When it comes to seeking refuge from the summer sun, a dip in the pool or a trip to the lake or beach usually reigns supreme.
Splash pads, too, are an increasingly common option popping up around the city — even in the backyard of one Winnipeg family.
Leslie Smit and her husband decided to revamp their yard for summer.
"We decided a pool would be nice for the grand kids," said Smit.
Leslie realized a pool was not within the Smit’s budget, but a water feature was still on their mind.
That's when the Smit’s landscape design company came up with the idea of a splash pad.
"I was very excited," said Leslie. "I thought it was a fabulous idea."
Landscapers, designers happy with ‘pad
"It's been a long time coming," said Lindsey Weller of Love Every Leaf, the Winnipeg landscaping firm involved in the splash pad construction. "We started designing for them last winter, so we’ve really made a connection with this yard, with Leslie and Will – it's just finally nice to see some real results."
Kerri Hopkins, also with Love Every Leaf, is happy with their new product, too.
"We’ve got less cost and more interaction," said Hopkins. "It can be for adults, it can be for kids."
When the sun goes down, LED lights turned the pad into a colourful fountain.
"At night it's lovely," said Hopkins.
Jason Hlatky with Ful-Flow Industries said the company has been installing splash pads for 15 years.
Backyard pads are already getting popular in Alberta and B.C., but this is the first one they've built in a Winnipeg home.
"It's pretty impressive," said Hlatky. "It's a little mini-Bellagio in the backyard of Leslie's house."
With the LED lights, Hlatky said the cost of a splash pad can run about $30,000, but it can be done cheaper.
As for the Smits, they’re convinced they made the right decision and can’t wait to see their grand children enjoying the little water park.
"We opened the windows and we could see it from the kitchen," said Leslie. "It really is something to see — it really is extraordinarily beautiful."