When it comes to spray decks and wading pools, Boston’s got some of the best around. And when it comes to keeping your kids cool (and happy) on a hot summer day, it doesn’t get easier than water play at a nearby splash park or pool. That’s why we’ve rounded up the best the city has to offer in the water play department. So grab the sunscreen, it’s time to get your splash on!

Artesani Wading Pool & Spray Deck
When it comes to staying cool on a hot summer day, it helps to have options. That’s why we love Artesani Wading Pool & Spray Deck. Tots can cool off running through the fountains of the spray deck or they can splish and splash in the lifeguarded wading pool nearby. This is where you’ll find dump buckets, flowery sprays and plenty of other parents wading in to stay cool.

Hours: Spray Deck, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; Wading Pool, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

1255 Soldiers Field Rd.
Brighton, MA
Online: mass.gov/locations/artesani-playground-wading-pool-and-spray-deck

Ryan Wading Pool
Cool off at this neighborhood wading pool that features overhead sprayers, large shade umbrellas and a playground just a hop, skip and a jump away. You’ll find lifeguards here and benches too, so sit back and relax while the kids wade in the water on a hot sunny day.

Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

350 River St.
Mattapan, MA
Online: mass.gov/locations/ryan-wading-pool

Beaver Brook Spray Deck
There’s a reason this Belmont spray deck is a go-to spot for Boston families in the summer. The soft spray deck surface and oversized rocks just waiting to be climbed are irresistible to kids. Add in the playground just a few steps away and you’ve got your summer afternoon planned. Our suggestion? Bring extra snacks because the kids won’t want to leave this spot.

Hours: 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

621 Trapelo Rd.
Belmont, MA
Online: mass.gov/locations/beaver-brook-spray-deck

Dorothy Curran Spray Park
When it comes to water play, it’s hard to go wrong with a nautical theme. And that’s what families will find at this playground and spray park combo. The spongy spray deck surface is easy on little feet. While the looming overhead sprayers that resemble seaweed (or maybe Nessie?) will keep kids cool. Dry off before hitting the sailing ship play structure that’s a hit with kids of all ages and abilities.

Moakley Park
1005 Columbia Rd.
South Boston, MA
Online: boston.gov/parks/moakley-park

Boston Common Frog Pond
You can count on Boston families to flock to this wading pool with its spectacular fountain whenever the sun is out. And can you blame them? It’s the place to be on a sunny summer day. Between the expansive wading pool, nearby carousel, playground, swan boats and lemonade carts, it’s what summer in the city is all about. Bring your blankets and find a shady spot at this popular spot that’s truly not-to-miss.

Hours: Daily, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. (weather permitting)

40 Beacon St.
Boston, MA
Online: bostonfrogpond.com

Johnson Playground Spray Deck
Another spray park with a nearby playground, the Johnson Playground Spray Deck will keep your kids laughing and cool on a hot day. So find a shady spot and settle in while the kids play. And did we mention J.P. Licks isn’t too far away? End your water park play with a scoop of fresh cucumber ice cream or how about applewood smoked vanilla after play time is over.

Good to know: If you need a change of scenery, the Stony Brook Spray Deck is close by.

Hours: 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

Lamartine St. & Green St.
Jamaica Plain, MA
Online: mass.gov/locations/johnson-playground-spray-deck

Rose Kennedy Greenway Fountains
Wherever you roam around the Greenway, you’ll find a fountain to splash in. Adults and kids alike love to cool off in the Rings Fountain in the Wharf District, with its 64 nozzles of vertical projection. The Canal Fountains, along the North and South Lawns, are another fam fave. If you’ve got tots, this is the spot to take them. Finally, kids can wade into the Chinatown Stream, with its bamboo walkway and peacefully cascading waterfall. Take your pick! You can’t go wrong here.

Atlantic Ave.
Boston, MA
Online: rosekennedygreenway.org

Dana Park
On the eastern side of this Cambridge park, families will find a water play area and inviting playground. While we’re sure the kids will want to focus their play here, it’s worth noting that the park also boasts shaded walking paths, a full-sized basketball court and a lush lawn that was made for family picnics. So pack a few extras (a change of clothes for sure!) when you hit this popular neighborhood park.

70 Magazine St.
Cambridge, MA
Online: cambridgema.gov/cdd/parks/parksinfo/parks/danapark

photo: iStock

Alfond Memorial Spray Deck
Another splash spot located along the Charles River this small spray deck is a welcome respite for city families. After you’ve had your fill of water, hit the playground and then the Museum of Science, where you can keep the “cool” theme going in air-conditioned bliss.

Hours: 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

280 Charles St.
Boston, MA
Online: mass.gov/locations/alfond-memorial-spray-deck

Bradley Palmer State Park Spray Deck
If you’re up for an adventure, take the kids to Bradley Palmer State Park. It’s a bit of a drive, but totally worth it if you want to spend the day playing in the water—the park has a wading pool with splash pad features too—and exploring trails. Check out the daily programming before you go.

Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Cost: $5/person, MA resident; $20/person, non-residents

40 Asbury St.
Topsfield, MA
Online: mass.gov/locations/bradley-palmer-spray-deck

Good to Know:
1. Remember to pack sunscreen, spare swim diapers, a water bottle, sunhat, a change of clothes and plenty of snacks to make your splash-tastic day a successful one.

2. Many of these spots have playgrounds nearby, so plan to double your fun and make it a full day. We promise your kids will nap hard when they’re finally ready to head home.

3. In addition to our favorites featured above, the city has lots of other tot sprays and pools that’ll keep families cool this summer. Check out this map to find one near you.

—Allison Sutcliffe

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