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.
The 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
The splash pad at McPherson Park features tipping water buckets, a red windmill that sprays water, an archway (made to look like a frog) that sprays those below and more. Encourage a snack and hydration break under the shaded pavilion. Open daily through Labor Day weekend from 10am–8pm.
240 W. McDonwell School Road
Bring the kids’ swimsuits when you visit the Coppell Farmers Market to get your local goods and produce, and let them cool down by frolicking in the fountains shooting from the ground. Visit Saturdays 8am–noon during the summer season.
786 W. Main Street
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
The Big D also boasts water features above the Trinity River in West Dallas. Stroll along the pedestrian-only Continental Bridge (aka the Ronald Kirk Bridge) and you will find not just climbing fixtures and chess table, but also touch-activated play fountains made to beat the summer heat. While the kiddos cool off in the fountains and misters, Mom can kick back in one of the surrounding lounge chairs.
100 Continental Avenue
In addition to the splash pads at Klyde Warren and Ronald Kirk, 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
Let the kiddos get wet and wild at the Sycamore Spray Grounds this summer. Swimwear is required at the Sycamore Community Center's free splash park which features tipping water buckets and interactive sprayers. Open through summer until September 4, this spray ground is avilable for visitors to splash around every day from 11am-7pm.
Sycamore Community Center, 2525 E. Rosedale St.
Families can cool off in Cowtown at Fort Worth’s famed Sundance Square. After working up a sweat shopping at the dozens of boutiques, snacking at the 30+ restaurants and taking in the city sights, direct your brood to the fountains in the center of the plaza. Featuring 216 vertical water jets programmed to spurt at different heights, the ground-level attraction is a visual attraction that has come to be a summertime favorite for locals wanting to dip their toes. Fountain play is open Monday-Friday 2-6pm and 1-6pm on weekends.
Sundance Square Plaza, 201 Main St.
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.
The splash pad at Doubletree Ranch Park is one of the newest splash pads in North Texas. The modern design uses recycled treated water, looks like a natural creek and employs 15 water features with 66 sprayers and one waterfall. Open daily from 10am–8pm.
310 Highland Village Road
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
Sonora Park is the largest park in Kennedale. The 22 acres houses a bird habitat, fishing pier, 9-hole disc golf course and (you guessed it) a splash pad with tipping buckets of water, stationary spray guns and fountains. Open until October 1 from 8am–noon and 5–8pm on weekdays and from 8am–8pm on Saturday and Sunday.
263 S. New Hope Road
Wayne Ferguson Plaza is an urban park located in the heart of Old Town Lewisville. A linear flowing water feature runs along the boardwalk, which guides visitors through a garden and ends on the east side of the park at an interactive fountain. The splash pad is enclosed and features several vertical fountains.
150 W. Church Street
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.
Frontier Park is home to a large sports complex and the community-built Windmill Playground, which sits near a very simple spray park of interactive water features. Open daily through Labor Day.
1551 Frontier Parkway
Galatyn Park Urban Center is a mixed-use public space that is home to local festivals, fairs and cultural landmarks like the Charles W. Eisemann Center for the Performing Arts. You don’t have to take in a show to appreciate the artistry on display at the Texas Instruments Community Fountain in the public plaza in front of the arts venue. Kids can take in the dancing jets of water from the vertical water fountain, which is lit at night for maximum dazzling effect, and even get soaked—but maybe after the performance is over.
2351 Performance Drive
Glenville Park features tall water structures resembling cacti (true to the Texas heat), colorful rings kiddos can race through and water cannons for the ultimate refresher. Kids can dive into the pool just a few feet away for a big splash. The pool is also equipped with restrooms, including a family restroom. And, the kiddos can dry off at the playground nearby. Parking is available by the spray park and playground. Entry into the pool and spray ground is $2 for residents, $4 for non-residents and free for children 3 and under. Open 1-8pm daily (closed Tuesdays).
500 S. Glenville Drive
The splash pads at Parks of Roanoke and Cannon Parkway Park include colorful archways that spray, stationary water guns and hanging buckets of water that tip. Both parks are open daily from 6am–7pm.
Parks of Roanoke, 107 Hillsborough Drive
Cannon Parkway Park, 750 Cannon Parkway
There are three spray parks in Rockwall that feature interactive sprayers and tipping water buckets. To activate the spraygrounds, press the top of the white cylinder with the black rounded top. Open daily March to October from 8am-9pm.
Hickory Bridge Sprayground, 1910 Walnut Ridge
Foxchase Sprayground, 4475 Tubbs Road
Harry Myers Sprayground, 815 E Washington St.
The playground at Bicentennial Park, which opened in 2015, is designed to look like a big dragon. Kids splash around by the giant dragon’s head, frolic in the green water fountains that twist up from the ground and duck under small spraying archways. Take waterlogged little ones to the adjacent playground’s swings, slides and zip lines to let them air dry.
450 W. Southlake Blvd.
Love Street Park and Cherry Park are home to Weatherford’s two spraygrounds. Set kids loose to play in the interactive fountains. Or take a dip at the city’s only municipal pool at Cherry Park (open Monday–Friday; $3 per person). Both splash pads are open daily from 9am-8pm.
Love Street Park, 309 Love St.; 817/598-4124
Cherry Park, 300 S. Alamo St.; 817/598-4000
Know of any we missed? Leave a comment below or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.