What do you do on a hot Saturday in July? Try out a new pool, of course!
Washington Steele Family Aquatic Center
Location: Sunset Park on the NW side of town and one block north of Highway 92; 319-653-6054
Cost: $4 per person, $12 per family for daily admission. Single and family season passes are available.
Rules to Know: Walk, keep food in the concession area (however, this rule, while posted, is not enforced. Guests were bringing pizza, frozen food, etc. onto the pool deck. The husband purchased a water and we drank it poolside--which I was grateful for.) Floaties of all kinds were allowed, but didn't see any adult size personal rafts. Goggles and masks were allowed, as were dive sticks, water balls, noodles, etc.
(Click on picture to enlarge menu.)
Food: Variety of drinks, snacks, nachos, pizza, and frozen treats.
Cleanliness: The pool and deck were clean. The locker room was okay. The one handicap stall in the bathroom would not latch shut--a maintenance issue.
Friendliness: Folks at the entrance were friendly enough. I spoke to a worker on the way out to ask about the web-site. She indicated there was one but it wasn't updated often and she did not know the web address.
Web-site: Washington Steele Family Aquatic Center
Pros: The pool is well maintained other than the bathroom issue mentioned above and the wobbly yellow tube slide when someone comes down it. Loved the short "beach" chairs for shallow water lounging. The slides and everything else kept the boy entertained and happy. Price, especially the "family daily admission" of $12. If you were a family with many children the admission would be a bargain! The music was great--Cedar Rapids/Iowa City radio station with very appropriate music. The guests were very diverse--it's great to see that! Lots of kids just dropped off which means the community trusts the pool. Another "pro" is the shaded concession area--even though guest would take the chairs and move them to the pool deck.
Cons: Lack of info available for this pool.(Hopefully this post will help with that issue.) For example, I cannot give you the street address for the location, as an address cannot be found. When we were waiting for the pool to open, we weren't the only ones who did not know the admission price. There is a "safety water check" at 55 minutes after the hour, followed by an adult and guard only swim. This is really a lifeguard break and last for 15 minutes. Know this is happening before it is announced so that you can beat the line at the concession stand. The paging of the "boys" to the office got to be a bit annoying as these same "boys" blocked the tall slide so that 3 of them could come down together and kept jumping up to hit/touch things around the pool like the large umbrella and the entrance to the pool house. There's one guard station that has 2 life guards posted back to back. Not sure the purpose, other than to make sure someone has their eye on the deep end and the slide splash zone. It seems as if the lifeguard on the other edge of the pool could keep an eye on the entire deep end. No height restrictions posted for the tall slide.
Fun Factor: Fun! We were there for almost 3 hours, including "water safety checks." The boy loved the slides and the husband's favorite part was the water mushroom fountain, even though he spent quite a bit of time in the "beach" lounging chair in the water. We would come back and make a day of it to play in the nearby park.