Mount Pleasant Family Aquatic Center
Location: In Saunders Park on the west side of town, just 1 block south from Business 34 or Washington Ave. Turn South on Marion and go 1 block. You will see the Aquatic Center on your right. Turn right, go down the hill and turn left onto Saunders Park Dr. Take another left to go into the parking lot. (319) 385-1477.
Cost: 3 and under free; 4-15 years $3.50; 16 and up $4.00. Passes and punch cards are available.
Hours: 1:00pm - 7:00 pm Daily; Morning and evening rentals available on Saturdays and Sundays.
Description: The pool is shaped like the number 5. Where you would start writing a 5 is the deep end with a high and low dive. When you turn the corner while writing a 5 is the five foot lap swim area and the slide catch pool. The curve of the 5 are the "spa" area (more about this later) and the 3 feet to zero depth entry portion of the pool, including water sprays.
Rules to Know: General rules about running, etc. Masks, snorkels, dive sticks, and pool toys are OK. Small blow up flotation devices like baby floats and tubes are OK. To ride the slide alone you must be 42" tall, but tandem riding is OK. While the boy is tall enough to go by himself, which he did many times, we rode twice together. While I didn't see, or look for, any signs regarding food, I did see many people who had brought in their own bags of snacks and drink bottles.
Note for Summer 2012: The web-site says "48 to ride the slide, but the sign inside the pool says "42. We took friends and the girl did ride by herself as she was taller than "42 and LOVED it! There was no measuring or checking of height on the slide.
Food: Drinks, snacks, frozen treats, and candy ranging in price from $.25 - $1.75. There is a separate area to consume concession food which included some shaded tables.
Cleanliness: Clean. The pool deck was very clean. There were some leaves at the bottom of the pool and I saw an ice-cream wrapper on a metal hand railing leading out of the pool.
Friendliness: Friendly. The boy visited with several people and made quick friends. I watched some bigger boys sneak a dive stick away from a little boy and then pretend they didn't have it. The adult woman with the youngster tried to look for the dive stick. I later saw the bigger boys playing and told them I knew where the towel was for the boy who belonged to the dive stick and told them I would place it on their towel. The big boys did give me the dive stick and I did place it on the towel, as the family had moved over to the slide. I was able to then tell the woman that she was correct in wondering if the big boys took the dive stick and that I had returned it to her towel. She thanked me. The patrons at the pool were very diverse in age and ethnicity! Way to go Mount Pleasant!
Web-site: http://www.cityofmountpleasantiowa.org/citysite/parkandrec/aquaticcenter_generalinformation.aspx Note: There is information on the web-site about hours, cost, rules, etc. There is NO information regarding location, telephone number, or address of the aquatic center. Google indicated an address on E. Clay street along with a telephone number. So off we drove to E. Clay St.--no pool. I called the pool and asked where they were located. The girl on the phone asked if we knew where the hospital was. "No," I replied. "What is your address?" I asked. I then had to hold to get another person who might be able to answer my questions. The man that was then on the phone could not tell me the address, other than it was in Saunders Park on Saunders Dr. "Where are you in relation to the square?" SW--okay that was helpful. I asked for the cross street to Washington. Holding while he got a telephone book to look at the map. He said the one right before the construction. While driving west on Washington, we both discovered that the cross street was Marion. I explained that the web-site did not include any information about the address, phone number, or location of the pool. He said he would get on that right away. As of this writing, the web-site still does not have the info posted. However, the man persevered and helped us find our way which was appreciated.
Note for Summer 2012: There is still NO information on the web-site regarding address or location of the pool. Also, Washington Street is still under construction. . . two years later! We did make it to the pool just fine coming in from the west.
Pros: Plenty of deck space and chairs. There is also room to move the chairs if you want another location around the deck. Beyond the deck there is plenty of nice grassy area. We saw some boys playing catch with a football off the side on the grass, yet still inside the fenced area of the pool. The crowd seemed to swell on this 93 degree day, yet the pool handled the crowd easily and it never felt crowded. The slides, diving board, and lap swim area kept the boy busy and we reluctantly left after 3 hours. The guards were on their game and redirected when necessary. There was rotation, about every 15 minutes, so no "breaks" were needed.
Cons: The steep climb up the steps to get into the aquatic center could be daunting. There is a ramp for handicap accessibility. While the natural landscape of the hill was used to create the slides, it makes for a long walk around the wall/fence to get to the steps. The concrete can get very hot! Speaking of getting very hot--so can the metal handrails on the steps to enter and exit the pool.
Fun Factor: The layout and varied activities of the pool kept the boy going for 3 hours. Combine that with the park setting and clean pool and you are set for an afternoon!
This was our 12th pool, and most likely our last pool of the summer. Compare the pools by clicking on the name of the pool: Bloomfield Municipal Pool, Centerville Municipal Pool, Edmundson Park Swimming Pool in Oskaloosa, Fairfield Municipal Pool, Grinnell Mutual Family Aquatic Center, Monroe County Aquatic Center in Albia, Riverview Club in Keosauqua, Pella Aquatic Center with Adventure River, Sigourney Pool, The Beach Ottumwa, and Veteran's Memorial Aquatic Center in Indianola.