Water Fun on the Gulf Coast
By Lynne Adams Barze’
Summer is upon us, and families are ready for water games and frolicking on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. However, safety and care are paramount to make sure a good time is had by all.
There are many places and services along the coast to make every vacation, day trip, or local “staycation” in south Mississippi a fun-filled and safe one enjoyed around so much beautiful coastline.
One of the great institutions that provide some water fun for visitors and residents alike is the local YMCA. There are two locations in the Biloxi area.
According to a YMCA desk staffer named Hanna, the Tradition Family YMCA is a satellite location located at 12661 Village Ave. West in Biloxi.
“It provides indoor swim and water safety lessons year-round for children and adults,” she explained. “However, it falls under the summer scheduling of the Blossman Family YMCA.” The Blossman Family YMCA is located on 1810 Government Street in Ocean Springs.
The main Blossman location provides group and private swim classes for ages three years to adult. Sessions are flexible, and can be either group or private. There are also Mommy and Me Classes for children ages infant to three years old. Fees are very nominal and vary for members and non-members.
For more adventurous fun activities, southern Mississippi offers water parks with many stimulating activities, both outside and enclosed.
Buccaneer Bay Waterpark in Waveland overlooks the beach and provides a wave pool and waterslides.
Gulf Islands Waterpark in Gulfport and the Salvation Army Kroc Center in Biloxi provide similar family activities. They are filled with family fun from Memorial Day through Labor Day with varying admission costs.
The Mississippi Gulf Coast has more than 17 splash pads which are free and open to the public, so long as the child is with a parent or guardian. The younger children must wear disposable swim pants. Socks or shoes are preferred. Children can enjoy unharnessed play, which is cooling and refreshing.
All these cooling opportunities lend themselves to safe, affordable, fun for families of all ages throughout the coast.
Here’s a sampling of just a few of the many splash pads on the coast:
— Fort Maurepas Park and Splash Pad, 499 Front Beach Dr., Ocean Springs
— Jones Park Splash Pad, Hwy. 49 & Hwy. 90, Gulfport
— Long Beach Splash Pad, Harper McCaughn Town Green, Long Beach
— Lum Cumbest Park, 18417 Highway 613, Moss Point
— McDonald Park and Splash Pad, Washington Avenue, Bay St. Louis
— Point Cadet Plaza and Splash Pad, 121 Cadet St., Biloxi
— Rudy Moran Park, 3100 Georgette Ln., D’Iberville
Lynne Adams Barze’ was born in the Faubourg Treme’ of New Orleans. She moved with her husband to Picayune in 1999 and loves the state of Mississippi. Barze’ has penned five novels, freelances for magazines, owns an antique mall, and is a “proud cat parent.” She’s a member of GPAC and the Picayune Writers Group.