We’ve already experienced record-breaking heatwaves this summer in Oregon, and it’s important to find free, easy ways to beat the heat with littles (and bigs)! Fortunately, Portland Parks have interactive fountains and splash pads throughout the city. No matter what quadrant you’re in, one is nearby! Read on for our favorite Portland splash pads for creative play throughout the city. Note that water is cleaned and chlorinated, but not meant for ingesting.

Northwest:

 

Jamison Square
The cascading waterfalls of the Jamison Square interactive fountain are mesmerizing, and a respite on a hot day. The water pools into a shallow area before receding again and recirculating. Kiddos love climbing the rocks and sitting in the water streams. After cooling off in the fountain, head across the street to Cool Moon Ice Cream for a home-made ice cream cone or sorbet.

Fun fact: the 30-foot-tall sculptures along the park, which cover streetcar poles, are called Tikitotemoniki Totems.

810 NW 11th Avenue
Splash pad hours: 11:00 - 7:00 pm
Online: portland.gov/parks/jamison-square

Essex Park
This cute hidden park near Holgate Library has a splash pad, playground, picnic tables and a basketball court. Stop by the library to browse a large selection of children's books at the Multnomah County Library, then enjoy a picnic at the park while your little adventurers splash away.

SE 79th Ave. & Center St.
Online: portlandoregon.gov

Earl Boyles Park
You’ll find a splash pad at this outer southeast park, as well as a playground with a colorful climbing structure, picnic tables, walking paths and a horseshoe pit. There's even a volley ball court for the more competitive members of your family. 

SE 107th Ave. & Francis St.
Online: portlandoregon.gov

Northeast:

Irving Park
This spacious park has it all, from shady trees and a baseball field to basketball courts and a popular playground. Adjacent to the playground your water lovers can wet their tiny toes in the refreshing sprayground, with a splashing fire hydrant and other fun water structures.

NE 7th Ave. & Fremont St.
Online: portlandoregon.gov

Grant Park
Fans of Beverly Cleary books will love seeing their favorite characters come to life at this Ramona-inspired fountain. While splashing their feet in the water, kids can check out the sculptures of Ramona, Henry Huggins and Ribsy the Dog. The park also has an adjacent playground and tennis courts, so it’s the perfect spot to spend a full afternoon enjoying the summertime sunshine.

NE 33rd Ave & US Grant Pl.
Online: portlandoregon.gov 

Khunamokwst Park
This fun little park in the Cully neighborhood features a nature-based stream, complete with interactive hand pump and river rocks to wade along, leading to a shallow pooled area. This is perfect for a young child who loves to explore. After wading, be sure to check out the pinecone sculpture near the playground, which represents the Native American story of the Douglas Fir and the Mouse. Kʰunamokwst Park is the first Portland Parks and Rec park to have an indigenous name, respecting the history of this land.

5200 NE Alberta Street
Splash pad hours: 11:00 - 7:00 pm
Online: portland.gov/parks/kkunamokwst-park                                               

North:

Peninsula Park
On a hot day, enjoy the respite of the 16-acre shady, tree-lined Peninsula Park. The splash pad is located in the heart of the park, near the two playgrounds (one for younger children, one for older), and adjacent to the public restrooms. The water-spouting “flowers” are a kid-favorite.

Fun fact: Peninsula Park was Portland’s first public rose garden.

700 N Rosa Parks Way
Splash pad hours: 11:00 - 7:00 pm
Online: portland.gov/parks/peninsula-park

Columbia Park
The gigantic flower fountains and movable jet sprays make the sprayground at this beautiful tree-shaded park a Portland favorite. With water play, plenty of picnic tables and a playground that kids love, Columbia Park will quickly become your summer play date meetup spot.

N Lombard St. & Woolsey Ave.
Online: portlandoregon.gov

Farragut Park
Kiddie “car wash” structures, bubbling fountains and water sprays are some of the fun splash pad fixtures at this 14-acre park. You’ll also find basketball courts, walking paths, picnic tables and a play structure that will keep the kids busy until they tire out on those perfect summer days.

N Kerby Ave. & N Farragut St.
Online: portlandoregon.gov

McCoy Park
The interactive fountain at McCoy Park is a family fave! Children of all ages will love chasing the dancing fountains, which shoot upwards of 12-feet high, in spurts of unpredictable aquatic excitement. While drying off, take a stroll toward the playground on a quest to find the squirrel and salmon sculpture benches, and walk the circular pathway showcasing different phases of the moon. Fun fact: McCoy Park is named after Bill and Gladys McCoy, local African-American political leaders. In 1970, Gladys McCoy was the first African-American to serve on the Portland School Board.

N Trenton Street and Newman Avenue
Splash pad hours: 11:00 - 7:00 pm
Online: portland.gov/parks/mccoy-park

Southwest:

Elizabeth Caruthers Park
For tiny tots just getting ready to test the waters, this simple yet delightful round stepping stone splash pad is a treat. For those who are tired of the water, there's a bocce court and unpaved paths to explore.

3508 SW Moody Ave.
Online: portlandoregon.gov

Salmon Street Springs at Waterfront Park
If you want to hear shrieks of summer happiness, head down to the waterfront and let your kids catch the spray at Salmon Street Springs. A computer controls the three changing patterns of water, named “misters,” “bollards,” and “wedding cake.” Kids will have a great time trying to guess which is which. With an impressive 185 jets of water and riverfront views, this is one spot that you’ll want to add to your summer bucket list.

Waterfront Park, Naito Parkway at SW Salmon
Online: portlandoregon.gov

Teachers Fountain at Director Park
Located in the heart of downtown Portland, this cheery plaza offers shady seating, a giant chess board, and a fun interactive fountain area. Kiddos will love chasing the arcing jets that splash into a shallow pool area. Adults will enjoy sitting along the wall to soak tired feet in the refreshing water. If you get hungry or thirsty, Flying Elephants Deli is located across the street, which is open weekdays from 8:00 am - 4:00 pm.

815 SW Park Avenue
Fountain hours: 7:00 am - 10:00 pm
Online: portland.gov/parks/director-park

Spring Garden Park
Located in this picturesque Multnomah Village park, the interactive water feature at Spring Garden Park provides hours of fun. Also onsite are musical instrument installations, a large lookout tower play structure, and the intriguing “nest” sculpture by Hannes Wingate. The playground meets all current ADA requirements.

3332 SW Spring Garden Street
Fountain hours: 7:00 am - 10:00 pm
Online: portland.gov/parks/spring-garden-park

Southeast

Earl Boyles Park
Bring along some horseshoes to work up a sweat in the horseshoe pit before hitting up the splash pad at Earl Boyles Park. Located in the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood, the park also features an accessible spray feature, a volleyball court, and has an accessible Portland Loo onsite for potty breaks. Fun fact: Earl Boyles was a well-loved janitor at the former Powellhurst Elementary School for nearly 20 years in the 1930s and 40s. The park was named after him.

SE 107th Avenue and Francis Street
Splash pad hours: 11:00 - 7:00 pm
Online: portland.gov/parks/earl-boyles-park

Colonel Summers Park
One of the newer splash pad installations in the Portland Parks system is at Colonel Summers Park, which features small climbing rocks and sitting areas. The park also hosts a playground, basketball court and tennis courts, so there’s something for everyone! Grab some picnic fixings at Market of Choice on your way over to make a day of it.

SE 17th Avenue and Taylor Street
Splash pad hours: 11:00 - 7:00 pm
Online: portland.gov/parks/colonel-summers-park

—April Hasson

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