A few months ago we headed to the Buffaloe Road Aquatic Center for a birthday party of one of Ashley’s friends. I’ve been wanting to take Ashley here all winter and couldn’t wait to take her and celebrate with friends. Having not been in an indoor pool much this winter, I knew Ashley would act like a maniac and she did not disappoint!
The aquatic center is located near the back of the Buffaloe Road Athletic Park at 5908 Buffaloe Rd in northeast Raleigh. There was plenty of parking on this cold January day with several oversized spots for large buses. After arriving in the lobby area, we went to the new changing rooms, which had plenty of space for getting littles one changed. The family bathrooms (two of them!) were also very spacious with showers and oversized benches, perfect for keeping bags and clothes from getting wet. Lockers are located outside the changing room areas on the pool deck.
The pool contains several different areas with something for everyone: zero-depth entry tot area with slide, water buckets and sprayers; open play area with water basketball; lazy river with water vortex; three-story water slide (height req = 42 in); lap swimming/water volleyball area. For a 22 month old, Ashley’s favorite places to play were on the tot slide, walking along the bench in the open play area, and playing with the water basketball (even though she was way too short to make the basket). Being a maniac on outdoor playground slides, she easily transitioned her “no fear” mentality to the water tot slide and even screamed to try the big slide. The big slide does not allow children to ride with parents and all riders must be at least 42 inches high. Feeling the need to experience the big slide, I rode it and was surprised at how fast I went. I realized how it justified the height requirement and was secretly glad Ashley couldn’t ride it yet.
After some water play time, all the kids gathered in the party room area to celebrate Kennedy’s 3rd birthday. The private party area has several tables, chairs, and a sink for use. As you can see in the pictures, all the kids had a great time scarfing down the cupcakes.
Thumbs up: unique water play areas, tot area, lazy river
Thumbs down: trying to reason with your 22 month old why she can’t go down the big slide