Splash Pads to Stay Cool

Your guide to local, free splash pads

Published on July 23, 2021


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By Mrs. Farnham (teacher, mom, CMoR member)

Playing in water is essential for my kids as the heat of the summer drags on. We all need a way to get out some energy without overheating. Going to the pool, beach, or river are all great options if you can swing it. These places can often be costly and sometimes you just need a place to cool off nearby. 

Splash Pads at Parks

Our local parks have some fantastic options for cooling off that are free! My kids love heading to the park to splash on a hot day. Since my toddler is still learning to swim, splash pads are a great option to safely cool off. Here are a few of our favorite splash pads to visit:

Battery Park at 2917 Dupont Circle, Richmond, VA 23221 is a fun park in the city with a great splash pad. My kids love the mushroom sprayer.

Short Pump Park at 3329 Pump Road, Henrico, VA 23233 has a smaller splash pad that my kids enjoy running through. The splash pad is adjacent to a large grassy field and great playground.

Dunncroft/Castle Point Park at 4901 Francistown Road, Glen Allen, VA 23060 has a unique splash pad that my kids love. My oldest loves the giant buckets that dump water on her head.

Tips for taking your kids to the splash pad:

-Wear your bathing suit so you can cool off, too! Kids with parents who will go in the water with them always seem to have more fun at the splash pad.

-Bring containers to collect and pour water. My kids love playing with old yogurt containers and milk jugs at the splash pad. 

-Bring lots of snacks and water. Playing in the water is hard work!

-Bring towels and a change of clothes for the ride home.

Splash at Home

Last summer I purchased a little splash pad like this for my kids to play with in the backyard. I was skeptical given the price that my kids would get much enjoyment, but the versatility of this toy has been impressive. If I turn the water low, my kids will sit inside the pad and play. If we turn the water on high, they will run around it like a sprinkler. It is so easy to set up because you simply connect the hose and go! 

Splashing at CMoR

Have you visited the splash pad at CMoR’s downtown location? It is open all summer and is a great option for younger children. When my daughter was 2-3 years old, this was her favorite splash pad because it wasn’t too overwhelming for her. The jets do not spray super high and the water is predictable which put her at ease. We always make the splash pad part of our visit to the museum in the summer.

Be sure to share this post and pictures of your splashing adventures with us on Facebook or Instagram. Happy summer!