There are a lot less places to get with in Ann Arbor this summer with most pools, water parks, and spraygrounds closed. We still have a few options for Ann Arbor swimming in the summer of 2020.
My daughter is a swimmer, so pool closures this summer will be especially hard on her. We will be on the lookout for places where she can still swim this summer – or at least get wet. None of the places on our list require a membership. All are free or available by a daily admission charge.
Places to Get Wet Now or Early June
Get Wet at Home!
Getting wet at home is your best option for a socially distant summer of 2020. Invest in a new inflatable pool, water guns, and other water activities. I have heard that inflatable pools are hard to find and expensive, so get your orders in now!
There is no end to the ways that kids can get wet at home. Some ideas are to break out the sprinkler, water guns, sponges, water balloons, kiddie pool, slip & slide, and so much more. When my daughter was a preschooler, I even filled her sled with water to give her a place to play with boats and splash a little. It was easier to fill and move than a kiddie pool since it doesn’t hold as much water and is designed to slide.
Our Parks for Splashing article includes free admission parks that have creeks, rivers, or lakes. These parks offer splashing all year with no admission fees! Be careful using these parks on Memorial Day weekend 2020. Water levels are high following the rain this week and there was a sanitary sewer overflow into the Huron River.
This is Michigan, there are plenty of lakes around – both Great and small – that have swimming beaches. I have only been to Independence Lake and Bishop Lake (for Jump Island), so I am looking to readers for suggestions of local lakes for swimming.
Beach at Independence Lake County Park
The Beach at Independence Lake County Park is scheduled to open June 5. We will see if the date is adjusted with the extension of the safer at home executive order. The entire park is closed for Memorial Day Weekend.
On the Island Lake Facebook page I inquired about the status of the beaches. They said they were working to have them available for the weekend by adding buoys. I would guess other DNR state parks would be the same.
Possibly Opening Later in 2020
Ypsilanti’s Rutherford Pool
A reader recommended Ypsilanti’s Rutherford Pool as another great outdoor pool option that offers a daily admission option.
Rutherford Pool is currently closed. Due to both COVID-19 restrictions and construction of a new bath house, they are not opening for the season now. They will re-evaluate later in the summer once their bath house is completed.
In 2017 Jump Island brought an inflatable water park to Brighton State Recreation Area at Bishop Lake. We had a great time when we visited in both 2017 & 2018. They are not currently open for 2020, but are hoping to open later in the summer. I hope if they do open that they will restrict capacity in a session. Many of the inflatables would get crowded.
The best source of information is their Facebook page which says they are not opening May 22 as planned. Their website still lists May 22 as the opening date – and will sell tickets. I would not buy tickets without verifying they will be open that day.
The Plymouth Sprayscape is at 46640 W. Ann Arbor Trail, just east of Beck Rd. The sprayscape is free and typically operates from 10a-7:30p from the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. The park also boasts a wooden play structure that resembles a fort. The kids always have a great time letting their imaginations run wild as they explore the structure.
I could not find any announcement from Plymouth Township about the status of their parks. I assume their facilities are closed like other parks and that this includes their sprayscape.
There are two splash playgrounds in Canton: Canton Heritage Park and Flodin Park. They are currently closed and will remain closed for the foreseeable future. We will update if they open. Both splash playgrounds typically operate from Memorial Day through Labor Day. They are open 11a-8p daily.
Canton Heritage Park
Canton Heritage Park‘s address is 1150 South Canton Center Dr. Once inside the park, the Splash Playground is near Summit on the Park Community Center. We visited once years ago with a group when my daughter was not a big fan of Splash Playgrounds. At the time, my impression was that the splash playground was fairly small.
Flodin Park is on Saltz Rd between Morton Taylor Rd and Sheldon Road. I haven’t been to Flodin Park yet.
Zehnder’s Splash Village in Frankenmuth is a fun indoor water park at a hotel. This new expansion is light, airy, and offers a number of thrill slides for older kids. Day passes are available, but they are fairly pricey ($42/full day, $35/half day). It is also a little further from Ann Arbor than Splash Universe. It is listed as closed through May 28, but I believe that will be extended with the new Executive Order extending safer at home through June 12.
Splash Universe is in Dundee, about 20 minutes south of Ann Arbor. They offer water slides, spray scrapes, and a lazy river as well as a zero entry kids pool. Be sure to mention that you are from Washtenaw County as they typically offer a discounted daily admission rate for local residents. Splash Universe is a relatively small water park. Splash Universe is closed due to COVID-19. They have not announced a re-opening date yet.
Closed for Summer 2020
Ann Arbor Parks Swimming Pools
The City of Ann Arbor runs 3 outdoor pools that are open to the public. The city hopes to make a decision by May 20 on the availability of the pools this summer. Even if they are going to open, they will be closed on Memorial Day weekend since it is included in our current stay at home order.
The pols offer both daily admission and a season pass (individual or family) option. The decision between a pool pass or daily admission will depend in part on your family size and the frequency with which you expect to use the pool.
Buhr Park Pool
Buhr Park Pool is one component of Buhr Park (2751 Packard Rd). The park also has a small playground, outdoor ice rink (in the winter), sports fields, tennis courts, and Cobblestone Farm. Buhr Park Pool offers a separate zero-entry tot pool with spray features and water toys.
Check out more details in our Wednesday Activity Review of Buhr Park Pool.
Veterans Memorial Pool
Veterans Memorial (Vets) Pool is located at 2150 Jackson Ave. Vets Pool offers a water slide and a zero-entry kids area with water spray areas. For 2018, Veterans Park received a new pool liner. Don’t miss our Veterans Park Playground Profile.
Fuller Park Pool
Fuller Park Pool is part of the Fuller Park Complex.Fuller Park Pool has a water slide that looks really cool from the road.In addition to the pool, Fuller Park (1519 Fuller Rd) includes sports fields and a wooden play structure. Last year my daughter asked to do a Playground Profile on Fuller Park. After arriving at the park in mid-May, I discovered her real motivation was to try the water slide. After a few years, we finally visited Fuller Park Pool in May 2018. Unfortunately the slide was closed that day, so we’ll have to plan a return trip.
2020 Lessons & Swim Team
Ann Arbor Parks will not be offering Lessons or Swim Teams this summer.
Each of the Ann Arbor Swimming Pools offers swim lessons. My daughter did swim lessons at Veterans Park for several years. Veterans and Buhr Park also offer swim teams. My daughter loved being on the swim team the last two years and is looking forward to it again.
Washtenaw County operates two Water Parks as a portion of a larger county park. Both Water Parks are closed for Summer 2020.
Rolling Hills Water Park
Rolling Hills Water Park is part of Rolling Hills County Park (7660 Stony Creek Rd, Ypsilanti Township). The water park at Rolling Hills is quite extensive featuring a wave pool, two slide towers, zero entry section, splash pad and a lazy river. The splash pad was all new for 2019. My daughter loves Rolling Hills Water Park! We always have a great time as a family when we visit! Unfortunately that won’t be in summer 2020.
Blue Heron Bay at Independence Lake
Blue Heron Bay is closed for 2020. Even before social distancing they planned to take a year off to address some lingering mechanical issues that have caused closures in previous years.
Blue Heron Bay is a spray scape with a slide tower at Independence Lake. Admission to Blue Heron Bay is $4 for Washtenaw County Residents and $5 for non-residents. Admission is discounted by $1 after 5p. Children under 2 are free. They are open from 11a-7p. We have really enjoyed Blue Heron Bay when we have visited.