Orange County Splash Parks and Water Play
One of Fun Orange County Parks’ regular readers asked about local “spray parks” for water play – and even gave some suggestions herself. I keep hearing that Southern California, especially OC, lacks spray parks. My only explanation is our proximity to the beach and the good weather which allows us to make our own splash parks at home with sprinklers. Here are links to a few options if you are looking to get wet this summer:
FREE SPLASH FOUNTAINS:
- The Splash Pad in Westminster’s Sigler Park
- Harry M. Dotson Park in Stanton has a “Wet Saloon” themed water play area – this one gets mixed reviews from readers.
- Stanton Central Park opened in June 2016 with a splash pad and railroad theme.
- Frontier Park in Tustin installed recirculating water system in 2016. The spray ground “features a state of the art recirculation system and special water conserving spray nozzles that ensures no wasteful water consumption.” It’s open 11am to 4pm M-F.
- Heritage Park in Irvine is one of my personal favorites (see photo above).
- Lemon Park Spray Pool in Fullerton.
- Adlena Park in Fullerton.
- The District in Tustin Legacy has pop-up fountains.
- Brenner Park wading pool in Buena Park – free for 6 and under, M-F 1pm-4pm.
- Crown Valley Park and splash pad or “sprayground” across from the YMCA in Laguna Niguel.
- Atlantis Play Center in Garden Grove.
- Walnut Grove Park in Anaheim.
Closed back in 2016 due to drought*:
- Pioneer Park in Tustin has a little splash park during the summer (no word on whether it will be open for summer 2017)
Always check the city or original source to make sure the parks are open. Sometimes they turn off the water without notice.
PAY FOR WATER PLAY:
- Boomer’s Buccaneer Bay, Irvine (comparatively small – opened in Summer 2013)
- Newport Dunes Water Playground & Water Sport Rentals
- The Wave Water Park, Vista (San Diego area)
Other Southern California Water Theme Parks:
As I was updating this post, I noticed many of these parks offer spring discounts on annual passes. So if you’re ready to commit to one park, you could probably get your money’s worth.
I’ve never been, but the City of La Mirada Buccaneer Bay (Splash!) gets the best reader comments:
“We visited Splash in La Mirada on Saturday and “OH MY GOODNESS” it was sooo much fun!” (See the rest of Lisa’s experience in the comments section below.)
“We visited La Mirada (all the way from Lake Forest) today – there’s nowhere we won’t drive! It was definitely worth it. The ‘common pool’ area in the middle is free, parking is free, my 2 year old son was free. That’s a bargain in exchange for the cost of gas. I like that locker rental only cost 50 cents and that you can swim for free or enter Buccaneer Bay for a fee. I thought that cost of the Bay was reasonable for all they had to offer. Can’t wait to go again sometime.” (-Heather)
- Knott’s Berry Farm Soak City, Buena Park – new 2017 expansion opens this summer
- Sea World’s Aquatica in Chula Vista (San Diego area)
- Legoland Water Park in Carlsbad (San Diego area) – LEGO Legends of CHIMA Water Park and NEW Surfers’ Cove opening in 2017
- Hurricane Harbor, Valencia (LA area)
- Raging Waters, San Dimas (LA area)
- Wet ‘n Wild, Palm Springs
SMALLER SCALE WATER PLAY FOR LOCALS:
- Aliso Viejo Aquatic Center and Pool
- San Clemente Aquatics and Vista Hermosa Sports Park (pictured with green slide above)
- Go to different cities for rec swim (click here for my Ultimate Guide to City Recreation Programs and Calendars)
- Join the YMCA to take part in swim lessons or rec swim
Southern California Hotels with Water Play:
- Slyder’s Water Playground at Hyatt Huntington Beach (OC)
- Splash Landing Pools and Family Sandy Beach at La Costa Resort (North San Diego County)
- Splashtopia at Rancho Las Palmas Resort (Palm Springs)
- Monorail Pool at the Disneyland Hotel (OC)
- Kids Splash & Play at Renaissance Club Sport Hotel in Aliso Viejo (OC)
- Children’s Splash Zone at Laguna Cliffs Marriott (OC)
- Meadow Pool at Paradise Point Resort (San Diego)
- Surfside Waterpark at Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance (OC)
- Castaway Cove at Howard Johnson Hotel Anaheim (OC)
- Great Wolf Lodge, Garden Grove indoor water park (OC)
Don’t forget the BEACH! Kids can splash in the surf without going all the way in the water. Hold their hands and cool your toes, too. I have a ton of suggestions with details under my Beach category. And I wrote about the Best Toddler Beaches with no waves.