Weekend update: It's time to get wet
Most area swimming pools — oh, wait, we call them aquatic centers nowadays — open over the Memorial Day weekend. Here are four aquatic centers or pools to check out.
1 The Sholem Aquatic Center, 2205 Sangamon Drive, C, is set to open at 10 a.m. today, though its website says 12:30 p.m. Sholem has a "beach" with a play-and-spray feature and dump buckets; The Puddle for tykes; The Rapids, a 660-foot winding river; The Falls, a 170-foot tube slide; and the Plunge & Blue Rush — enclosed body slides that offer 197 feet of darkness that spirals plungers into a splash pool. Oh, there's also, for swimmers, an eight-lane, 25-yard lap pool. Call 217-398-2581; bit.ly/1gpCZlk.
2 One of the newest kids on the block, the Crystal Lake Park Family Aquatic Center, opens today at 1401 N. Broadway, U. Some of its features: Streambed, a natural, interactive play area; slides, both curly and drops; a 17-foot climbing wall over the plummet pool, for one user at a time; a sand play area for young kids; a one-meter diving board; Vortex, a circular current pool; an eight-lane competition/activity pool with an accessible entry ramp; a treehouse-theme playground with a large dump bucket; and a spray structure outside the pool complex. Call 217-239-7946; bit.ly/1nAKvsz.
3 The city of Danville operates an old-fashioned swimming pool: the Garfield Municipal Pool at 1112 Industrial Drive in Garfield Park. It's open Memorial Day through the second Friday in August, usually daily from noon to 6 p.m. It does make a nod to aquatic centers, offering the Ambucs Spray Ground "for everyone." The Z-shaped pool itself holds 393,400-gallons of water and has a capacity for 1,200 bathers. The pool steps are handicapped accessible. The diving boards are 1-meter and 3-meters. There's also a water basketball area, and picnic areas. 217-431-2272; bit.ly/1jLdTy3.
4 Rantoul boasts the Hap Parker Family Aquatic Center, 320 W. Flessner Ave., as the centerpiece of the city's recreation facilities. Among its highlights are two water slides that splash down into 350,000 gallons of water; a zero-depth entry pool with water toys for children; lanes for swimmers; and diving boards. There also are picnic tables and other amenities. 217-893-5700; bit.ly/1gpCUhw.