The Aqua-Park on Sandy Lane in Chester is a playground with a difference. While the term Aqua Park normally means an expensive indoor pace this is a normal playground, completely free and open to the public maintained by the local council. The far end of the play ground is filled with fountains for kids to run through. In summertime the water is on from 11:00 till 5:00, although its a good idea to arrive before this if you want to get a good spot to set up your picnic blankets (The park is open from 10:00). There is a car park right next to the park and people also park along the wide grass verge next to the road so there is plenty of room. There are public toilets and a tiny icecream / drinks shop.
The park is across the River Dee from “the meadows” an expanse of open grassland. On Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays a little ferry runs between the two.
Yesterday we went for the first time since last summer. It was a bit cloudy at first and the breeze coming off the River Dee was chilly, but by 12:00 the sun was blazing and the kids were having a brilliant time. When the sun came out so did half of Chester, the park was busy but in a lovely happy way; kids running round screaming and chasing through the water. We stayed until 3:00 and only left to make a quick dash to my son’s speech therapy session. While we were there we couldn’t get my daughter away from the water, except when she came back to warm up in a towel. My son enjoyed the water but also spent a lot of time on the climbing frame and slide or playing in the “sandpit” which isn’t actually sand but tiny stones which are comfy enough to walk on barefoot when there are lots of them. They can be a bit uncomfy when they scatter on the paths though so shoes that go on and off easily are a very good idea.
It’s a wonderful day out and as long as you take a picnic you could stay all day. My two little monsters can’t wait to go back again, hopefully summer will stay long enough that we can have lots of fun days there this year.