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Park It

Splash the Day Away at the JCC Sid and Lois Eskenazi Water Park

Writer / Renee Larr
Photography Provided

The JCC Sid and Lois Eskenazi Water Park offers Indianapolis residents fun ways to beat the heat and humidity each year. The 71,000-square-foot aquatic center provides guests with a competition pool, a zero-depth pool, a lazy river, water slides, a cafe, and picnicking areas throughout. It’s open to everyone in the community from Memorial Day to Labor Day each year.The JCC Sid and Lois Eskenazi Water Park

The Mordoh Zero-Depth Pool is designed with children 6 years old and younger in mind, and includes interactive water features, a Star of David Splash Pad and a six-inch-deep Rainbow Pool for infants under 2 years of age.

“This area is great for young kids to splash around and play without worrying about being in a larger pool,” says Nicole Hagemeyer, general manager of fitness and membership. “It’s safer for the younger kids when they’re just learning about the water.”

Guests receive a view of the entire water park leisurely riding down the 300-foot Biccard Lazy River. For those with a little more adventure in mind, there are two water slides to choose from – a 150-foot flume or 125-foot tube for guests 48” or taller.

“The water slides feed into the lazy river,” Hagemeyer says. “One is an open-air slide and one is a tunnel slide. They’re right next to each other, so in the summertime we see many families racing each other down the two. Another part of our water park is the Cantor River Island. It’s a great place for families to hang out and have views of the entire park while getting some shade and relaxation.”

Hagemeyer says the JCC offers many different programs throughout the summer including water fitness classes, camp free swim and swim lessons, youth-group swim lessons, adult group swim lessons through Indy Aquatic Masters, youth swim team, private and semi-private swim lessons for all ages, splish-splash birthday parties, water park rentals, scuba diving through Indy Scuba, Sea Scope programming, lifeguard training courses, and water scouts.

The JCC Sid and Lois Eskenazi Water ParkWater fitness classes include Aqua Jog, Ai Chi, Aquajoints, Deep Water HIIT, BOQUA and Rivercise. Ai Chi is a water adaptation of tai chi, using a combination of deep breathing and slow, broad, controlled movements of the arms, legs and torso. BOQUA is a boxing class in the water using hand bars called boqs.

“The Rivercise class is wildly popular with guests,” Hagemeyer says. “Participants walk against the current of the Biccard Lazy River and do various exercises. It’s an entertaining way to exercise. We also put over 400 camp kids through swim lessons each day. In addition to that, we offer safety around water week, where we do provide free community swim lessons.”

Kids can celebrate their summer birthdays with a splish-splash birthday party at the Eskenazi Water Park. For two hours, party guests can play in the water in a reserved park section. Parties are available on Saturdays and Sundays, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. during open season.

Sea Scope Incorporated is a nonprofit organization working to increase diversity in science and aquatics, to raise awareness and efforts in marine conservation among all people, regardless of race and background.

For those building up an appetite splashing around the park all day, the park is home to the only kosher restaurant in Indianapolis, the J Café. Guests are also permitted to bring in their own food and beverages, but are asked to avoid pork and shellfish out of respect for Jewish traditions. Alcohol is not allowed.

The park was built in 2003 and is named after well-known philanthropists Sid and Lois Eskenazi. The couple donated $40 million to IU Health for the hospital now known as Eskenazi Health. In addition, they funded the water park.

Hagemeyer says aquatics are deeply rooted in Jewish culture. She says the JCC serves the Jewish and non-Jewish communities, as learning to swim is a universal value. The JCC also offers aquatic programming to everyone, regardless of age.The JCC Sid and Lois Eskenazi Water Park

The JCC Indianapolis is located at 6701 Hoover Road. For more information, call 317-251-9467 or visit jccindy.org.

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