If you’re looking for a laid back, understated way to spend a day with the family in Central Massachusetts, you should consider Breezy Picnic Grounds and Waterslides. Understated is the theme throughout this little waterpark.
The first thing the reader will note is the simple name of the place: Breezy Picnic Grounds. Not “Wet ‘N’ Wild” not “Waterslide World.” “Breezy.” And the name holds true.
On a hot, July day, when the place is busy, it’s not crowded and it’s still a little picnic ground that happens to have a few waterslides.
It’s located on Whitins Reservoir in Douglas, Mass. and to find this little gem, the traveler must drive through several small towns, along old horse path roads. There are no “Attractions” signs along Interstate 395, and you will likely only find this place if you know what you’re looking for and have your directions in hand. The address – Northwest Main Street – is clearly a misnomer as it is anything but a main street. This is farm country – you will pass a few dairy farms along the way and even a farm stand or two.
The directions are simple enough, but the route there is off the beaten path, marked only by unobtrusive white arrows on the road with black lettered “Waterslides” written on them. No corporate names or logos to be found.
Parking is across the street on the property of what looks like it either is or was the family home of the owners. Breezy is a family owned and operated affair, which doubtless keeps the day affordable for all involved.
The lack of pretense is in evidence throughout the grounds. Little signs are posted along the way, in neat black and red lettering advising visitors to leave the place “as you found it – clean.” And clean it is, as the visitors as a whole seem to take the admonishment to heart.
Admission is $17 if you’re planning to ride the slides, $7 if you’re just gaining access to the grounds. Although there is a snack shack ready to sell you a number of items, you’re more than welcome to bring your own picnic lunch – cooler packed to the brim, or just a bag lunch. Even the snack shack is unobtrusive, offering fare you might not otherwise pack in a picnic lunch – French fries and onion rings, ice cream, and hot and iced coffee. The prices are reasonable; a large soft serve will run about 3 bucks, a large coffee about $1.75. Taking two kids, two adults, and one under 2, we spent $54 in admission fee for the entire day. If you keep track of these things, the $54 would get one adult into the Six Flags New England complex a few more miles down the road in Agawam, Mass.
It’s hard to tell exactly where the owners make their money here. Unless it’s the old fashioned way – a little here, a little there. Given the investment in a waterslide, the additional $10 for an all day pass seems a bargain, and even if you don’t take that opportunity, there is a small swimming area to take advantage of.
The staff remain generally in the background, although the slides are well supervised, there are no obvious shows of presence and no apparent need to demonstrate a presence. Picnic tables are readily available, space just doesn’t seem an issue.
Those in attendance seem to feed into the places’ lack of pretense. It is a destination for local YMCA groups, families, and birthday parties, as well as the odd corporate outing or two.
We were able to sit and read an entire book while the two older kids ran about between the beach and the waterslides, and our under 2 was able to negotiate the area our family had picked out without too much intervention, but always within eye shot.
If you’re looking for a true escape, Breezy is a find. Bring your young family along and spend the day away from corporate logos, unending advertising, sponsorships and pay as you go everything. Pack yourself a lunch, bring a book, and spend the day under a tree, or at a picnic table – or both – and while the summer day away.