Indianola Veteran's Memorial Aquatic Center
Location: 714 W. Detroit Avenue, Indianola, IA (515) 961-9422. NW of the square near Simpson College
Cost: 2 and under free w/ paid adult. $3.50 for residents and $4.00 for non-residents. We were charged the resident price. Punch cards and passes are available and a discount on passes is available if purchased in April.
Hours: M, W, F 1:00-8:00; T & Th 1:00-6:00; Sat. & Sun. 1:00-7:00
Description: Two outdoor pools both with zero depth entry. One pool is for the 8 and under set with a slide for those under "49, bubblers, sprays, a "sliding" feature and maximum depth of about 2.5 feet. The other pool has dumping buckets, a deep end with diving board, a body slide, a lily pad climbing feature (that was closed), and a unique half circle "Dinah Shore" bench with jets. (think "spa") There is also a sand play area with a bit of shade adjacent to the shallow pool.
Rules to Know: Flotation devices have to get manager approval. We saw noodles, small kiddie blow up rafts, water balls, snorkels, fins, and masks. To ride the slides you either have to be over "48 or under "49. This meant the boy was good to go for both slides.
Food: Snacks, food, frozen treats, and beverages ranging in price from $.75 - $2.25.
Cleanliness: Clean. The lawn and pool deck were clean. The sand area has plants growing in the middle and there is peeling paint on the wood trim of the main building. There was a blood spill while we were there and we saw staff with spray bottles spraying the deck. I'm assuming this was a bleach mixture of 1:10 ratio as recommended by bloodborn pathogens training. No wiping off, just spraying.
Friendliness: Guards we saw in the shallow pool would go up to the kids to redirect. Not a lot of whistle blowing, which was good.
Pros: The pool has a convenient circle drive for drop off and pick up. I was impressed with the self scan feature of the passes that made entry at opening smooth and quick. Other pools with pass cards need to think about investing in this option. The shallow pool was quite large. This is where we spent most of our day. The diving board, lily pad feature, and body slide are good additions. When the pool was evacuated from 2:45-3:15 a guard hosed down the pool deck to help with burning feet. This was appreciated.
Cons: We spent most of our day in the shallow pool. The other pool seemed small and crowded (hence the nosebleed?). The lilly pad feature was missing a lilly pad and was therefore closed. Having one diving board made for long waits at the board. We had 2 people, one kid and one adult try the body slide and the word for it was "lame." Lots of rules. . . wait on the landing, etc., and it didn't go very fast. By the last curve they were pushing themselves with their hands. The sandy area had some shade, but to get to the shade you had to cross a section of very hot sand and very hot pavement. The boy did give it a try, but there wasn't much traffic in the sand area. There are pool breaks or "adult swims" at 10 minutes to the hour. So, after being there 50 minutes it was time to get out for a break. The pool was again emptied at 2:45 due to the nosebleed accident and people weren't allowed back in the water until 3:15. The shallow pool was unaffected by the break and the blood spill. We spent most of our day in the shallow pool. Luckily, we were at the pool with 3 children ages 5 and 7 and therefore the shallow pool was fine for them. We had one disappointed swimmer who wanted to enjoy the diving board but the wait and the crowd were just too much. I told the husband that if the kids we were with had been older than 8 our day at the pool would have been a wash. I wonder if the designers/planners for the pools either had young kids themselves or young grandkids?
Fun Factor: If you have a child under 8, this is a pretty good pool, especially the shallow pool. The diving board, body slide, and lily pad climbing feature are nice additions.
Indianola Veteran's Memorial Aquatic Center was our 9th pool visited this summer over a several county area in Iowa. To see how this pool compares to others we have reviewed just click on the name of the pool: Bloomfield Pool, Edmundson Park Swimming Pool in Oskaloosa, Fairfield Municipal Pool, Grinnell Mutual Family Aquatic Center, Monroe County Aquatic Center in Albia, Pella Aquatic Center with Adventure River, Sigourney Pool, and The Beach Ottumwa.