RIVERDALE -- It's crowded, but it's fun and free. That seems to be the consensus among adults at the recently opened splash pad in Riverdale Park.
"It's awesome. It's hard economic times and this is easy, fun to do and free," Neal Crookston, of Roy, said of the new water feature.
"My first impression was that it was way too crowded, but the park is beautiful with all the shade trees. It's a great splash pad," Michelle Nielsen, of Roy, agreed.
The kids don't seem to mind the crowds and agree that running through shooting water is the perfect way to spend a summer afternoon.
"I like that it has the circle. It dumps on you. I like that thingy that water comes out of. I like the thing you can run through," 6-year-old Chase Richards said. Chase's mom, Brooke, said her kids can get wet and she doesn't have to worry about them drowning.
"I like the water and the tall pole," 6-year-old Emily Nielsen said. "You can make it go up."
"If you're squirting someone, there's something over your head and it squirts you back," Amarissa Madrid, 9, of Ogden, pointed out.
"You can get wet and have so much fun in there and meet people," said Alexia Toar, 9, of Ogden.
Jeannette Hall, Riverdale City community services director, said the splash pad, at 4300 S. Parker Drive, is an affordable alternative to a swimming pool and that residents have been raving about it. She said the youth city council and a committee of residents helped pick features.
South Ogden is the only other city in the area with a free, outdoor splash pad, and Riverdale's pad accommodates twice as many people. The feature cost $271,000 to construct and another $17,000 for an ultraviolet water treatment system. Public works employee Norm Farrell said there have been a few kinks to work out since the splash pad opened.
"There haven't been many problems," he said. "The mothers do a good job of regulating the kids."
Even on rainy days the park is crowded, and groups, such as the Boys and Girls Club, often bus children to the park, Farrell said
Ashley Barber, who works for Discovery Clubhouse day care center in Ogden, said the center has brought children to the splash pad three times.
"They like coming here. The bathroom is nice and clean. We have 6- to 12-year-olds, and even the older kids like it," she said.
Trinity O'Rourke, 10, has no problem splashing with youngsters.
"The splash pad is awesome because you get wet and your voice changes. It's weird," she said of the feature that lets you stand under an umbrella of water.
Discovery Center employee Lisa Pack said the children like to use the whole park.
"They go and get wet, then lay on the grass to dry off and go play at the park and then go back to the water. They can do both," she said.
"It's cool. It has water and there's a park next door," Destiny Gallegos, 9, of Ogden, agrees.
It's not just children's centers that are organizing field trips to Riverdale. Teressa Yung, of Layton, said she and a group of friends chose the park for a get-together.
"We have lunch for birthdays and instead of fighting with the kids at a restaurant, we came to play at the park. There's tons of trees and lots of shady parts," Yung said.
Andrea Cutler, of Clinton, was pleased with her friend's choice.
"I like that it has the splash pad and the park. We moved from Boise, Idaho, and they had a big park like this we really missed. So it's nice to have this," she said.
Jamie Crookston, of Roy, plans to be a regular.
"We love it," she said, "It's free, so shoot, we don't have to spend the whole afternoon here. We can just keep coming back."