As the temperature rises and school-free schedules set in, families are looking for a way to beat the heat and have a little fun. Wichita-area splash parks can provide a welcome solution.
Splash parks offer a few things that the neighborhood pool – and backyard sprinkler – can’t. Splash parks are free, and most offer longer hours and seasons that extend into early October.
Splash parks also can provide a little more peace of mind for a supervising parent. Because no lifeguards are needed and there’s very little risk of drowning, families with young children can enjoy an alternative to a crowded swimming pool. Brian Hill, aquatics manager at the city of Wichita, says the city’s splash pads are particularly popular with families with children 1 to 8 years old.
Kim Trinchet prefers taking her two young children to splash pads when she’s alone with them.
“I can handle both kids since there’s no fear of drowning,” Trinchet says. “The kids have a great time, cool off, and it’s more relaxing for the parents.”
Need another reason to visit an area splash park? They’re a lot of fun. Who can resist bubbling geysers of cold water, waterfalls and fountains of varying heights? Every splash pad offers a unique setup and features that make it a great place to chill this summer.
Ready to make a splash? Check out these Wichita-area water playgrounds.
Wichita splash parks
Wichita’s splash parks are open daily from May through September, unless there is heavy cloud cover or storms. No pets or glass containers allowed.
Hours: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. daily
▪ Buffalo Park, 10201 Hardtner
▪ Central Riverside Park, 720 Nims
▪ Fairmount Park, 1647 N. Yale
▪ Lincoln Park, 1323 S. Topeka
▪ Old Town Plaza, 334 N. Mead
▪ Osage Park, 2121 W. 31st St. South
NewMarket Square Plaza
Hours: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. daily
Location: 21st Street North and Maize Road
Guests can take a break from shopping to cool off at NewMarket Square’s Plaza Fountains in front of Bed, Bath & Beyond. The splash pad area features seven bubbling, interactive fountains.
Suburban splash parks
Andover – 13th Street Sports Park
Hours: Sunrise to sunset daily
Location: 1008 E. 13th St.
The splash park is open mid-April through mid-October, depending on weather.
Augusta – Robert Shyrock Park
Hours: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. daily
Location: 2923 Ohio
Augusta’s new splash pad will open for its first official summer on Memorial Day weekend and operate daily through September. The splash pad sits next to the Augusta City Lake in Robert Shyrock Park.
Derby – Madison Avenue Central Park
Hours: 8 a.m.-8 p.m. daily
Location: 512 E. Madison
Derby residents can cool off this summer at the community’s newest water feature at Madison Avenue Central Park. The park opened in October and features a 25-foot splash pad with nine jets and a computerized multifunctional LED lighting system. Open mid-April through October.
El Dorado – Graham Park and North Main Spray Park
Hours: 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m. daily
Locations: Graham Park, 1600 Edgemoor, and North Main Park, 1000 N. Main
El Dorado has two splash parks. Both locations have sprayers and water bucket features and are open Memorial Day weekend through September.
Maize – Maize City Park
Hours: 9 a.m.-9 p.m. daily
Location: 401 S. Khedive
The Maize city splash park will open for its second summer on Memorial Day weekend. The splash park operates daily through Labor Day weekend. No pets, glass containers, bikes, skates or skateboards are allowed. The splash park has more than 20 features including three water cannons, bucket dumps and water umbrellas.
Valley Center – McLaughlin Park
Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday, Friday, Saturday
Location: 700 McLaughlin Drive
The splash park at Valley Center’s McLaughlin Park includes fountains, sprayers and showers. Covered areas also provide a welcome break from the sun for splash park spectators. No pets, skateboards, bicycles, water balloons or roller blades are allowed in the splash park. Open on or before Memorial Day through Oct. 1.