Well the first thing we have to say about Glasener Beach is that it doesn’t open till noon on Saturday, which we didn’t realize until we were already on our way ~10am on Saturday.
Luckily, there is lots of stuff to do at Comlara Park while you wait for the beach to open. This was one of our favorite hiking destinations last year. There is a short trail that circles Lake Evergreen and is easy on little legs. We opted to hang out with friends on the playground this time, and grill some lunch.
Although we had a very nice playground, all four kids there (Punchy, Bossy, and their two friends) were more interested in the outhouses, the small charcoal grill, and asking their parents lots of questions than in playing on the playground. Bossy especially has a penchant for outdoor plumbing alternatives this summer. (At Tball practice, he said of the porta potty, in hushed and reverent tones: “I love it in here.”)
Once we were fed, we headed for the beach. There is another section of water that is devoted to kayaking, canoeing, fishing, etc. But we headed to the smaller section for swimming.
Once we got through the extremely scary, Handmaid’s tale training facility that passes for the showers, locker rooms, and bathrooms (seriously, I’m pretty sure some of the lockers are stuffed with body parts), the beach was pretty nice. I mean – for Central IL. The sparkling waters of the Caribbean…this is not. But it was impressive enough for one of the boys’ friends to call it “the ocean.”
There are inner tubes available to rent, the water was shallow enough for Punchy and Bossy to splash around in, and the grown ups got a few precious moments to sit and complain about parenting. At any given moment we saw no less than three lifeguards on duty.
Overall, we give it a 4/5 for experience and a 5/5 for kid friendly.