with a dept of 4ft to start and then goes to the deep end. There are lap lanes painted on the bottom of the pool and two lanes are roped off for lap swimming. A low dive and high dive complete the deep end. The slide tower is between the pool and the lazy river. The tube slide, which is a tunnel slide, empties into the lazy river. The drop slide empties into the pool. Both slides begin on the same level of the slide tower.

Rules to Know: In order to go on the slides you have to have a wrist bracelet indicating you are over "48 tall. The bracelets are given at the admission desk. If you have a bracelet, you are not allowed on the kiddie play structure. You can play around it, but not on it. We saw no noodles or floatie boats. Flotation devices must be worn on the body. Life jackets are available. Also, sometimes the diving boards are not available. If the guard supervising the deep end deems it "open swim" then the boards are closed. When I asked when the boards would be open, I was told it would be when "open swim" was over. When I asked when open swim would be over, I was told when she says it is over. There is also a 10 minute pool break at the top of each hour. . . 1:50-2:00 for example.

Food: Drinks, frozen treats, and food ranging in price form $.50-$2.50. While there are tables outside the snack window, food seems to be consumed throughout the pool deck.

Cleanliness: Very clean.

Friendliness: We talked to several guests, including one family from Houston, Texas. We also asked guards questions, like the before mentioned "open swim." The only staff to visit with us was the man in the snack shop with the bum knee. He was quite friendly and told us to enjoy our day.

Web-site: ( Interestingly, when we arrived, I was confused about the price we were being charged as after reading the web-site I thought the price for admission was different. The employees working the admission counter told me they didn't have a web-site.) http://www.grinnelliowa.gov/index.aspx?nid=161

Pros: This is a brand new pool and just opened this summer. There were plenty of chairs and deck space. A chair on the back side of the lazy river would have been just right. . . Next time! The lilly pad climbing feature is great, as are the slides and lazy river. Offering walking in the lazy river against the current as an exercise option is fantastic. The price was right and offering a discount admission to folks who find alternate transportion to the pool is a unique idea. There was also a recycling receptacle outside the snack shop. There was also quite a bit of guest diversity.

Cons: The drop slide empties into the pool and the husband skinned his foot on the bottom of the pool after being "dropped." He said other adults and big kids are going to experience the same thing.

I was ready to ride a tube slide, but not a tunnel slide. There is no other tube slide, expect one that is completely dark and enclosed.

The over "48 inch rule to be on the kiddie play structure is going to drive parents with kids of different ages and therefore different heights batty, especially if the expectation is for parents to watch kids closely. Can you imagine how this might make siblings feel? The boy is just under "50 inches and was attracted to the play structure. Kids much older and taller than that didn't seem interested. When he was done going on the slides, he removed his bracelet and went on the kiddie play structure until they rotated life guards and the next guard either recognized him as being tall enough for the slides or just arbitrarily told him that he couldn't be on the kiddie play structure.

There is only one entrance/exit to the lazy river, which is also the exit for the tube slide. Traffic gets backed up here pretty badly.

If you are jumping off the high dive you have to either exit the pool by climbing up the side, or swim under the low diving board to get to a ladder. There is a ladder on the other side of the pool by the high dive, but pool staff have decided to keep two lanes roped off for lap swim and therefore, a swimmer coming off the high dive can not go that way to exit. Not safe and poor planning!

Fun Factor: We were there for 3 hours and had a good time, especially after we figured out all the rules, etc. If you get tired of swimming, there is a park just next door.

Compare Grinnell Mutual Family Aquatic Center to other pools we have reviewed so far this summer by clicking on the name of the pool: Bloomfield Municipal Pool, Fairfield Municipal Pool, Pella Aquatic Center with Adventure River, Sigourney Pool, Monroe County Aquatic Center in Albia, Edmundson Park Swimming Pool in Oskaloosa, and The Beach Ottumwa.

The photo above is from their web-site.

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