Splash pads have become the hottest place to hang out during the summer months. And with the drought in our rearview mirror (for now) there are more places than ever to get soaked. Click through to find the park closest to you, from a pirate adventure themed water world to giant a barnyard themed park with a water tower. Splash on!

Blue Goose Park, Brentwood

Does your child love the farm? Then take a drive to Brentwood for this farm-themed park complete with a barn play structure, a water tower that pours water onto the splash pad, and giant sunflower sprayers for larger than life barnyard fun.

1765 Adams Ln.
Brentwood, Ca
Online: brentwoodca.gov

Brentwood City Park, Brentwood

Enjoy a well-maintained old-school-meets-modern park at Brentwood City Park. Complete with water guns and a splash pad, a cute little clubhouse for toddlers, and a play structure for kids of all ages to enjoy, this cabin-themed park is adorable and has ample shade over the picnic tables.

790 2nd St.
Brentwood, Ca
Online: brentwoodca.gov

Seven Seas Park, Sunnyvale

Young swashbucklers will enjoy playing aboard the S.S. Seven Seas then running through the bursts of water that splash from overhead. Take a seat in the shade and enjoy the open visibility of your kiddo on the playground. (Open daily, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.)

1010 Morse Ave., Sunnyvale, Ca
Online: sunnyvale.ca.gov

Lakewood Park, Sunnyvale

Blast off into a world of fun at Lakewood Park! Families with kids of all ages will find something fun to occupy their summer afternoon from skating, basketball, slides, teeters and a rocking water play area. Little astronauts will enjoy getting sprayed by the spaceship and running around the padded ground decorated to look like outer space. Parking can get jam packed at this popular playground, so be prepared for a quick 2-3 block stroll. (Open daily, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.)​

834 Lakechime Dr.
Sunnyvale, Ca
408-730-7751
Online: sunnyvale.ca.gov

Always Dream P​lay P​ark, Fremont​

Kids of all ages and abilities will find something fun to do at this park created by famed local Kristi Yamaguchi's Always Dream Foundation. Climb giant spheres, get dirty in the sand pit, sit for lunch, enjoy the swing set, and race down the slide before taking a refreshing break at the spray umbrella on the top of one of the park's little hills.

Stevenson Blvd & Gallaudet
Fremont, Ca
Online: fremont.gov​

San Ramon Central Park, San Ramon

Beat the heat at San Ramon Central Park. Take a seat under the vast shade while the kiddos enjoy playtime at the gigantic play structure and spider climbing net, or get soaked in the squid-like splash pad area. The water's on April 1 through Oct. 30 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

12501 Alcosta Blvd.
San Ramon, Ca
Online: ci.san-ramon.ca.us

Rancho San Ramon Community Park, San Ramon

Rancho San Ramon Community Park is a little climber's dream—From rocks to climb to big spider webs and twisting rock walls, there's a lot to do! Truck fans will adore the little trucks slide, and both parents and kids alike will agree that the splash pad is the best way to cool off after between all the climbing fun. The water's on April 1 through Oct. 30 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

2000 Rancho Park Loop Rd.
San Ramon, Ca
Online: ci.san-ramon.ca.us

Emerald Glen Park, Dublin

After you hit up the Dublin’s Farmer’s Market, take your family for some water play at Emerald Glen Park. Rainbow arches bloom over the splash pad, shooting out sheets of water, and there’s even a fun green tunnel that sprays out water like a shower. Kids love to climb amongst the unique rock structures that also double as slides, too. Due to the drought, the park will be reducing their water usage, and only turned on the water when temperatures hit 90 degrees or above. This site will be updated each day at 9 am, so check here before heading over. Water features will be on 1-6 p.m. if temperatures reach 90 or above.

4201 Central Pkwy.
Dublin, Ca
Online: ci.dublin.ca.u

Castro Valley Community Center-Park, Castro Valley

Four parks and a splash pad? This playground is like the Disneyland of playground water play. Your little buccaneers can use the spray cannons to get their friends soaking wet, all while romping around the softly padded ground. Due to current drought conditions and required water restrictions District Splash Pads will be operating:
Memorial Day through Labor Day Weekend
Saturday, Sundays and holidays
from 11:00 am-5:00 pm
and on weekdays when the weather is 80 degrees or higher. Remember to check the website to see if the water is running​.

18988 Lake Chabot Rd.,
Castro Valley, Ca
Online: haywardrec.org

El Cerrito Splash Park, El Cerrito

Beat the heat over at the El Cerrito Swim Center, where they have one of the most awesome splash pads ever. The large park is filled with all sorts of water gadgets, from colored buckets that tip surprise showers to the kids below, misting tunnels and all sorts of water jets. Don’t miss out on the cute cartoons that decorate some of the watering holes. Admission: $2/splash park only

7007 Moeser Ln.
El Cerrito, Ca
Online: el-cerrito.org/

Meadow Homes Spray Park, Concord

Take a trip into the ocean with this fun open water themed splash park. Kids can spray each other with the cannons, run through the water under the shipwreck, avoid the shark, and climb the beach rocks. The water's on from noon to 6 p.m. , seven days a week in the summer. For more information about water times, click here.

1351 Detroit Ave.
Concord, Ca
Online: cityofconcord.org

photo: Shari Wargo Stamps

​Central Park, Mountain House

Central Park is a great place to bring a picnic and some chairs and simply spend the day outside with the whole family. Between the palm tree shaded splash pad, bocci ball and basketball courts, and playgrounds for ages toddler to 12, there's something for everyone at this fun destination. The Mountain House library is next door, and food trucks make an evening appearance on Fridays throughout Summer. The interactive splash pad is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily until Labor Day. For more info, check out the schedule here.

25 Main St.
Mountain House, Ca
Online: mountainhousecsd.org

photo: Yasmin M.

Ortega Park, Sunnyvale

With towering flowers throughout the sprayground, this popular Sunnyvale spot makes you feel like you've entered a giant garden. Wade through puddles, light sprayers and bubbling geysers. Need a break from the water play? Stop at the playground nearby to tackle the wall climbing structure or take a ride on the swings fitted for kids big and small.

636 Harrow Way
Sunnyvale, Ca
408-730-7751
Online: sunnyvale.ca.gov/

Maria B. Freitas Park, San Rafael

Control your water playtime by activating the water by pressing the hand on this red pipe. Water trickles from three giant red rings, and spray from a water hole. The fun part comes as the water slowly builds up towards a crescendo before gushing out and soaking the kids. While you're here, share a picnic under the gazebo or plan a family barbecue.

Montecillo and Trellis Dr.
San Rafael, Ca
Online: justplaygrounds.com/maria-b-freitas-park

Worth The Drive: Swanston Splash Park, Sacramento

Welcome to the ultimate sprayground with every water gadget available. When the summer temps pump up to 100-plus degrees in the Valley, sprinklers and hoses at this sprayground turn on to cool off little tots. Push the turnstiles around and around until the water buckets unload.

2350 Northrop Ave.
Sacramento, Ca
Online: morpd.com/parks/swanston_park

Mitchell Park, Palo Alto

Two frog statues make this splash pad look like a real pond. As kids race about on a slip-free surface, water shoots gently up to about the same height as your little ones. The water comes out with minimal pressure so that your kiddo won’t be surprised as they frolic and play. The new, inclusive Magical Bridge playground is here, too, so be prepared to spend the day!

600 E Meadow Dr., Palo Alto, Ca 94306 (650-463-4900 or cityofpaloalto.org/)

Jack Fischer Park, Campbell

With grassy hills ideal for picnics, tons of shade from the sun and a dedicated mud zone for kids to make as many mud pies as they want, easily makes this Campbell splash pad a favorite of Bay Area families. Bring along buckets so your little builder can make sand castles or jump through the water spouting from the water tunnel. Don’t forget to come early to avoid the crowds, and pack enough sunscreen to beat the heat.

Abbott Ave. & Pollard Rd., Campbell, Ca 95008 (408-866-2100 or ci.campbell.ca.us/)

Ryder Park, San Mateo

Head over to Ryder Park for a bucket load of good, clean fun. Geysers shoot water for the kids to dance around in and the sprinklers go off every 5 minutes so no matter where you are in the sprayground you're guaranteed to get soaked. Afterwards, play on the monkey bars or jungle gym, and stroll along the meandering paths to enjoy stellar views of the Bay.

1801 J Hart Clinton Dr.
San Mateo, Ca 94401 650-522-7434 or cityofsanmateo.org/)

Which park is your favorite to cool off at?

—Shari Wargo Stamps and Erin Feher

 

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