Tuesday, March 17, 2020 / by Rick Sadle
I love to swim. So do my kids. So does my wife. What’s not to love? It’s resistance free exercise that is good for the whole body. It’s a lot of fun, too.
But, this is Oregon so, swimming outdoors isn’t available year round. Not if you want to refrain from getting frostbite and pneumonia. Fortunately, we have a lot of indoor water parks available here in the area, the favorite, at least for me and my family, is the North Clackamas Aquatic Park in Clackamas.
I remember, as a kid when this place first opened. I was in awe. I’d never seen so many watery delights under one roof as I did there. I went frequently. I still do. I imagine I always will.
It’s really a blast for everyone. Something for every member of my finnicky family to enjoy. My kids learned to swim here and it’s still their favorite place to go for aquatic experiences. Me and my son, we love to zoom down twisty tube slides. It’s my idea of a thrill ride, with a fun and softish watery landing at the end. There’s plenty of room to swim and splash around in one of the three swimming pools, with four hundred thousand gallons of water! For those not great at math, that’s a whole heck of a lot of water.
During Big Surf! recreational hours, divers can plummet into 13-foot-deep water as swimmers on rented innertubes summit the 4-foot surf in the state-of-the-art wave pool. It’s like surfing or boogie boarding without the risk of having your limb torn off by a shark.
A drop slide (and I love this drop slide) directs bold aquanauts tumbling into the depths of the pool, as climbers (yes, climbers!) head the other direction on a 29-foot rock wall with three routes for scalers of all skill levels. I have to admit, I spend most of my time on the beginner level ere, but my son and daughter both spider monkey their way up the wall with the ease of a trapeze artist.
Kids too have their own space, safe from the bigger kids and adults, if they so desire. Here, they can skim about the interactive fountain and coast down the Sammie the Seal slide into a kiddie pool until chaperones comply to snack demands at the Surf's Up Cafe.
Where else can you swim, slide, climb, dive and eat all under one roof? There’s not many places outside of the North Clackamas Aquatic Center. It’s so close to Portland, it almost seems silly not to make this place a part of your regular swimming routine.