As a mom with tweens, I’m always looking for ways to cool off in the summer. Ripley Pool and Waterslide, about an hour’s drive from Memphis, is a fun, affordable day trip for families.
This community pool's main feature is its 35-foot slide: A three-story climb up and a 350-foot twisting, slippery rush down. The slide is accessible to all, but you must be able to stand or swim in the 6-foot deep exit area.
For younger kids, there is a 7-foot water slide that empties into a shallower part of the pool.
Crowds are easy
Unlike other water parks, you needn’t worry about overcrowding here. Ripley's Parks Department strictly enforces the 150-person capacity rule. I always try to arrive a little before the 11 a.m. opening time to make sure we get in and enjoy a full day. The pool closes at 5 p.m.
During my recent visit, I notice many moms sitting in the shallow end of the zero-entry pool while clapping for the daredevil kids practicing dives and back flips off the diving board. The 10-foot deep diving well is a roped off end of the pool.
I also like that the park is clean and well staffed. On a recent outing, I was very impressed by how attentive the four rotating lifeguards were to the entire pool. In fact, before I even realized what was happening, one lifeguard had jumped in to rescue a swimmer and two other off-duty lifeguards ran over to help. The staff’s quick attention kept the situation under control.
Coolers are allowed into the pool area. For safety reasons, no glass bottles and no alcohol are permitted. If you choose not to pack a lunch, the snack bar is very affordable. Prices range from 50 cents for a bag of chips to $2.50 for an ice water treat, the most expensive item on the menu.
Bring an umbrella
The only minor downside to the facility is that there's very limited shade. However, families do post beach umbrellas and tents in a small grassy area. If the kids need a break from the water, there’s a very nice playground just outside the pool area and a covered-pavilion (outside the front entrance) ideal for picnicking or just cooling off.
Ripley Pool and Waterslide is a fun outing. Just be sure to schedule your trip soon, as the park closes for the season August 2nd.
Ripley Pool and Waterslide, 200 Mary Roberts Dr. Ripley, TN 38063 • (731) 635-4645
Admission • $7/per person. $6/with Ripley park ID card. Free ages 3 and under.
Hours • Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday 1-5 p.m.