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North Clackamas Aquatic Park
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North Clackamas Aquatics ParkWhat’s to Love: Simply stated, the North Clackamas Aquatic Park (NCAP) is the nicest facility for swimming and water-fun in the Portland area. The biggest attraction is probably the wave pool, which generates some pretty nice cruising waves. Their water slides are gigantic (one is a fully enclosed tube), the under 5 area has the best kiddie-slide in Portland, there is a rock climbing wall with an auto-belay feature, and the changing/public areas are clean and well kept. The design of this aquatic park will keep the whole family busy visit after visit.

The rock wall has an auto-belay feature, which I have never seen before. This makes climbing the wall a breeze. The device takes up the slack as you climb, and gently lowers you when you’re done, or you fall off. Besides having a great open family swim, the park offers a plethora of classes and events for the whole family. Check-out their fliers when you’re there, or click on the website link below for more information.

Caveats: The wait for the slides is probably not worth it, if it’s really busy. This is not a cheap outing, but either is a movie these days.

Toddler/Under 5 areaThe options for family swimming are somewhat limited. Check the schedule on the website, but I only see two chances for families to enjoy the “Big Surf” wave pool. Perhaps, I’m reading the schedule wrong. For the most part, the concessions are just junk food.

Other pools let your toddlers ride on your lap down the water slides. At this park, your kids cannot ride on the slides unless they are 40 inches tall, even if they sit on your lap.

Website: North Clackamas Aquatic Park

Distance from Portland: The facility is within 15 miles of downtown Portland

Recommended Ages: A great facility for the entire family, even older kids will enjoy the pool, slides, rock wall, social scene, etc.

Parental Stress Factor: Low – medium. If you stay out of the wave pool, you will have a very relaxing time! Even in the wave pool, it’s pretty relaxed, especially riding the waves on an inner tube.

Physical Difficulty: Fully accessible.

Wave Pool!Family Fun Factor: High. This is a very nice facility! We’ll definitely go back more often. Toddlers seem to get along so much better in water. If you were to setup some Thomas’ train tables, you would inevitably get a bunch of confrontations – kids would fight, parents would awkwardly intervene, etc.   For over an hour, we just sat and watched our son go down the toddler-slide, get back in line, go down the slide, repeat…about 100 times in a row without one problem.

Pet Friendly: No reason to bring a pet here!

Weather Considerations: It’s all indoor fun, which makes this the perfect rainy day destination. Unfortunately, it’s not always open to families with young children. Again, check the schedule online or call.

Water Features for kidsInsider Info: Inner tubes are a great idea for the wave pool. They cost $1, but it’s worth the money.  Make sure you small children/early swimmers/non-swimmers wear life jackets. They are free and readily available!

You may want to consider purchasing a family pass versus paying for each member of your family. Check their website for more information.

Water Slides!Family Tips: It took us eight years, but we finally made it over to the NCAP. The water-feature areas are great for kids under 5. If your toddler likes slides, the seal slide will keep him/her occupied during your entire time in the pool. Under age 3, and it’s free with a paying adult.

The NCAP is also a great spot for a birthday party. You wouldn’t have to rent out the entire facility. It’s big enough for your group to sit near the water, have some pizza, and let the kids play in the water.

Unfortunately, outside food and drinks are prohibited. Personally, I would rather bring my own snacks and/or food and eat in the car, or in the park outside the facility. If you pay for the food inside (mostly junk food), you will quickly rack-up a hefty bill.

Technorati Tags: North Clackamas Aquatic Park, Aquatic Parks, water slides, wave pool, kid water slide, toddler play area, water fountain features, swimming lessons

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  1. This is the Portland Family Adventure website…NOT the North Clackamas Aquatic Park.


    Vince Schreck, Ed.D.
    Instructional Designer, Portland State University
    Editor: Portland Family Adventures

  2. I LOVE IT HER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. this pool is soo amazing. my kids loved it and are constantly begging me to take them there again!

    • <DIV></DIV> <DIV>Approve
      </DIV>Vince Schreck, Ed.D.
      Instructional Designer, Portland State University
      Editor: Portland Family Adventures <DIV>
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  4. it seriously is amazing i love it here


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