Our secret favorite summer spot is a private swimming hole. It's owned by the town we live in, but you need to purchase a swimming pass from the local recreation department. They only issue 300 swimming passes a year, but we've had five the last few years. And at $20 for the whole family, it's a great price!
Of those 300 passes sold, many do not get used. As one of the lifeguards the other day asked me "so, is it always the same people up here?". Yup, on most days, you're likely to find my family, as well as 2-3 other families. For a grand total of 15 or so people. And it's always the same families. We've tried other swimming holes, but they're further away, lakes are filled with muck and there are tons of people. And no lifeguards (the state of CT got rid of lifeguards many summers ago due to cost - its now up to local towns to provide them in they want them). And kids who don't care if they hurt your kids.
But our secret space? Usually has 5 lifeguards. I know, a bit excessive for the amount of people using the area, but it's nice to have that reassurance. And they interact with the kids. Over the weekend, one was playing ball with the girls in the water.
Yesterday, we brought up some fish nets. I spent about a half hour catching fish for the girls to tote around in buckets. I caught 10. Husband caught 2. "I know who's fishing if we ever get stuck on a deserted island." And then, Two of the younger lifeguards got into the fun. They, flanked by all the kids, went fishing. It was alot of fun to see their, and the kids, reactions when they caught a fish. Fish, who Meenie took for walks. And swimming with her. Fish who were names CutiePie, CutiePie Jr., Meenie Jr., Poopyhead, Shimmery and Nemo. The others were released (accidentally) back into the lake before they got names.
Today, they were building a sand car when we arrived. The kids all loved helping them dig the huge hole and then bury one of the lifeguards (there were 2 life guards and no kids in the water). Then when the kids bored of sand play, they joined the lifeguards in the water where they played games (the other two lifeguards taking their respective posts on the beach).
So, as long as you don't mind fish, snakes and turtles, this is the place to be. We've enjoyed our private swimming hole the last few years. It's great to see old friends and make new friends. It's a fun, relaxing way to spend the afternoon. And the best part, with Moe there, the water's clean.