Brandon Laue, Town of Oro Valley Aquatics Manager

As humans, our relationship with water is undeniable.

You have probably heard all of the statistics before: our planet’s surface is made up of 70% water; our bodies are made up of 65% water; humans can only survive approximately three days without consuming water (unless you’re hiking in the desert, in which case just three hours without drinking water can put you into dangerous territory).

Water helps generate the electricity that makes our lifestyles possible. Just being in the presence of a great body of water can leave us speechless. We experience something unique, surreal. People pay hefty prices to live near oceans and lakes. The vastness and power of the ocean is a reminder of just how small we are. It is clear that our relationship with water is a beautiful and critical part of life.

 Luckily in Oro Valley, you don’t have to pay for ocean front property in order to reap the health and recreational benefits of water.

The Oro Valley Aquatic Center is your summer oasis in the desert. For me, a native Arizonan who grew up in “pool culture,” a swimming pool is a place to gather and recreate with friends and family. For adults, this recreation can take the shape of an organized swim team, open lap swim, or programs like Aqua Aerobics.

As a youth, this recreation can be in the form of swim lessons, high school swim teams, enjoying the waterslide, splashing with friends and attending our Teen Dive-in Movies. Even toddlers have a place to play on the interactive splash pad. The Oro Valley Aquatic Center, located at James D. Kriegh Park (23 W. Calle Concordia), has everything you need, including an Olympic-sized pool, a recreation pool, four diving boards, a giant waterslide, splash pad, covered bleachers, concession stand, family changing rooms and classroom space for parties and meetings.

 What you may not know is that we’ve got some pretty amazing summer specials and events.

 Free Community Pool Party

Cool off with your friends and family at our free Community Pool Party on Saturday, May 13, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. During that time, admission is free for all ages. Enjoy fun games for the whole family and free contests with prizes. Food will be available for purchase from vendors and the concession stand.

 Family Summer Pass

This pass is your ticket to a summer filled with fun and family bonding. Avoid daily drop-in fees and get three months of unlimited access for the entire family (up to six people). Passes are valid May 13 through August 13. Cost for Oro Valley residents is $120; non-resident cost is $150.

 $5 Sunday Family Fun Days

If a Family Summer Pass is too much of a commitment, then bring your family to the pool on Sunday afternoons for the $5 Sunday Family Fun Day! Admission for the entire family (up to six people) is just $5. This promotion is offered from noon to 4 p.m. every Sunday, from May 21 until August 13.

 Teen Dive-In Movie Nights

If you’re looking for a fun, safe event for teens ages 13-19, the Oro Valley Youth Advisory Council has you covered! Join us for one of four movie nights this summer, beginning at 7:30 p.m. These movie events are free for teens, so mark your calendars now: June 24, July 22, August 26 and September 9.

Regardless of age, recreation is an important part of living a healthy, quality life. And while the Town of Oro Valley has a tremendous list of recreational programs and amenities, in the summer heat, nothing keeps you cooler than the pool! So make the Oro Valley Aquatic Center part of your family’s activities this summer.

You don’t need expensive, elaborate vacations to have memorable experiences. You just need a fun, safe place where everyone can have a great time together. We’ll see you out there!

Brandon Laue is the aquatics manager at the Oro Valley Aquatics Center.

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