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The Beach, the Beach, the Beach is Back: Swimming in the Region

Years ago, there were plenty of places to take a dip. Not so much anymore. But there are still some public places to jump in to cool off—right nearby.

Gone are the days where kids ran down to the "local swimming hole" to cool off, at least legally. There are fewer public beaches and pools in the area, and it's pretty easy to pick up a pool setup for your yard at any department store (heck, CVS even has decent sized blow-up pools for less than $50. They're on display next to the magazines and paper towels).

Still, there are some public and options in the area for those seeking out some water to jump into on a hot day.

Framingham

Where to jump in: Learned Pond, Lower Shawmut Terr. (off Prindiville Ave.); Saxonville Beach, Lake Road (off Old Conn Path; and Waushakum Lake, 54 Nipmuc Rd. (off Route 126 near the Ashland town line)
Season: June 21 to Aug. 16
Cost: $40 beach pass per family, $15 per person for residents; $30 per person for nonresidents; $6 for nonresidents and $3 for residents for day passes

Grafton

Where to jump in:
Address: 245 Upton Road, Grafton 
Season: June 16 to Aug. 25

Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

Cost: $75 season pass for nonresidents; $50 residents; $10 for those 65 and older; $5 day pass. Visitors must show passes, or purchase one at the gate.

Beach permits are also available at the . Call 508-839-5335 for more information.

Holliston

Where to jump in:
Address: Stoddard Park Road, Holliston
Hours: Open year round, but staffed from early April until Nov. 1
Other deets: Stoddard Park has a beach on Lake Winthrop with benches, picnic areas, a playground, restrooms and charcoal grills. There are also 6-on-6 and 11-on-11 soccer fields and two softball/Little League baseball fields. There is a "carry-in, carry-out" trash policy. No alcohol is allowed.

Cost: $5 for a day pass for residents, $10 for non-residents. Season passes are $50 for residents and $100 for non-residents.

Hopkinton

Where to jump in: Hopkinton state park
Address: 164 Cedar St., Hopkinton
Season: open year round
Hours: the park is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Lifeguards are on duty from 11 a.m. to to 6 p.m. daily
Cost: $5 for a day pass, $35 for a season pass.
Other deets: bring your pets as long as they're on leashes. There are plenty of great trails to stroll and explore.

Where to jump in: Sandy Beach
Address: Woody Island Road, Hopkinton
Season: summer only
Hours: 10 a.m. To 5 p.m. daily
Cost: $5 per person for Hopkinton residents, $8 nonresidents.
Other deets: the beach has been neglected and is not in the greatest shape, but for people hoping to avoid the crowds at the state park this is a great option. At this year's town meeting funds were appropriated to make much needed improvements to the beach house and paths as well as the playground.

Marlborough

Where to jump in: Memorial Beach
Address: 122 Hosmer St., Marlborough
Season: June 16 to Sept. 3
Hours: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily  (hours are subject to lifeguard availability)
Cost: $5 day passes, $50 nonresidents for season pass, $40 residents for season passes; $25 season pass with purchase of swim lessons; free for seniors 60 and older. Bring valid drivers license to show residence in Marlborough.

Where to jump in: Fletcher Hickson Boat Launch
Address: 202 Reservoir Street, Marlborough
Season: Open June 16 - Labor Day weekend
Hours: 4-7 p.m. Monday-Thursday 4-7 p.m., 4-8 p.m. Fridays; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays
Other deets: Open only to Marlborough and Hudson Residents

Where to jump in: Ward Park Wading Pool
Address: Orchard Street, Marlborough
Season: Opens June 22
Hours: Noon to 6 p.m. daily
Other deets: No disposable diapers; only little Swimmers Disposable Swim Pants are allowed. Rules are posted and all swimmers are subject to the authority of the lifeguard. Water shoes are recommended.

Where to jump in: Farrell Field
Address: Sawin Street, Marlborough
Season: Opens June 22
Hours: Noon to 6 p.m. daily
Other deets: No disposable diapers - only little Swimmers Disposable Swim Pants are allowed, Rules are posted and all swimmers are subject to the authority of the lifeguard, Water shoes are recommended

Milford

Where to jump in:
Address: 49 Prospect St., Milford
Season: June 23 through Aug. 20
Hours: Monday-Friday, June 23 to July 8: open swim, noon to 6 p.m.; family swim, 6 to 7 p.m. From Mon-Friday, July 9 to Aug. 20, learn to swim 9 a.m. to noon; open swim 1-6 p.m.; family swim 6-7 p.m. Saturday-Sunday: noon to 6 p.m. open swim; 6 to 7 p.m., family swim.
Cost: Free

Other deets: Children must be accompanied by an adult. Showers are required before entering the pools. Swimming pools have a water depth of at least two feet. Wading pools have a water depth between one inch and two feet. 

Where to jump In:
Address: 80 Granite St., Milford
Season: Opens June 25 (tentatively)
Hours: noon to 6 p.m. Monday-Sunday
Cost: $1 for Milford resident; $2 for out-of-town visitors.

Other deets: Parking is free. Payments must be made in cash.

Natick

Where to jump in: Cochituate State Park
Address: 43 Commonwealth Rd., Natick
Season: Memorial Day to Labor Day
Beach hours: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Cost: $5 for day parking, $45 for season pass parking, residents and nonresidents

Shrewsbury

Where to jump in: Lake Quinsigamond's Sunset Beach
Address: 65 Old Faith Rd., Shrewsbury
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday
Cost: $10 for adults, $6 children, and is open to the public
Other deets: Sunset Beach has swimming area, snack shack, ping pong tables, a playground and fun for all ages. There is also a huge slide from a dock. There is a summer camp run through the parks and recreation department, as well.

Westborough

Where to jump in: Lake Chauncy
Address:60 Lyman St., Westborough
Season: June 23 to Aug. 12
Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
Cost: Family beach passes are $70, $35 for individuals (this is Northborough and Westborough resident pricing; a day pass is $2. Season passes can be purchased at the Westborough Recreation Department, and at the gate.

Other deets:
Children under 12 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Inflatables of any kind, including water wings, are not allowed. Lake Chauncy Beach is owned and operated by the Town of Westborough Recreation Department. Parking is available across from the beach and a crossing guard is available Mondays-Thursdays from noon to 4 p.m.

According to a release from Northborough Recreation, "Lake Chauncy is a great place to toss a frisbee, build sand castles, or just relax with the sand between your toes. Family time well spent...right in your backyard!" All beach personnel are Red Cross certified. Beach amenities include a playground area, shade shelter, picnic tables, and bath and changing facilities for men and women.   Designated swim areas are roped off. The area is handicap accessible with designated parking, rest room facilities, and paved walkways to and from the water.

Northborough

It's not technically "swimming," but it's a whole lot of watery fun.

Located in and maintained by the Northborough Recreation Department, the Splash Pad is one of the most popular spots in town for toddlers and preschoolers. 

Roughly the same dimensions as a basketball court, it offers several different water features such as bubblers, misters and geysers to delight babies to preschool-aged kids. As it is on an asphalt surface, the Rec. Department recommends water shoes to protect sensitive toes. 

Bring your beach chair and a picnic lunch and enjoy the day while your little ones run and play in the water! 

The Splash Pad is open to the public for no charge, as it is no longer monitored by Recreation staff. The Splash Pad will not be open in inclement weather. Don’t forget the water toys.

The Splash Pad is open through Sept. 3 on weekdays from noon to 6 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

If we missed anything, by all means share your swim spots with locals in the comments section below.

Kathy June 22, 2012 at 12:26 PM
Registration for free swim lessons at Casey Pool are Saturday (tomorrow), June 23rd, starting at 9 a.m. for both sessions and will continue until openings are filled. Session 1 swim lessons start Monday, July 9th. Session 2 swim lessons start Monday, July 30th.

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