*Follow-up to original post (Feb 5/15) The smoothie store is open and there are baby boats to use in the swimming pool!
The long awaited Clareview Community Recreation Centre in Edmonton is finally open! I’ve been waiting to check this place out for years, seriously, prior to my maternity leave I was in a North East community planning committee and I got to hear snippets of the details of this much needed facility! We have been to the centre 3 times now, below are my thoughts.
The Overall Facility
When you walk in you might get confused as to whether you made a wrong turn and ended up downtown at the Art Gallery of Alberta! This place is beautiful & super modern. The walls and floors are grey concrete and there are some “sculpture” pieces through the building. It will be interesting to see anything will be added as time goes on like murals, art or decorations. Don’t get me wrong, I love modern clean lines, it just didn’t feel like a rec centre (not always a bad thing I suppose!).
Their are multiple entrances. The first set of doors to the west opens towards the indoor play area, studios, courts and childcare. The second set of doors to the west opens to the pool with a great towering view of it. The one concern is that there does not seem to be an admissions desk at the first entrance by the indoor playground. You have to either park at the second entrance or walk up a huge ramp to pay. This isn’t a huge deal for most but it took forever with slow and distracted toddler in tow and my friend who was carrying his baby in a car seat. A stroller or carrier might be a good idea. There is also parking on the east side of the building.
It is easy to get lost in this place! We walked around trying to find the pool change rooms until we had made a complete circle around the building, good tour at least! If you have low patience and young children do yourself a favour and take the elevator or stairs right behind the admissions desk which will take you directly to the pool change rooms which are located downstairs.
At current publishing time there are no snack or food services open, so bring your own snacks. I did see a sign about a Good Earth Bakery and smoothie shop though, so good things are coming!
Going with the theme, the changerooms are huge! We used the family one and there were tons of lockers and ample private changing areas. The one thing that was absent was a playpen/crib/somewhere to put my child where they can’t run away while I get changed. Again, this might be something that is coming. I hope so! There are 6 parts to the salt water pool: a kids area, lazy river, wave pool, lanes, hot tub and water slide. We enjoyed the kids area as it gets gradually deeper and it is perfectly warm. There are lots of brand new toys for endless water play as well as a great supply of life jackets. My son loved the water fountains that squirt out the side of the pool. The lazy river has a great current, but you can not bring baby boats or floaties into it and all kids must wear a lifejacket, babies in arms included. It would be a great low impact workout to walk against the current with baby! If you have a toddler or baby you can ride the water slide with them on your lap, my 2 year old was in heaven. Unfortunately the lifeguards would not turn on the waves for the large pool stating that they didn’t have enough of them to supervise. Strange because there were more lifeguards than people swimming at the time, but rules are rules I suppose. Also, there were no “baby boats”, but I am sure you could bring your own if you have one. Children under 2 are free but you will need to pay for your own adult admission to swim. Children aged 2-12 are $6.50 and this fee also includes the indoor playground, skating rink & gymnasium for the day.
The Indoor Playground
Fun for all in this area. There is a great toddler/baby area where you can put your little one down and not fear that they will be run over by the ‘big’ kids. For the older kids (2-8 years old) there is a wonderful climbing/tube system with ropes, slides, balance beams, nets and more. I love that it is relatively easy for parents to climb along with the smaller kiddos but you can also see them at almost all times if they go in themselves. There are also lots of large foam shapes for building and stacking (if you can get them out of the tunnels). The only complaints that I have with this space is there are no cubbies for jackets and bags (just benches for parents to sit) so if it is busy it can be hard to store your stuff. Also, I have not noticed hand sanitizer like most play places have at the door, so make sure you bring your own. It’s clean, but you know… Again, the under 2 crowd is free. Adults do not have to pay to enter the indoor playground. Children 2-12 years old are $6.50 and this fee also includes swimming, skating & the use of the gymnasium for the day.
There is a child minding area where you can drop your kids off as long as you stay in the building, for up to two hours I believe. I have never seen it busy and it looks like an inviting place to play. Additionally there is a public library in the facility, I’ve been told that it is just inside the front doors by the pool, but we have yet to check it out. If you’ve got an older child the basketball courts looked awesome! We stopped by on a Tuesday night and the courts were packed with kids happily playing. There are two large sheets of ice which have public skate times but currently no skate rentals on site. Babies and younger children are not welcome in the workout area, but you can go for a walk along the track with the stroller, a nice idea during a cold snap! Registered Programs have started, so take a look at the online guide and see if there is something you are interested in for yourself or the kiddos.
All in all The City of Edmonton’s Clareview Community Recreation Centre is a great place to let your kid blow off some steam for a few hours (or an entire day), they will be occupied! As with any new facility it will take a while to work the kinks out, and this is understandable especially with a centre this size. I would recommend coming in the mornings, if you have a little one, to avoid the after school rush if you can. We will be adding the pool and indoor playground to our regular rotation of fun places to visit, especially this winter!
You can check out the City of Edmonton’s website for more information.