It’s Hot Out! Get Wet (without a Hurricane)

Hurricane Earl is due to hit Boston! Those of you who recently moved to Boston from states which experience actual weather should understand that “Hurricane” is a local term for “rain.” Still, it looks like there will be some sunny pleasant hours over Labor Day weekend–just enough to make driving to the Cape, the North Shore, or even Walden Pond impossible. If you want to get wet, do it here, now, in a Boston park.

If you’re not fussy about full-body immersion, you can go to just about any Boston park to hose yourself down. Special notice to parents; unless you have your children on a three-foot-long leash, you will need to bring a change of clothes this weekend if you visit the Freedom Trail (Frog Pond Fountain), Faneuil Hall (Rose Kennedy Greenway/Christopher Columbus Park) Chinatown (Chinatown Park, where you’re not actually supposed to go *in* the water), Copley Square (Copley Square Fountain), or just about anywhere else. It’s too much fun.

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation lists all its pools, spray parks, and wading pools here. Some pools have already closed, but the spray parks and wading pools–that is, the wet places in public parks–are open through September 6. According to the DCR, “Wading pools have a water depth between one inch and two feet. Some have spray features. Spray decks have zero water depth and may spray continuously or on demand.” (I’ve never known a spray deck that wasn’t continuously in demand. If there’s anything that’s more fun than getting wet, it’s pressing buttons to make water spray.)

If you’re, say, a vampire or ghost and can’t cross water to get to Boston, but still like sprinkle parks, the City of Cambridge has a map of its water parks, which “should still be open this time of year,” according to a friendly receptionist at the Department of Public Works. I’m particularly fond of the spray deck at North Point Park, a lovely site along the Charles River near the Museum of Science — but beware; despite its obvious plumbing, it has no bathrooms.

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