We enjoyed multiple days "at the beach" at Branched Oak Lake about twenty minutes outside Lincoln. It has soft, clean sand and water without algae and other yucky things that make swimming gross. The swimming area is big enough for our needs but a relatively small part of the lake as a whole, and it's marked off by a buoy rope, which fascinated the kids. Stockton got nervous when boats got too close to the swimming area buoys.
|Natalie on the right, Stockton on the left|
The water is shallow enough for the kids to walk for almost half the way out to the buoys, and after that it still doesn't get too deep for the adults to walk until a few feet away from the buoys, so it's the ideal depth! The kids love love love swimming. Stockton got so brave, dunking his head and feeling probably too comfortable in the water, but it was so fun to see him explore and enjoy himself so thoroughly. Natalie has always been a confident swimmer, and even Jack got used to the "puddle jumper" floaties and loved floating around.
|Natalie, Stockton and I in the middle back there! featuring Jack's head in the foreground|
Whoever invented this kind of floatie deserves some sort of "services to parenthood" award, because they are amazing! They truly allow for almost complete independence in the water. Of course we were always right next to the kids, but it's incredible that these toddlers can really actively swim around and get comfortable in the water by themselves. Definitely worth the $17 each. (Except Natalie and Stockton will be too big for them next year, and then what will we do!? Natalie has taken swim lessons in the past and will probably do them again this spring, but I'd be nervous to put Stockton in lessons if we weren't there, so I'll have to think of something. Our friends have a pool at their apartment...maybe we'll just have to spend a lot of time there next summer teaching the kids!)
Austin transmitting his love of playing in the sand to the kids
We brought our slide, which we thought was hilarious, and the kids loved it. And of course all the sand toys.
It's a super fun place and we're excited to make more memories there as the years go by. If you want to get a good night's sleep and have your kids begging for bedtime, just spend an afternoon at the lake!