The carloads of squealing kids in bathing suits start arriving before lunch.
If the weather is warm and it’s not raining, the more than 40 spaces in the parking lot at the Greenwood splash pad are full nearly all day — with cars also parked along the road and in nearby lots.
The city opened the splash pad with multiple water features next to playgrounds after the former city pool was closed and demolished. The attraction opened late last summer at the site of the former pool on Lincoln Street, so this year is the first full summer families can bring their children to play and cool off.
After the splash pad opened last summer, the city had to work out a few kinks. The main issue was the timing of the different features, from water sprayers to buckets that dump water. Families had said that too many features were off at one time, and children were left searching for a way to cool off.
Now, the timing of those features has been tweaked, said Rob Taggart, Greenwood director of parks and recreation.
“We had some minor programming issues, which you do when you start something new,” he said.
Amanda Schnepp likes the timing of the water features because it keeps her children guessing where to go next, she said.
“It’s random, they have to figure out where it is going to go off,” she said.
When water features shut off, kids use the time to play on the nearby playground, said Emily Weaver of Indianapolis, who brought a group of children she watches to the splash pad Wednesday.
They arrived about 10:30 a.m., and Weaver watched as more and more families showed up.
“People just keep coming,” she said.
Schnepp came around 11 a.m. with her 2- and 4-year-old and said the splash pad was packed when she arrived.
Last summer, the splash pad was not nearly as busy, Indianapolis resident Alisha Higbee said.
When she brought her son and niece, ages 4 and 7, this week, the scene was much different. Dozens of children were playing in the water, parents were spread out across the grass around the splash pad and in the covered picnic area, and vehicles filled the parking lot and lined the street.
“Last year, there were hardly any other children for the kids to play with,” Higbee said.