Hansen Dam Aquatic Center

Hansen Dam Aquatic Center is an oasis in the San Fernando Valley.

hansen dam aquatic center water slide

While there is still a bit of summer left, I want to recommend the pool at Hansen Dam Aquatic Center. To get there we took the 101 to the 405 to the 118 to the 210 and exited on Foothill Blvd. That may seem like a long way to go for a swim, especially when we have Lindero Country Club right around the corner, but I took my kids to Discovery Cube Los Angeles for a day trip to check out the newest exhibits. It was a Tuesday when LAUSD was back in school and LVUSD wasn’t yet, so the center was not crowded and the kids blew through everything in 2 hours. Since we had time and I had packed our swim suits just in case, we went over to the pool.

hansen dam aquatic center pool

We haven’t explored the Hansen Dam Recreation Area at all, before or since having children, so our visit to the Hansen Dam Aquatic Center was a delightful surprise. The center is a giant – like enormous, endless – pool with 2 waterslides next to a big manmade lake. Admission for swimming is $1 per child and $3.50 for adults (which is actually kind of backwards in my opinion since I went in the water for all of 5 minutes and the kids spent an hour in it!).

hansen dam aquatic center child

There is a food truck on site for snacks and at that time there was also a nice lady with a little ice cream cart. There are plenty of restrooms, showers, and changing rooms, and you can even rent a shade tent to stay out of the sun. We got there at 4pm so I was able to set up my chair in the shade of a tree.

Swimming Lake

The pool is referred to as a “swimming lake” as opposed to the larger recreational lake behind it. It is surrounded by a sandy beach, and you walk into the pool just like into a lake, except the bottom is concrete like a pool. At one end are the two waterslides, which you access by walking through a giant curtain of water (I guess to rinse you off whether you like it or not). One waterslide is closed, and that’s the one I went on because the open one was not operational that day. The closed waterslide was rather terrifying for a second, since you can’t see which way you’re going. But the kids didn’t seem to mind and they went on it over and over again. You can’t wear a rash guard on the slide – the lifeguards made my boys take theirs off.

hansen dam aquatic center shade tents

Visit Soon!

The pool and waterslide are both open every day in the summer from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Starting September 6, they are only open Saturday and Sunday through September 25, and then they close for the season. But there are lots of other things to do at the recreation area so we will report back when we explore it some more!

New Location for Watermelon Festival August 13 & 14 [Win Tickets!]

Enter to 4 win tickets to the 54th Watermelon Festival!
*three girls:watermelon
Southern California is a great place to celebrate food. Coming up on August 13 & 14, the Watermelon Festival will take place at the Hansen Dam Soccer Field – it’s a 54-year-long tradition!


I have to confess, I hadn’t heard of this one before, but that’s just another instance of being a tourist in my own town, something that I just love about Los Angeles. There’s always something new to discover, even if you’ve lived here for 20 years!


As with other food festivals, the Watermelon Festival is a great family event. The two-day fair will feature free watermelon, food, carnival rides, games, contests, live entertainment, and a Kids Zone.

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And of course, there will be watermelon related hijinks! There’s a carving contest, a seed spitting contest, and a watermelon relay. You can also stroll the booths at the arts & crafts marketplace. Live entertainment will include a Battle of the Bands and the Melon-Dramatic Puppet Theater.

*WF-adult eating contest

Our family is looking forward to checking out this new-to-us event. As you can see, my kids really like watermelon!

kids watermelon

May, 2009

And I’m giving away a pack of 4 tickets to a lucky reader! Simply leave a comment on this post (remember to include your email address, it will not be displayed) by Sunday, August 7 at 11:59 PM to enter. Winner will be drawn randomly and contacted by email Monday August 8 to arrange mailing of tickets. Good luck!

Watermelon Festival

August 13-14, 2016
11AM – 10PM Saturday
12PM – 10PM Sunday
Hansen Dam Soccer Field
114800 Foothill Blvd.
Lake View Terrace
Tickets: $10 adults, $6 kids 3-12, FREE kids 2 and under
Website: watermelonfest.org