Another summer of blistering temperatures in Missoula may have you more worried about your checking balance than the thermometer when the kids are clamoring to go to Splash Montana every day.

But if you're only paying the "one-time" admissions, which run as high as $8, you're missing out on the best bargain offered by Missoula Parks and Recreation. It's a way of saving cash while keeping the kids cool, but also extending the fun into the winter months.

It's one of the perks of being a Missoula resident.

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Splash Montana was an instant hit when it opened in Playfair Park in 2006. The big lap pool opened the following year and the park has been jumping ever since, especially when temperatures soar.

Missoula Parks and Rec photo
Missoula Parks and Rec photo

And while it does cost more than those early years, Parks and Rec have continued a program that makes a big difference for families, and individual swimmers.

Individual session fees have climbed to $8 for adults, $6.25 for seniors and teens, $5.75 for ages 7-12, and $4.75 for kids between 2 and 6. That compares with $7.25 for the "top" rate in 2019. But the city points out that's a 10% to cover increasing operation costs, while the cost of inflation has been 20% over the same span.

Punch cards to the rescue

The real tip is to purchase a punch card available to Missoula residents, which means a savings of $1.50 off that "top" adult rate, and between $1 and 75 cents for each swim for the other categories. That's considerable savings over the course of a summer.

Cards can be purchased in 10, 20, or 30 swim totals, or you can purchase an "unlimited swim" card, which is especially popular for lap swimmers.

Missoula Parks and Rec; Rebecca Goodrich photo
Missoula Parks and Rec; Rebecca Goodrich photo

The fun doesn't stop when summer does

There are no expiration dates on the punch cards. And the good news is they can be used year 'round because they include the Currents Aquatic Center as well, extending the fun through the winter. The city recommends purchasing separate passes for the "correct rate for your age range" for the best value. Also, if the kids are close to a birthday there's no need to worry. The punch cards automatically "age up" at no additional charge. If you buy a card for a 12-year-old youth rate, the remaining number of swims are still available when they turn 13.

Additional financial help

The city does offer "Share the Fun" grants for families who need financial assistance for passes and punch cards.

Missoula Parks and Rec photo
Missoula Parks and Rec photo

Splash is still open

The last day for swimming at Splash Montana will be Tuesday, August 29th. Thanks to the two-session-per-day format, there's been plenty of room this year even with the heat. The park has yet to have a day when it hit capacity.

Currents is closed for its annual maintenance but will re-open on August 29th.

MORE INFORMATION: Complete hours and information for Splash Montana

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