Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Splash into summer at the Rio Nido Roadhouse Pool

Pool at the Rio Nido Road House
14540 Canyon Two Rd, Guerneville, CA 95471
Hours: 11:30am-5:30pm
Life guards on duty

Daily passes $6.00 per peson -- call for group rates 10-day punch card $50.00. Or save money with season passes. For prices & other information, visit their Web site at http://www.rionidoroadhouse.com/

Summer’s almost here & the Rio Nido Pool opens on Saturday May 17th, the week before Memorial Day weekend. If you didn’t visit the pool last summer & haven’t dropped by the Rio Nido Roadhouse recently, you really need to check it out. The new owners, Leanne & Brad, have made some major changes since buying the place from Dee & Midge last summer, & are finally bringing the restaurant, pool, & performance stage up to its full potential (no offense to Dee & Midge – I love them & think they did a great job – they were just ready to retire & could only do so much).

The place looks a LOT nicer now, since Leanne & Brad have fixed things up & brightened up the buildings with a cheerful, fresh coat of paint. They also have these lovely, comfy Adirondack chairs in the picnic area. Leanne & Brad have also made huge improvements to the menu in their restaurant & serve up delicious & inexpensive dinners, appetizers, & Sunday brunch year round. They also host a wonderful series of fun & danceable bands on Saturday nights.

So, you might be wondering … why should anyone pay to use a pool, when we can swim in the Russian River for free? My husband, daughter, & I often DO enjoy hanging out at Johnson’s Beach & other little beaches along the River. But when you have kids, it’s REALLY nice to go somewhere with a shallow pool for the little ones, an enclosed picnic/play area, & -- most of all – a LIFEGUARD so we can relax our vigilance a bit. It also helps to now that there will always be other kids around for our daughter to play with.

The lifeguards (I hope Mara & Christine are coming back this year) are also truly wonderful with the kids. They help them learn how to swim, organize water games, & also provide huge buckets of soap bubbles & an assortment of exotic wands for the kids to enjoy when they aren’t swimming. The snack bar is also a wonderful thing for days when you don’t feel like going home & making lunch – in addition to the typical hot dogs & ice cream, they also serve good sandwiches topped with a generous serving of fresh vegetables.

For others who say that Ives Pool in Sebastopol is warmer & cheaper (Ives IS really nice), I say that (a) the Rio Nido Pool is closer by; (b) for the price of $6.00 daily admission (or the season pass, which is a better value if you plan to come more frequently), you & your kids can hang out at the pool all day – not just during a particular 2-hour time slot; & (c) if you walk or drive by the pool every day, the incessant pleading of your children to go to the pool gets awfully hard to resist.

For stay-at-home parents/caregivers, a season pass for the Rio Nido Pool is an excellent value. Particularly if your child loves water & isn’t ready for summer camp; if you simply can’t afford summer camp for all of your kids; or if you have a hard time finding things to do which keep your toddler & older child(ren) happy at the same time (the older kids can play in the pool under the life guard’s supervision, while you play with the little one in the shallow pool) It’s a relief to know that you always have somewhere reliably fun to go during the day.

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