As the summer heats up, it gets harder to entertain the kids. So trade the sprinklers and backyard water hose for a fun romp through an interactive water fountain, splash pad or spray park near you. We gathered a few of our favorite locales that have generous open times — and best of all, entry is absolutely free.
This splash pad at Allen's Celebration Park features dumping buckets, shooters, sprinklers and more playground equipment. Bring the whole family for a picnic under the pavilion during open hours from 9am–9pm. The splash pad runs from May to mid-September, except for Wednesdays when it’s closed for maintenance. Located just next to the splash pad is kidMania, which the city says is one of the largest accessible playgrounds in the state.
701 Angel Parkway
Activate the water features at the City of Arlington Parks and Recreation Department’s three spray parks with the touch of a button. All three are open from 10am–8pm daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day, and then on weekends through the end of the month.
Don Misenhimer Park, 201 E. Lonesome Dove Trail
California Lane Park, 2001 California Lane
Brantley Hinshaw Park, 2121 Overbrook Drive
The interactive water fountain at Arlington’s Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts is turned on from 10am-6pm daily. Make a day of it, and go on a night scheduled for one of the pavilion’s free evening concerts.
100 W. Abram St.
At W.J. Thomas Splash Park, push the top of the red fire hydrant to make it rain at Carrollton’s first and only city-run splash park. While the kids check out the water features, including a crashing wave that pours water over the top, parents can watch from the nearby wooden deck with picnic tables. The fountains will be turned on when average temperatures rise above 80 degrees. Open 9am–8pm daily through early October.
1955 N. Perry Road
Visit Oak Hills Splash Park for more aquatic fun. No need to activate the water features; they run from 9am-8pm daily through October 15 and include a slide, spray grounds and tipping water buckets. A pavilion, table and grills are also available on a first-come, first-served basis. 1225 Royal Palm Lane
Within the Hillside Village shopping center, an interactive fountain offers wet and wild fun. This fountain, situated in the center of Uptown Village in front of Barnes & Noble, is open daily from 9am–9pm. Come sporting swimwear, because bathing suits and rubber footwear are required.
305 W. FM 1382
Bicentennial Park offers a 2,000-square-foot Splash Pad of water fun. This sea-themed park is open daily from 10am–8pm from May 22 through Labor Day.
201 E. Main St.
It’s hard to miss the spraying and misting fountain in the Children’s Park within Klyde Warren Park, but look closer and you’ll see that the long-bodied water feature simulates the metamorphosis of a caterpillar. The main splash pad is on the corner of Woodall Rodgers Freeway and St. Paul Street. Find more fountains on Hart Boulevard, as you enter the park from either side or behind the main pavilion in Moody Plaza. The park is open 6am–11pm daily and fountains turn on when the temperature outside reaches 60 degrees.
2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway
In addition to the splash pads at Klyde Warren, Dallas Aquatics offers 10 spray grounds throughout the city. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, enjoy these free water wonderlands seven days a week. Most are open from 10am–8pm, but hours vary. See website for exact hours.
Beckley-Saner, 114 W. Hobson
Campbell Green, 16600 Park Hill Drive
Danieldale, 300 W. Wheatland Road
Ferguson, 1900 Gross Road
Lake Highlands, 9940 White Rock Trail
Mildred Dunn, 3300 Carpenter Ave.
Pemberton Hill, 6424 Elam Road
Ridgewood, 6818 Fisher Road
South Central, 4753 Fellows Lane
Umphress, 7700 Umphress
Willie Mae Butler, 3700 Dixon Ave.
South Euless Park's splash pad features touch-activated and timed water works such as a raining water bucket, spray poles and geysers. Restrooms and water fountains are in close proximity to the splash pad. From May 1 through September 30, this park is open from 9am–8pm Monday– Saturday and 2pm–6pm on Sundays.
600 S. Main St.
If you’re heading out for some back-to-school shopping, make the trip a twofer and visit The Village at Fairview's Fountain Court, open daily 9am–8pm. The water has already been turned on for the season and will remain on until the outside temperature drops below 40 degrees. Swimwear is required, and water or rubber shoes are recommended to avoid falls on the potentially slippery ground. For more entertainment, watch the nightly fountain shows set to music at 7pm, 8pm and 9pm, play a game on the oversized chessboard at the grotto, and visit the Village Depot Play Area on the Allen side across the street.
329 Town Place
The spray grounds at Frisco Commons, which run on a recycled water system, are open 8am–8pm daily May–September. The city recently added a large pavilion with restrooms and two smaller shade structures with picnic tables. The splash pad at Shepherds Glen, at the intersection of Rolater Road and Coit Road, is open from 8am-8pm and features shade cover and walking trails, but no restrooms.
Frisco Commons, 8000 McKinney Road
J.R. Newman Spray Park, 8211 Twin Falls Drive
Shepherds Glen, 12012 Shepherds Hill Drive
The spray grounds at Parr Park are open daily from May through the end of September, from 8am-8pm Monday-Thursday and 8am-6pm Friday-Sunday. Spray grounds are motion activated to save water. No need to press a button; just walk onto the pad. Water shoes are encouraged. Adjacent to Dove Park Pool, the Dove Park spray ground splashes kids with a mechanical bucket daily with the same operational hours.
Dove Park, 1509 Hood Lane
Parr Park, 3010 Parr Lane
From Memorial Day to Labor Day, two spray grounds in Haltom City offer relief from the summer sun for your tiny tots. The splash pads at Broadway Park and Whites Branch Park are open daily from 10am–8pm, unless city water restrictions apply. Swimwear is required.
Broadway Park, 4839 Broadway Ave.
Whites Branch Park, 5290 Western Center Blvd.
Take your pick of the city’s two locations for zero-depth water fun: the Southwest Spray Park and another spray park outside the Northwest Park Recreation Center. Families can enjoy the bubblers, fountains and more spray features at both parks. Due to water restrictions, the Southwest Spray Park is closed Tuesdays and runs from noon-9pm all other days of the week. The spray park outside the Northwest Park Recreation Center is open noon-9pm Tuesday-Sunday (closed Mondays).
Northwest Park Recreation Center, 2800 Cheyenne St.
Southwest Spray Park, 2800 Shady Grove Road
McKinney has seven free splash pads for humans (and one for canines at the Bonnie Wenk Park dog park) and five of them also have playgrounds nearby:
Ash Woods Park, 10301 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
Aviator Park, 1201 Monticello Drive
Finch Park, 301 West Standifer St.
Horizon Park, 401 Flatrock Drive
Inspiration Park, 4212 Shawnee Drive
Dr. Mack Hill Park, 1849 Reagan Drive
John M. Whisenant, 3701 Hudson Crossing
Al Ruschhaupt Soccer Complex, 2, 2701 North Brook Drive, has a wheelchair accessible playground.
Know of any we missed? Leave a comment below or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.