The Splash Fountain
From late spring until the beginning of November, the Splash Fountain at the First Church of Christ, Scientist, is open to the public. Especially for inner-city moms, the fountain is a fantastic resource – it’s free, safe (as safe as a pool, anyway, or perhaps even a bit safer) and extremely refreshing.
“The fountain display was originally only intended for visual drama,” Michele Marquez of Christian Science Publishing Services told us. “But since 1975, children and families have identified it as a point of recreation; so it made perfect sense, when the fountain needed considerable repairs, to overhaul it with the idea of children's play in mind.”
After sundown, lights illuminate the streaming water, which is propelled by 180 water jets that shoot directly out of the ground. Renovations in 2005 included a new splash pool area placed in the center of the fountain where the water collects, but only at a very shallow depth to maintain safety.
“The redesign increased the pool's safety surfacing, added new lighting and fun water display options to the traditional arched circle of jets,” Marquez explained.
The Splash Fountain on the Christian Science campus is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., weather permitting.
Set behind the privacy of a rustic brick wall in a beautiful South End courtyard, the Children's Art Center (CAC) is rife with historical and recreational value. For almost a century, as a facet of United South End Settlements (USES), the CAC has been bringing children and art closer together, encouraging exploration and self expression in ways that—perhaps now more than ever—kids aren’t experiencing in public schools.
Originally erected in 1914, the CAC was the first public fine arts museum designed exclusively for children. It has since become a neighborhood tradition through its various programs for everyone from infants to teens via Community Classes, Creative Playspace, Vacation Arts Programs, On-site Enrichment Classes and ‘Tween’ Programming (launching this fall in conjunction with the Boston Center for the Arts).
Art Center manager Chelsea Revelle stressed the importance of continued funding to maintain the subsidized nature of programming at the CAC, where activity groups have low-income slots for South End/Lower Roxbury kids built into their design.
“We’re stepping up our birthday party rentals this fall to offer a variety of weekend-long packages,” she said. “Along with proceeds of sales from our newly produced Create & Connect activity guide, that will help support additional free programming.”