Over 4th of July weekend, we were looking for something to do with the kids. It was sunny and hot, and the kids were itching to get in the water. But, we just weren’t in the mood to fight the beach traffic, so we decided to try out the new sprinkler park in Bay Shore, NY.
I am happy to say that Shipwreck Cove exceeded our expectations: not only was the sprinkler park humongous, it was also very, very clean. As we pulled into the parking lot, we couldn’t help but notice the massive water slides and spray fountains. The park was well-staffed, and we were pleased to see lots of lifeguards standing in the wading pool keeping eyes out for the little kids.
Tyler and Abbey were really excited, so as soon as we found a spot to drop our bags, we all went in. We were very surprised at how icy cold the water was – not that this was a bad thing in 90+ temps - but it was definitely a catch-your-breath sort of moment.
As adults, we thought the sprinkler park itself was super, but both Tyler and Abbey were a bit fearful of the spray fountains. The water pressure was a bit forceful for the four and under crowd, so our kids just played around the edges of the wading pool until they got bored. At which point, they told us they wanted to go down to the beach.
Luckily for us, the admittance fee to Shipwreck Cove gives you access to both the sprinkler park and the bay beach for the entire day. So you can literally run back and forth as long as you keep your wrist bands on. This is a great perk for families who have temperamental kids – ahem, like ours.
The bay was a marked change of pace from the sprinkler park. Here, the kids enjoyed warmer water, lots of sand to play in, and a much more peaceful environment. Tyler enjoyed wading out in the water with Daddy to touch the buoys…
…while I chased Abbey as she made a beeline for the playground.
I would definitely give Shipwreck Cove a thumbs-up, but if your kids are a bit on the timid side, you might end up sitting down by the bay.
Here’s what else you need to know:
Pros: incredibly clean; fully fenced in; lifeguards everywhere; big enough for everyone; water is only about a foot deep
Cons: too many full-force sprinklers; no shade; not enough chairs or tables; water is very cold
What to bring: your own seating; lots of sunscreen; some sort of shade for the kids; towels; food and water
My Advice to the town: lower the sprinkler force, or set aside certain times of the day when the force is suitable for the four & under crowd; add more seating and shade
Admission: Open to the public from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Free for families participating in the Town of Islip’s recreation. Day admission is $5.00 per person with a Town of Islip Recreation card, $7.50 without. Non-residents pay $10.00.
Location: South Clinton Avenue at the Bay Shore Marina.