Summer is here and as the temperature rises we’ll all be looking for ways to cool off. If you are new to splash pads (also called spray grounds or spray parks), they are free public parks with water features that are open in the summer (generally Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend).
All of these splash pads have been given the stamp of approval by the Kansas City Moms Blog contributors and their kids. Each one has a bathroom on site, a shaded place for mom to sit, and in most cases there is even an adjacent playground. KCMB tip: have your kids wear water shoes at the splash pads instead of going barefoot. Kids are going to run around and there are no lifeguards on duty to remind them to walk. Several of the splash pads (particularly Miller J. Fields and Roe Park) have very slippery surfaces, so water shoes are a must!
Dagg Park (Northland): This splash pad opened in 2016 and quickly emerged as one of the best splash pads in the city. With a separate small kid area, an amazing playground, and being entirely fenced in, this is a park you can comfortably let even your wandering toddlers loose in. Open 7 days a week, 10 a.m.- 8 p.m. Sunday-Tuesday and Thursday-Saturday, 3-8 p.m. on Wednesday.
Loose Park (Plaza area): While not the biggest splash pad in the city, this one is lots of fun and is set inside Loose Park where you can find walking paths, a playground, duck pond, and of course the rose garden. The splash pad itself is entirely fenced in and has lots of shaded seating for parents, a grassy area for spreading out towels and a picnic, and nearby bathrooms. This splash pad can be difficult to see from the road. If you look for the tennis courts you will find the splash pad, as it is set just downhill from the courts on the west side of the park, south of the rose garden. There is ample parking along Summit St. Open 7 days a week from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
John Anderson Park (Grandview): This splash pad has a nautical theme, so your kids can pretend they are on a pirate ship! There is ample shaded seating and a fun playground for the kids to explore if they want a break from the water. Open 7 days a week from 10am-7:30pm except on Wednesdays when they don’t open until noon.
Miller J. Fields Park (Lee’s Summit): This splash pad opened a couple of years ago and is so much fun! There is a side for big kids (with a big bucket that dumps water) and a not as intense side for little kids. There is plenty of shaded seating for parents and shelters that can be reserved for parties. The adjacent playground is fantastic with a special area for small kids, a variety of xylophones to make music on, and a zip line. You could spend hours here between the splash pad and the playground! Open 7 days a week from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
McCoy Park (Independence): This is the only splash pad my daughter and I weren’t able to check out ourselves but other KCMB contributors gave it two thumbs up. While you are there, check out the brand new pioneer themed playground. Open 7 days a week but closed on Monday mornings for maintenance.
Roe Park (Overland Park): Unfortunately it wasn’t until 2016 that Johnson County got its first splash pad. It sounds like more are in our future as new parks are developed or renovated, but for now this is the only one we’ve got! The splash pad itself is pretty small but there is a huge playground and nature playground for kids to explore as well. Since this is the only splash pad in JoCo it gets CROWDED. Like, can’t find your kid crowded. So my best advice is to go early in the morning or in the evening. Open 7 days a week, 5 a.m – 10 p.m.
What’s your favorite splash pad in the KC metro?