Beat the heat: Pools, splash pads, more water activities to cool off this summer

This summer will be unlike any other due to the ongoing pandemic. As restrictions loosen, there are some options, with new safety measures in place, for people looking to beat the heat with some water recreation.

From the North Shore to the South Shore, we rounded up some water activities to cool off including pools, splash pads and kayaking on local waterways.

Fontainebleau State Park Splash Pad

While many splash pads are closed for repairs or not opening this season, there is an option on the North Shore. Get soaked in Mandeville at the splash pad inside Fontainebleau State Park. Hours for the water playground are from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday through Sunday. The cost per visitor is $3.

Parc des Familles Splash Pad

The new splash pad at Parc des Familles in Marrero is set to open in July. The splash pad offers a wide variety of spray effects with more than a dozen water features, promoting imagination and coolness.

The Country Club

Popular Bywater spot the Country Club recently reopened its restaurant and pool with new policies, limited hours and limited occupancy for a safe environment for guests and employees.

For those looking for a place to cool off, the Country Club opened its pool at 25 percent capacity, which is equivalent to 100 people. The hot tub, sauna, and locker room will be open provided social distancing practices are observed. Showers are still closed until further clarification from the city.

Guests are required wear face masks when in close space, when using restrooms and upon entering and exiting the premises. Guests can also expect check-in stations for IDs, temperature checks and bag checks/searches.

The Country Club will open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., with last entry to pool area at 8 p.m. Daily pool rates are $15, or you can purchase an annual membership pass for $299. Must be 21 or older for entry with a valid ID.

Johnny Jacobs Playground Pool

On the West Bank, the pool at Johnny Jacobs Playground in Marrero is also open this summer. The pool opens for public swim hours by reservation only on Tuesdays through Sundays. Reservation times are from 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., noon to 1:30 p.m., 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Each reservation must have a parent or responsible guardian who is 16 or older to enter the pool. Any groups should consist of a single household unit to encourage social distancing. Reservations will open up on Tuesday at 10 a.m. for the same upcoming week.

Jefferson Parish Parks and Recreation Department says each group will have a designated swimming spot in the pool. Other safety measures include temperature checks upon entry and enforcement of six feet social distancing rules.

To reserve a spot, call 504-349-5046 or register in person.

The Drifter Hotel

The Drifter Hotel recently reopened its saltwater pool for socially distant swimming by launching “Drift Away Sessions.” Pre-COVID-19, the quirky spot was popular during the summer for its pool parties. Guests can book two-hour swimming sessions online in advance at  thedrifterhotel.getomnify.com. Sessions are free for Swimclub members and $15 for non-members.

New Orleans Recreation Development Commission

NORDC operates public pools in several neighborhoods across New Orleans. A number of pools are currently open for lap swimming and water aerobics, with more scheduled to open later this summer. Reservations for time slots must be made online through the website.

UNO Aquatic Center

This facility inside the UNO Lakefront Arena is currently open for member lap swimming at reduced capacity. To minimize crowds, advanced reservations are required. Also, the facility will not sell one-day visitor passes at the time. New annual and monthly recurring memberships must be purchased.

 

Tubing

The North Shore is home to a few places you can go tubing, with most in the heart of Washington Parish along the Bogue Chitto River. Tubing operators we spoke with said they are taking extra precautions to keep people safe as they venture out on the water while social distancing. Some of the precautionary measures include cleaning and sanitizing shuttles, limiting shuttle rides and mask usage.

Here’s a list of places to take a float trip on Louisiana’s rivers.

 

Kayaking and paddleboarding

For some adventure seekers, a dip in the pool sometimes just doesn’t cut it. The abundance of waterways around New Orleans and its surrounding areas offer many creative ways to cool off.

Near New Orleans, Bayou St. John and New Orleans City Park have become more popular spots for recreation during the pandemic.

Companies like Bayou Paddlesports offer kayak rentals, while NOLA Paddleboards will get you paddling down Bayou St. John on a stand-up paddleboard.

On the North Shore, one popular rental service helps families get paddling on the Bogue Falaya River in St. Tammany Parish. Canoe and Trail Adventures operates on the dock outside of The Chimes Covington.

Some other water attractions opening for business on the North Shore include Northshore Hydro SportsHoney Island Kayak Tours and Bayou Adventure.