Our pool is walking distance from our house and has a big toddler pool, a regular pool (with a diving board) for the big kids, a grassy area, bbqs, a fire pit, ping pong, horseshoes. There's also plenty of shade, so we don't even have to worry to much about sunburns. And there are covered cabanas right near the toddler pool.
We often go there after work/camp and make cheeseburgers or order pizza (the local pizza place delivers!) And, we've had lots of folks join us. I threw a little impromptu birthday party for Eric at the pool and we had a bunch of friends and kids join us for burgers and swimming. We've had playdates at the pool with our neighbors and their kids. It's a great place to hang out and play. And, the way it works is we just have a key and so can go anytime of the day (or night -- one of these days we're going to go night swimming). The pool is technically open year round -- which, in Sacramento, is almost a thing. Last fall, we saw neighbors heading to the pool even in late October.
The highlight so far has been watching Kai learning to go off the diving board. She was so scared. But, also REALLY wanted to conquer her fear and do it. Her friend Nora could do it and Kai knew, deep down, that she would like it. But, she'd walk out to the edge of the board and look down and be overtaken by fear. She'd stand there, edging her toes over the side. And after several minutes, she'd finally walk back, letting another kid go. This went on over many days.
Then, the weekend before July 4th, Sarah, Penny and Max came to spend the night. Penny was nervous about the diving board too, but the girls made a pact to conquer it together. Penny said, "Kai, if I do it -- you can do it too!" I actually am not certain Penny had any trepidation -- she's a wise girl and knows how to motivate Kailey. Penny did it and Kai followed to the edge of the board, staring into the water, edging her toes forward. Finally, after many (many!) minutes, she stepped off. And that was it, she was hooked!! Kai is a diving board fiend now. She loves it so. It was such a cool moment to see. Here she is a few jumps in -- no fear left:
And Alden also loves the pool. He is a maniac in the water. The toddler pool only goes to 2 feet deep, so he can walk around in it. Of course, he's not a strong walker -- but, we found if you put a swim donut on him, he goes wild. He bounces around in it, letting his feet trail behind him. But then, of course, he spins because his feet aren't on the bottom and that results in him getting a face-full of water. He really doesn't seem to mind, but it freaks me out. We really have to stay close, because he has no fear and is way over-confident in the water.
I think this pool is going to be our go-to summer fun for years to come.