Lisa Leslie Henderson writer
Summer is here and water beckons. What is it about water that irrigates our spirits, making quiet summer evenings memorable and transforming hot summer days into celebrations? In New England, summer is short, but the long days encourage us to get out and enjoy.
Here are some suggestions for a good splash in the neighborhood. Both Weston and Wellesley have public swimming areas with lovely, bucolic settings, and they are easy on the pocket; in addition, a handful of privately owned clubs offer swimming pools and other activities to get the most out of summer.
Memorial Pool, Weston
Alphabet Lane, Weston
Open Mid-June through late August
Memorial Pool’s rural, wooded setting sets the tone for a relaxed, unstructured day. This low-key recreation center, with its large outdoor pool, sandy play area, soccer fields, and playground, provides multiple venues for kids to burn off energy. Its welcoming atmosphere facilitates connecting with friends, old and new.
The swimming pool’s zero-edge entrance help the youngest kids feel comfortable in the water; more capable swimmers will find their challenge in the deep end, where there is a high dive and lane lines to accommodate lap swimming. Swimming lessons are offered in two-week sessions throughout the summer to Weston residents; lessons are often oversubscribed and registration is awarded by lottery through the Recreation Department.
The bathhouse has changing areas, bathrooms, and a snack bar, which is stocked with ice cream. Be sure to pack a picnic, which can be enjoyed on shaded, family-sized picnic tables or on a blanket at the playground. Don’t miss family grill nights on Tuesdays!
Membership to Memorial Pool is open to Weston residents; a limited number of non-resident badges are available to those living in bordering towns. Drop by the Recreation Department, to purchase pre-paid guest and concession cards.
Morses Pond, Wellesley
Off Turner Road, Wellesley 02482
781.235-2370 (Wellesley Recreation Department); www.wellesleyma.gov
Open June 7- August 20
Driving down the oak-and pine-lined road to Morses Pond, it is easy to imagine yourself being in rural New Hampshire. A bike lane parallels the road, and gentle footpaths—part of the Wellesley Trail system—wind their way in and out of the woods. At the end of the road you happen upon a sunny bay, with a sandy beach and a roped-off swimming area, where people are building sandcastles, splashing in the fresh water, and kayaking along the shoreline. Surprise, you are in Wellesley!
Morses Pond’s gentle, sandy grade is perfect for little ones; a large wooden dock extends out into the water, providing older swimmers with the water depth needed to jump off the diving board and barrel down the water slide. Swim lessons are offered twice weekly in three different sessions through out the summer. The bathhouse contains changing rooms and vending machines, which are stocked with snacks and drinks. Bring your own picnic—grills and covered pavilions are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Exploration and discovery are part of any satisfying summer; at Morses Pond you can venture out beyond the swimming area in kayaks— which are available for a nominal fee— or on foot or bike, on the nearby trails. Sun umbrellas are on hand for use on the beach; bring along some pails and shovels for hours of old-fashioned fun. Climbing structures, a swing set, and a slide provide additional dry entertainment.
Swimmers must have beach tags to access Morses Pond; tags can be purchased on site, are sold individually, and are not transferable.
Bosse Sports Club
141 Boston Post Road, Sudbury 01776
Open year round
Summertime and the living is easy at Bosse, a premier club where the often-conflicting commitments among family, fitness, and relaxation are in synch. Imagine spending a summer morning swimming in the pool as a family; from there your kids take a tennis or golf lesson, while you get in a cardio workout and weight training. You meet up for a fresh, nutritional lunch together at Margot’s Café while watching the Red Sox game and checking your e-mail. After lunch the family scales the two-story climbing wall, and heads back to the pool to lounge on the outdoor patio. What’s more, imagine that the service is impeccable, the facilities are never crowded, the club is clean, and the instruction is top-of-the-line. We won’t even tell you about the day spa, concierge services, and summer camp for kids.
Floor to ceiling windows surround Bosse’s 25-yard indoor pool, allowing light to enter, but protecting swimmers from the sun’s rays. Adult fitness swimmers and kids on the Beta Swim Team especially love the pool’s state-of-the-art, no wave design; everyone loves the oversized hot tub! Seasoned instructors offer swim and scuba lessons and the teacher/ student ratios are never more than one to four. We can’t forget the locker rooms, which have towels, toiletries and full-length lockers that hold everything for a day of fun.
Limited memberships are available; for information contact Brian Lynch at the number above. Prices include enrollment and annual fees.
Boston Sports Club
140 Great Plain Avenue, Wellesley 02482
Open Memorial Day to Labor Day
Kids love Boston Sports Club’s outdoor swim complex because it is like a water park—there are six pools to choose from! Older kids can swim laps in the 25-yard “big” pool, take swim lessons in the diving well, and zip down three water slides of varying thrill levels. Little children feel at home in the fenced-in toddler pool, on the gentle whale and frog slides, around the zero-edge slide pool, and all over the spray deck. Beyond the joy of seeing their kids happy, parents appreciate the abundance of chaise-lounge chairs and, if they are lucky, the adult-only deck and Jacuzzi. Bonus features of the Boston Sports Club (BSC) are the summer camps offered for children ages three to twelve.
The BSC instructors can help hone swimming skills; lessons are offered for all levels of skills, privately or in groups. Family changing rooms and bathrooms are located poolside. Pack a picnic, or enjoy a bite from the snack bar.
A variety of membership options are available. Summer membership charges include an enrollment fee and annual dues. Contact the Membership office for details.
Longfellow Sports Clubs
The Longfellow Club
524 Boston Post Road
(508) 358-7355 or (781) 890-4542
Longfellow Sports Club
203 Oak St; Natick 01760-1306
(508) 653-4633; www.longfellowclubs.com
Open year round
No one will want to call it a day at Longfellow because of the variety of activities available and the pervasive community spirit that makes everyone feel at home. Both of Longfellow’s clubs have generously-sized outdoor pools; climbing structures and kiddie pools provide entertainment for the littlest members, who can also enjoy the hot tubs, when they are accompanied by adults. Certified instructors teach private and semi-private swimming lessons, manage the kids’ summer swim teams, and run the Masters Swim Program.
In addition to swimming, families can play tennis, racquetball, squash, basketball, and volleyball. Lots of kids enroll in the summer camps, which include day camps, a specialty arts program, and the well-respected Hammel Tennis Camp, which trains all levels, from beginners to competitive tournament play. Parents can take advantage of the drop-off nursery for young ones and the plethora of fitness classes and equipment, including Lumina, the new mind and body fitness center for women. Everyone can enjoy the healthy snacks and sandwiches made fresh in the café. Ask about the family square dances! Another bonus: members can use the facilities at both clubs.
A variety of membership plans exist; please contact the Membership office at either club for details.