In our annual quest to have the best summer ever, we undoubtedly must make multiple stops to various bodies of water. And honestly, it's the only option when the temp is near triple digits.
So this summer, we're on a mission to hit every splash pad in the metro with the whole family in tow. Grab your SPF and let's go.
Little Rock Parks & Recreation offers two areas in downtown Little Rock for kiddos to play and stay cool this summer. The first is located in the Peabody Adventure Park near the climbing wall and is open for children of all ages. For the little splashers (up to age 5), head to Riverfront Park's Children's Play Area behind the Marriott Hotel and look for the gentle water spouts and beautiful waterfall. Open through the end of the season, 8 a.m. - 9 p.m. daily. More info here.
Open for another summer, War Memorial Park’s splash playground offers rocks, nets, nooks and crannies to climb on with fountains, mist and plenty of water to keep kids cool. A covered slide and a view of Coleman Creek nearby also entice visitors. Open through the end of the season, 8 a.m. - 9 p.m. daily. More info here.
After just opening last year, this addition to the park at 904 W. 33rd St. is already a hit. Giant buckets, tunnels and sprayers douse kids from above, while parents can stay out of the sun in covered areas. Open through the end of the season, 8 a.m. - 9 p.m. daily. More info here.
Lake Valencia Park
Over in Maumelle, this playground and splash pad is designed to be inclusive of all kids, serving up water spouts, cannons and buckets, all while meeting Americans with Disabilities Act standards. Open through October, 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. daily. More info here and on Facebook.
Cool off at this community mini water park (which recently got an upgrade) complete with water spouts, filling-and-dumping buckets and a misting arc. Enjoy your lunch at one of the covered picnic tables inside the splash pad area. The park even hosts movie screenings at the pad. Open through the end of the season, 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. daily. More info here and on Facebook.
This city park in Jacksonville boasts two water slides, a water tunnel, the umbrella-shaped rain drop and dew drop water showers, the kids-only tea cup and more. One of the two swimming pools is kid-friendly, with a depth of just 30 inches, perfect for little ones just learning how to use their sea legs. Open through the end of the season, 11:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and noon - 6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Day and season passes are available. More info here and on Facebook.
If you're in the Bryant area and need to cool off, the city's aquatic center is the place to go. Apart from the indoor pool, the outdoor splash pad has plenty of water spouts, sprays and buckets, plus covered picnic areas. Open through the end of the season, 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. Saturday and noon - 6 p.m. Sunday. Day passes are available. More info here and on Facebook.