Area pools offer perfect way to stay cool in Central Texas heat
When those Texas summer temperatures start hovering over 100 degrees Fahrenheit this summer, keeping cool will be a lot easier with all of the community pools and splash pads open to kids of all ages. From north to south and east to west, there is someplace to cool off all around Bell County.
Belton’s Harris Community Park (www.beltontexas.gov) splash pad and South Wall Tiger Park splash pad are both open all week and totally free, Jeremy Allamon, events coordinator with Belton Parks and Recreation, said. There are also no age limits. Food and drink is allowed at the picnic areas but not on the splash pads themselves.
“This year the City of Belton upgraded the inter-workings of the system to be able to treat the water more efficiently and more effectively,” Allamon said of recent improvements to the splash pads. This summer, two “movie in the park” events will be held at Harris Community Park, where one of the splash pads is located: “Finding Dory” is May 20 and “Moana” is Aug. 19.
Harris Community Park Splash Pad
312 N. Alexander St.
South Wall Tiger Park Splash Pad
1895 S. Wall St., Belton
May 27 to Sept. 3
Open seven days a week
10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
There is no charge to use the splash pads.
City Park Pool is hosting its own Shark Week this summer. The free community event will be June 26-29. Donations for the local animal shelter will be encouraged. Each night of the event a different activity will be hosted, including a float and glow where glow sticks are scattered around the bottom of the pool, a “dive-in” movie, a giant sharks and minnows competition and even “life size battleship” with kayaks and buckets of water.
Throughout the season City Park Pool offers lap swim, a mushroom fountain feature and a kiddie slide. They also have family night on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
“This is a time for the whole family to participate, compared to open swim where you might drop kids off,” Aquatics and Recreation Specialist Julianna Baxter said. “It’s a time when parents are off work and can just relax with the kids for the last two hours.”
There is a concession stand at the pool, and because of a contract with the stand, patrons are not allowed to bring in their own food or drink, including bottles of water. The entire facility is available to rent anytime Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
City Park Pool
1206 W. Avenue B
254-542-2719 or http://www.copperascovetx.gov/parks/
Open through Sept. 4
Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 7 p.m. open swim
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7 to 9 p.m. family swim
General admission, ages 2-49:
$3 resident, $5 nonresident
Seniors ages 50 to 65: $2 resident,
Under 2 or 65 plus: No fee
South Park Pool is about half the size of City Park Pool and is used primarily for programming by the Copperas Cove Parks and Recreation Department, though they do have open swim every day except Tuesday. There is a slide, a splash pad and lap swim available. Classes offered include swim lessons, water aerobics, aqua zumba and other in-pool fitness classes. More information can be found at the Copperas Cove Parks and Recreation web page. South Park Pool also does not allow outside food or drink, but has a concession available. It is available for private rentals Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 5 to 7 p.m. or from
7 to 9 p.m.
South Park Pool
2602 Dennis Drive, (CR 30 46)
254-542-2719 or ww.copperascovetx.gov/parks/
June 3 through Aug. 12
Monday, noon to 5 p.m. open swim
Wednesday through Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. open swim
General ages 2 to 49: $3 resident,
Senior ages 50 to 65: $2 resident;
Under 2 and 65 plus: Free
The pool at Carl Levin Park will open for Memorial Day weekend, May 27 to 29, and for the summer season on June 6. The park offers a special event for teen swimmers a few times throughout the summer — movies in the pool. The dates for these “swim-in” theater events are posted on the Harker Heights Parks and Recreation website, Recreation Aid Eric Vazquez said.
Swim lessons at the pool will be available by registration. There is a first aid station at the pool and five or six lifeguards on duty at all times, Vazquez said, adding that the park is also well-lighted at all times.
Carl Levin Park offers other summer activities, too — a catch-and-release fishing pond that can be used anytime, a basketball court and a playground. The park also has an amphitheater where the city hosts dry movie nights for the family and a pavilion that can be rented out for private events.
There are no food concessions on site, but guests are allowed to bring their own meals to the park and the pool, Vazquez said, “as long as they have no alcohol and no glass bottles.”
Carl Levin Park
400 Miller’s Crossing, Harker Heights
Open May 27 and 28 for Memorial Day Weekend
June 6 to Aug. 13
Tuesday to Friday, 1:30 to 7 p.m.
Saturday/Sunday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Aug. 19 to 27
Weekends only, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Youth, ages 2-17: $2 resident,
Adults, 18-54: $3 resident,
Seniors, age 55 plus: $2 resident,
Lions Junction is still sparkling after its $2 million makeover thanks to a parks bond passed in 2015. The upgrades included expanded, lighted parking, new restrooms, new pool furniture, a deep water pool with a diving board and climbing wall and in-pool cutouts for lounging. The park also has a lazy river for inner-tube floating, a splash pad, aquatic playgrounds and newly repainted slides.
According to Aquatics Director Keith Dawson, the highest slide is three stories. Children must be above 48 inches to ride this slide. There are 14 to 20 lifeguards on duty daily, Dawson said, and there is a first aid station.
Only bottled water is allowed in the park, but there is a snack shack and the new “snack shack express,” which is a food trailer. The park is available to rent for private parties Thursday, Saturday and Sunday each week.
There are also some special events planned for this year, Dawson said. Larry’s Special Conductors’ Day — June 10, July 8 and August 5 this year — is an event where the water park opens early for people with special needs.
They also host river walking, a fitness event, and offer swim lessons. More information about the entire summer schedule can be found on their website or Facebook.
Lions Junction Family Water Park
5000 S. Fifth St., Temple
May 27, 28
Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Sunday, noon to 6:30 p.m.
Summer schedule begins June 3:
Monday-Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Tuesday, 7 to 9 p.m. Family Night
Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Sunday, noon to 6:30 p.m.
Youth, seniors, non-swimmer: $5
Ages 3 and under: Free
Walker Pool is ready for the season with new picnic tables and a new awning over the baby pool to keep little ones and their parents cool. There is no concession stand at Walker Pool, but guests can bring their own picnics or snacks as long as they have no glass containers or alcohol, Temple Aquatics Director Keith Dawson said. The pool is watched by five to seven lifeguards a day and there is a first aid station. Swim lessons are offered at the pool and it can be rented out Fridays from 7 to 9 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 6 to 9 p.m. Apart from the baby pool, there is also a 10-foot slide, a diving board and an aqua climb rock wall.
2603 N. Third St., Temple
Memorial Day Weekend open May 27 and 28.
Full-time starting June 3
Tuesday-Thursday, noon to 5 p.m.
Friday, noon to 6:30 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday, noon to 5:30 p.m.
Clark Pool is a neighborhood pool perfect for quieter, cool relaxation. It has a diving board, twin slides, an in-pool basketball hoop and a zero-depth entry area for new, young or cautious swimmers. Like Walker Pool, there is no concession stand on site, but guests can bring in their own food as long as they have no glass containers or alcohol. Four to six lifeguards are on duty daily at the smaller pool and there is a first aid station. It can also be rented out for parties Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 6 to 8 p.m.
1808 Curtis B. Elliott Drive, Temple
Memorial Day weekend
May 27 and 28
Full-time starting June 3
Tuesday to Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
Sammons Park Indoor Pool is open year-round. Though most people prefer an outdoor pool during the summer as a way to enjoy the outdoors without overheating, Sammons Park Indoor Pool is the perfect solution to a particularly stormy week, especially if restless children home on summer break are involved. The pool also has family swim on Saturdays so that everyone can attend. There are two to three lifeguards on site daily and a first aid station. No food apart from bottled water is allowed at the pool.
During the year they host the Halloween Splash Bash and an underwater Easter egg hunt. They also host dive-in movies and an array of swim lesson options. Kids can take private, semiprivate or group lessons and there are classes for adults, too, including aqua arthritis, aquacize, hydro fitness and senior water aerobics and senior open swim.
Sammons Park Indoor Pool
2220 W. Avenue D, Temple
Monday to Thursday, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday, 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Saturday, noon to 3 p.m.
Day pass for open lap swim: $3
Day pass for instructed class: $4
Open lap swim with punch card: $1.50
Instructed class with punch card: $2.50
If you live in Temple you may want to consider a membership to Summit Pool. The facility has a 10-foot slide, a three-foot slide for small children and an in-pool basketball hoop.
The smaller pool makes a great rental for church groups, family reunions, birthday parties and more. It can be rented Fridays from 8 to 10 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 6 to 9 p.m. The pool opens for lap swim from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m. and holds aquafit classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Family aquafit classes are on Saturdays at 10 a.m.
People can bring their own food, plus the pool offers “nationally recognized holiday snacks,” Temple Aquatics Director Keith Dawson said. For example, June 7 is National Chocolate Ice Cream Day, and the pool fully intends to recognize and celebrate it.
620 Fryer’s Creek Circle, Temple
Memorial Day weekend
Full time starting June 3
Monday to Friday, 12:30 to 7 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
Temple Splash pads
All of the Temple splash pad locations are open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and are free. The water turns on the first weekend in May and cools the public until early October.
The splash pad surfaces are slip resistant and non-porous, and there is no standing water. They also have a re-circulating feature to clean the water and reuse it in order to be environmentally friendly.
Learn more at www.ci.temple.tx.us/473/Splash-Pads
Ferguson Park Splash Pad
1203 E. Adams
Jaycee Park Splash Pad coming soon
2302 W. Avenue Z
Miller Park Splash Pad
1919 N. First St.
West Temple Park Splash Pad
121 S. Montpark Road
Other places to cool off
Summer Fun Water Park
1410 Waco Road, Belton, TX 76513
Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
YMCA Spray ‘n’ Play at 901 S. Ann Blvd. in Harker Heights offers a zero-depth, 7,000-square-foot spray park, which is open from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day. Daily admission is $2, and recreational swim, exercise and swimming lessons are offered. Call 254-634-5445.
Turkey Creek Pool
For more information, contact the city recreation hotline at 254-547-2719.
Family Aquatic Center at Lions Park
1800 E. Stan Schlueter Loop
The facility has a 2,180-square-foot bath house, a 10,360-square-foot multi-use pool, a 25-meter lap pool, three water slides a bowl slide and shady areas.
Call 254-501-6537 for more information about hours and fees to use the aquatic center.
Long Branch Pool and Splash Park
1101 Branch Drive, Killeen
1125 Bonnie Drive, Killeen
For more information, call 254-690-7946 or 254-526-7946.
SALLY GRACE HOLTGRIEVE is a full-time freelance writer in Central Texas. A few of her favorite things include traveling, hiking, camping, reading, cats, classic rock music and cheese. As a kid, Sally Grace could never figure out what she wanted to be when she grew up — astronaut, Celtic dancer, entomologist, Egyptologist — everything was interesting and she couldn’t decide on just one world to immerse herself in and study, so she became a journalist. She learns new things every day.