This summer has been a hot one! Only a few weeks are left before school starts up, but I would imagine August will continue to be hot. So what better way to cool down and have fun than at a splash pad!
A few weeks ago, we took a little road trip to Colchester to check out the Colchester RecPlex . We were down in Glastonbury because someone damaged their eyeglasses, so I wanted to find something fun to do on a hot day in the area.
I really need to start looking at maps better though because Colchester is not really “in the area” of Glastonbury. They look close on a map, but it was about 20 minutes extra on our trip. I know, that doesn’t seem like much, but I have a potty training toddler, 20 minutes can be a very nerve wrecking amount of time!
(from Google Maps)
Regardless, I am really happy we finally made our way to this awesome playground and splash pad at the Colchester RecPlex !
The Colchester RecPlex is a full recreational complex for the Town of Colchester. It offers athletic fields, tennis courts, walking paths, a skate park, multiple playscapes, a spray park, a covered pavilion, a concession stand and restrooms. On the day we visited, the RecPlex was a busy place! It seems that a couple of camps were visiting for the morning; there were a few groups of kids in the baseball fields; and many families were there to use the playground and splash pad. By lunchtime though, it started to clear out a little bit so we were able to full enjoy the whole park.
The Colchester RecPlex is located at 215 Old Hebron Road. When you approach the complex, you’ll want to drive past the sign and enter at the SECOND entrance for the splash pad and playground. Entering at the sign will bring you to the athletic fields. The complex hours are from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., 7 days a week.
There is plenty of parking, and it extends well past the splash pad and playground area.
The main playground at the Colchester RecPlex is located right next to the splash pad and consists of two different areas. Each playscape is suited for different ages, although most kids were found using both play areas. The whole play area is covered in mulch so strollers and wheelchairs may have trouble moving around. There are a few concrete paths leading into the play area, but otherwise, it’s all mulch. It’s really easy to keep an eye on your kids in this playground. Although it’s not fenced in, it’s pretty well contained and far enough away from the parking lot that you would be able to make a quick dash to grab a wandering child. There really are no blind spots, and it’d be easy to have multiple kids playing on both play areas. It’s a great park if you have kids different in age. The little one will have fun on the big play area; and the older kids will enjoy the little playscape.
The smaller play area (which is red, yellow and blue), consists of three slides, a tunnel, a few things to climb and a covered pretend play area.
The intended age for the smaller play area is 2 to 5 years. This was definitely more age appropriate for my boy; but of course, he got bored with it fast and took off to where all the fun was happening!
The larger playscape was definitely the place to be! All the kids were hanging out here, and so of course, that’s where this child had to go. He had bridges to cross, stairs to climb, and people to see!
The age for this playscape was 5 to 12 years old.
Some of it was definitely challenging to use but honestly, I could see why all the kids flocked to this one. It was a lot of fun!
You’ll notice it had a lot of climbing structures on this side, including monkey bars, a zip line, and a few other climbing bars and ladders.
For starters, it had a shaky bridge. Those are always a hit with this child!
It also had FOUR slides! These two were pretty tame.
But these ones were fun! One was a windy slide; the other was a tube slide.
In addition to the two playscapes, there were also a few free-standing bouncing ride-on toys, including this car.
There were also a number of swingsets. A smaller swing set was located near the splash pad and had two baby swings. A larger swing set was located on the opposite side of the playground and had the standard swings and an accessible swing.
I’m still trying to get this kid out of the bucket swing – it’s a work in progress!
There are benches and a few picnic tables located around the playground, as well as a fully covered pavilion. The pavilion was in use by the campers when we visited, and according to the Town of Colchester website, it can be rented out. So be prepared that you may visit and find the pavilion in use. The picnic tables were also scooped up quickly while we were there since it was lunch time. The benches were mostly available to sit on. This park does have some shady areas, but overall the playground is in full sun. Make sure to pack sunscreen and hats for everyone.
We ended up dropping our big beach towel on the ground, and having a little picnic lunch instead!
As I mentioned, there is another play area, located behind the splash pad and next to the skate park. This playground is definitely geared towards the older kids as it features a lot of climbing structures. We did not venture that way, so my only photo of it is from a distance.
After a good hour on the playground, followed by the fastest lunch ever, this kid was ready to move on to the splash pad!
The splash pad at the Colchester RecPlex is fully enclosed with a fence.
The only way into the splash pad area is through the restroom facility. They offer a men’s restroom entrance and a women’s restroom entrance.
Of course, we only ventured into the women’s room. Inside they had two toilet stalls, and a shower area with a changing bench.
Once you go through the bathrooms, you’ll come out to the splash pad. The splash pad is on the smaller side (compared to some of the other places we have ventured to) but there is still a lot going on!
The water features are on a timer, but can be turned on using the blue sensor near the front of the spray pad.
The rules of the splash pad are posted inside the fence, and also can be found online at the Colchester RecPlex website . Children must be supervised at all times. No running is allowed. Food and drinks are not allowed inside the splash pad either. They ask that toddlers/babies wear swim diapers as well.
He had a grand time in the water for almost an hour! Like I said, it’s small but these kids don’t care. This is hours of entertainment right here!
They have tables available inside the splash pad area, where you can either drop your things or have a seat to relax while the kids play. They do fill up fast, so you may not get to use one. But the area near the fence does stay dry so you can always drop your things there.
For us those, that doesn’t last long at all. As soon as I sit down, he’s right at my feet with that hand reached out telling me to “fowwo me, momma, fowwo me”. I always wear my bathing suit at these splash pads because it’s just inevitable. Besides, it was hot that day and the water felt good! And truth be told, splash pads are fun!
While this was quite a drive from Enfield, the Colchester RecPlex is definitely a fun day trip if you are up for it. If you live locally, this should be on your weekly to-do list. The playground is really fun and can provide the kids hours of entertainment. It is open year-round. The splash pad is open during the summer only. Pack your lunch and you can stay there for a while! Be warned in the summer that it is a really popular spot and it can be crowded with day campers. It seemed like they mostly cleared out of the play area just before lunch time, so it was a little less crazy once we went into the splash pad.
With a month of summer left, the Colchester RecPlex is a perfect idea for a great summer outing! Combine it with a Sunday trip to the Colchester Farmers’ Market, and you’ll have a really great day!
This about sums it up…
215 Old Hebron Road – Colchester, Connecticut
Hours: 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. – 7 days a week
The splash pad is seasonally open during the summer, and usually opens in mid-June.
- Strollers can be difficult to maneuver through the grass and mulch
- Open playground area with two playscapes, designed for ages 2 to 12.
- Playground Covering – mulch
- Splash Pad Covering – concrete. Water shoes for you and your child are a must. The pavement, where not wet, is HOT.
- Splash Pad is fenced in.
- Benches and picnic tables found throughout park – pavilion available for use (if not currently being rented out)
- Hiking trails
- Athletic fields, playground for older kids and skate park
- Large parking lot with plenty of available spaces
- Bathrooms and one small area for changing located at splash pad. Additional bathrooms are found near the football field and concession stand
- Open sunny area! There are a few shady areas under the tree but all play areas are sunny. Remember your sunblock.
- Bring snacks/food and make a morning or afternoon out of it! There is a concession stand on site but it was not open when we were there.