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Free admission for dads draws crowd to Sun Splash

By Staff | Jun 20, 2010

Families threw on their swimsuits and headed to Cape Coral’s water park Sunday for a little fun, sun and Father’s Day discount.
Sun Splash Family Waterpark, 400 Santa Barbara Blvd., offered fathers and grandfathers free admission with each paid child’s admission. General admission tickets for Cape residents are $12.95 for adults and $10.95 for children. For non-residents, the cost is $16.95 for adults and $14.95 for children.
Port Charlotte resident Chris McQueen learned about the Father’s Day discount from a family friend, who organized the Sunday outing. A first-timer to the park, he spent a few hours enjoying the amenities with his 5-year-old son, Aidan, who also had never been.
“It seemed like a good time to do it and he loves the water,” McQueen said.
Both father and son had a good time. Aidan favored the Tot Spot area, including the children’s slides and the floating alligators.
“He had a blast,” McQueen said.
The discount was a big incentive for the father-son duo to test out the park, as well as a perfect opportunity to spend some time together, which can be difficult because of work.
“I love being able to spend the day with my 5-year-old,” McQueen said.
Another family that spent Father’s Day making memories at Sun Splash was Bernie and Leslie Faccilonga, of Cape Coral, and their 1-year-old son, Dominick. Along for the trip to the park were Leslie’s parents, Mark and Liz Fiacco, who were down from New York.
“We had fun,” Liz Fiacco said.
For Faccilonga, the food and the Main Stream River Tube Ride, also called the Lazy River, were some of the highlights of her afternoon. Another was having Dominick get to swim with his grandfather for the first time. They also beat the heat some, she said.
“It’s hot,” Faccilonga said of why they dropped by Sunday. “And it’s a special thing to do with your dad.”
Fiacco felt the Father’s Day discount was a great idea.
“I think it’s awesome,” she said. “It motivates people to get out and go.”
Mark Fiacco added that saving money is a priority in today’s economy.
“Everybody’s trying to save a nickel,” he said.
When Javier and Brandi Ortiz showed up Sunday with their 5-year-old, Javier Jr., they were pleasantly surprised to learn about the discount. Their friends contacted them and they simply decided to get together at the water park, Brandi Ortiz explained.
“It was a last-minute decision,” she said.
The Lehigh Acres couple are fans of water parks, but have not been to Sun Splash in years because it is “expensive.” Still, Ortiz said she looked forward to the Lazy River and her husband voiced his excitement about the rides.
“It’s fun,” he said. “I love it.”
Sun Splash Family Waterpark is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. each day to coincide with the Lee County School District’s summer break. During the summer, the park offers swimming classes, junior lifeguard camps and other water safety programs. Free water safety awareness clinics are available June 26, July 10 and Aug. 7.
The park also hosts a Family Fun Night from 5:30-8:30 p.m. in July, August and September, where tickets are discounted and there are a number of raffles. Admission for Cape residents is $6 and non-residents pay $8. A season pass for a Cape resident is $79 per adult, $74 per child and $119 for a family of two in the same household.
For more information on ticket prices or attractions, visit: sunsplashwaterpark.com .