The city of Plano opened a totally new “pool” at Jack Carter Park this past weekend. The old pool was closed in 2014 because it had some problems, and that space is being turned into an all-abilities playground, opening next Spring, thanks to a $25,000 donation from the Plano Lions Club. Today I took four kids to this new “pool” and they all left happy and tired.

If you want to call this a pool you can, but I’m using quotes because this is so much more than just a pool. I guess it’s a water playground? There are several areas, and kids of all ages will definitely find something fun to do there, making this a huge value for families.

Toddler/Preschooler Area

Your “babies” will love this play area! There is a little slide for 2-4 year olds, small things that spray water, shallow water, and a fun multi-section play table under a shade structure.

Playground Area

Next to the preschooler area is this awesome climbing and sliding structure, basically a playground with water, in the water. I sat next to this for a while and the water was spraying at me just enough that I was staying cool without being in the water. Not a good spot to read a book!


There are two giant slides. The one on the left you use with a tube (they have single and double tubes) and you land in the lazy river. The one of the right you use without a tube. This slide puts you in a large pool area that has lots of nooks and crannies for playing and sitting. My tween liked both slides.

Basketball & Volleyball

There is one real basketball net and a volleyball net in front of the sides. They are both in the same area (it’s hard to see in this photo, but the basketball net is by the umbrella) so you can’t have two legitimate games happening at the same time. 

Lazy River

Ride the lazy river on your own, or with a single or double tube. The current is gentle and there is even an area with lounge chairs, sitting in a couple inches of water. A great idea! The river was my little kid’s favorite area.

Climbing Wall & Diving Platforms

This was the favorite area for two of the tweens in my crew. There is a rock wall you can attempt to climb (2 kids at a time) and a low and high diving platform. The pool surrounding all of this is 12 feet deep! Each area is separated by buoys, so there isn’t too much waiting for someone to clear out of the way as each area is restricted. Thankfully there is also a large area with about 2 feet of water, so you can sit in the water and watch the kids (and adults) fall off the wall. It’s great entertainment.


The FlowRider is for laying, kneeling and even standing up to surf…if you can! I saw at least two life guards in this area when I was there, and a good sized line of kids waiting their turn. There is also a shaded seating area nearby, so again great entertainment if you just want to watch.

Riders must be 48″ tall to flowboard (stand up) on the FlowRider and 42″ to bodyboard (laying down). Parents must sign a waiver for children under 18 years of age who want to stand on the FlowRider. The waiver is good for the summer.

Other Important Stuff

Here are a few things you’ll want to know before you go:

  • Bathrooms: There are two outdoor showers and I saw one large shower in the women’s bathroom. There is a changing table and a bathing suit spinner in the bathroom. There is one family bathroom.
  • Lockers: There is a huge wall of good-sized lockers, but at this time they do not have keys available (and the employees I spoke with were not sure when this would be available).
  • Food: There is a snack bar, and you can bring in coolers. There are water fountains. There are lots of shaded picnic tables, but not really any shade elsewhere.
  • Parties: You can rent the entire center or just a specific section for parties.
  • Age restrictions: If your kids are under eight years old you need to be in the water with them. There are life jackets available.
  • Admission (as of summer 2016): Daily admission is $5 for children (ages 3-15) and $9 for adults. If you have a Plano Parks and Recreation membership, admission is included in your membership.
  • Hours: open daily from noon-8pm

You can see some of the shaded picnic tables on the right

Jack Carter Pool
2601 Pleasant Valley Dr, Plano

Me, working hard