Outdoor Pools

Downtown

There are a number of great pools in  downtown Topeka.  The on in Gage park, across from the zoo, has two huge slides, diving boards and lots of swimming area.  It can, however, be very crowded on hot days

 

 Shawnee North Family Aquatic Center

This facility just opened in May 2006.  It is a fantastic local water park.  The relaxing, but fun, Lazy River  where you sit on tubes and go around and around is relaxing for adults and exciting for kids.  There are three slides for those 48 inches and taller - a large twisty one, a 4 across slide a family can do together, and a drop slide for those who can swim in deep water.  There are two diving boards, 1 meter and 3 meters, a large pool with lap lanes and a basketball net.  For the younger kids there are two areas with zero entry pools, a small viking slide and many many sources of spraying water.  It's not on par with any big commercial water park but it's a great place to spend an afternoon.  It's open 12-8 and costs $4 per adult and $3 for children 3-12.

 

Lakes

Lake Shawnee

This lake is close to downtown Topeka.  There is a sand swimming beach that is separated from the rest of the lake by a rock barrier.  It's been dug out to a good depth and has a sandy bottom all the way out.  There are two concrete water slides for those over 42 inches and a roped in area with sprayers for everyone.  Finally, my favorite part is a dock you can swim out to and dive and jump off to your hearts content.  It's not as scenic or natural as I like a lake to be, but it's great for swimming with the kids.

 

Lake Perry

There is a swimming beach at Lake Perry 20 minutes East of Topeka.  It has very shallow water.  If you go out far enough it eventually gets to about 10 feet.  The area is buoyed off so you don't have boats bouncing you around much.  When the wind is from the southeast you can get some decent waves (for Kansas).  It is usually empty during the week in the summer and you can swim with your dogs.  Unfortunately as the summer goes on the goose presence is becoming more and more obvious and unpleasant.  Swim at our own risk as there are no lifeguards.  Then again there's no one to tell you not to do goofy stuff with your kid.  There is a fee for entering the park.

Lake Clinton

There are two swimming areas in Lake Clinton just west of nearby Lawrence.  The best is Bloomington East Beach.  It's a wide sand beach with a gently sloping lakeshore with a sandy bottom.  There is a large plastic boom in a semicircle around the swimming area and it's great for sitting on, goofing around, or tying your float to.