When I first heard of this idea I thought the people were crazy. Who would think up something like river rafting in a blow-up kiddie pool? Yes, that’s right, this group date activity involves rafting down a river in a kiddie pool.
It’s up to you how strong a current you go down, but it is not recommended to go down any river that has Class 1 or bigger rapids. It is more of a floating experience. So pick a nice lazy river. Kiddie pools while fine for floating are not made for rafting and are prone to tearing, popping, etc. So be safe and wear life jackets, if needed. To make it more creative, use brooms for paddles. What??? Brooms for paddles, are you serious? You heard me right; brooms work fine as paddles and make the whole experience much more unique.
What you need for this date idea:
You need a kiddie pool—the kind that holds air in the sides. You can get them at Walmart or a similar store or of course online. And it is a good idea to get a hand-pump or electric pump and brooms. Next, you need your bathing suits and a lazy river to raft down. I repeat again please don’t pick a river with lots of rapids, it will be dangerous and your “raft” will probably pop. You will probably want to bring sunscreen, and possibly sandals or river shoes. Life jackets are also encouraged.
Next, take two cars to the river, one to leave where you will get off the river after rafting and the other to take you up the river where you will cast off. Finally, you will need your adventuring spirit, because it is quite a ride. The trick is to sit on the sides and not on the bottom of the pool. The bottom is too thin and if the river is at all shallow, you will bump your butts on the rocks, which doesn’t feel too great. Sit on the sides and allow your feet to gently flow over any obstacles that happen to come under the pool as you float.
Note: No more than 6 passengers will work in the kiddie pool raft.
My experience kiddie pool rafting:
It was summertime; the hot desert air blew gently against my face. It was a Saturday, and my roommate’s girlfriend had come into town. He wanted to show her a good time so he asked me if I had any ideas. Thinking back on a fond experience, I told him about kiddie pool rafting. He was ecstatic. Of course, he was. I am a creative mastermind.
We bought the necessary items and invited our other roommate, Joey, to come along. He wanted to bring a date and we said it was fine. We packed the gear, picked up the girls, and set out on a summer adventure. I decided to play river guide for my two friends and their dates—yeah, I was the fifth wheel— but in this case, I didn’t mind. The river we decided to float down was the ominous, class 0, fly fisherman infested, Provo River. I had gone down it before, so it was a good choice. The first time I went down we plowed into a stick that popped our pool, so we didn’t get to go down the whole way, but this time being the experienced kiddie pool rafter that I was, it was a different story.
We piled into the raft and pushed off the shore. I took the time to instruct them on how to paddle with a broom and how to sit on the raft. The water was chilly, the air was hot, and the fish were jumping. As we made our way down the canyon river, I couldn’t help but notice the majestic mountains around us—it was superb.
Kiddie Pool Rafters to the Rescue!
Then the rapids came. Nothing to brag about, but for a kiddie-pool, it might be trouble. We narrowly escaped capsizing; however, we did get a small hole in the bottom of the raft. Since it was the part that was just thin plastic and didn’t hold any air, I wasn’t worried. We quickly noticed that although we were fortunate with our maneuvering, a girl in front of us wasn’t so lucky. She had managed to wrap her one-person plastic boat around a reasonably large tree branch that hung over the water. She was hanging on for dear life—okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but makes for a better story. Her raft was useless, and since she was soaked and the water was frigid we decided to pull over and give her a ride, as long as she made good use of the broom and pulled her weight.
We had tons of fun
We laughed and talked for the rest of the way. After the 3 hour-long floating experience we made it to the end and out. The girl we rescued asked her brother who had been waiting for her to take me up to my car, which was a nice gesture and saved me having to walk all the way back since we didn’t bring two cars. I never saw the girl again, but I am sure she won’t forget the time she was “saved” by a bunch of college students. This experience is probably one of my favorite college experiences. Where I live now in Arizona, the Salt River is a very popular floating destination and one that would work great for something like this.
*Do this at your own risk! But if you follow the safety precautions outlined you should have an extremely good time and hilarious to boot.
Do you have experience with this creative date idea? Let me know in the comments how you liked it. You can buy a copy of the book 101 Creative Dates: ideas, tips, and personal experiences from the life of a hopeless romantic here or visit the shop.
Here are other date ideas you might like: