Orange County Splash Parks and Water Play (including Free Fountains, Splash Pads, Waterslides, and Hotels with Water Features)
Always check official sources for Summer 2021 to see if the splash park you want to visit is open. Reservations may be required!
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 splash pads. 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.
You are probably wondering “Are Orange County splash pads open?” I’m so happy to report on the splash pads and water play areas open for Summer 2021. There are only a few that are requiring reservations or that haven’t opened yet.
Here are links to a few splash pad options if you are looking to get wet this summer:
FREE SPLASH FOUNTAINS
More FREE splash fountains not featured on this blog:
- Lemon Park Spray Pool at Maple Neighborhood Center in Fullerton used to be a sparse playground with old equipment, although the water play area hasn’t changed much the surrounding playground has new equipment. It’s near the Fullerton AMC and Costco. The splash pad is open now! Saw it running full blast on 7/17/21.
- The Splash Pad in Westminster’s Sigler Park (click that link and then scroll down the page to find the splash pad info). The splash pad is at the corner of a large rectangular park area right off the main boulevard. Opening June 21st with reservations required for the entire summer.
- Adlena Park in Fullerton has a summer spray pool, but I have never been yet.
- Frontier Park in Tustin spray ground “features a state of the art recirculation system and special water conserving spray nozzles that ensures no wasteful water consumption.” Undergoing repairs.
- Brio Park and Oeste Park in La Habra are two splash pads in La Habra available by reservation for Summer of 2021. I like how these ones are open particularly late — until 7pm!
- Irvine Spectrum children’s play fountain outside Target near the carousel and playground. Open.
- Brenner Park wading pool in Buena Park – no word on if it will open for 2021.
- Atlantis Play Center in Garden Grove – park is reopened on weekends only starting Memorial Day weekend and their website says the splash pad is open for the season on weekends since they are running summer camp during the week.
- Walnut Grove Park in Anaheim
- Ponderosa Park in Anaheim (OC Register story from June 2018)
- The District in Tustin Legacy shopping area has pop-up fountains. (Checked on 7/17/21 and they weren’t running.)
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) – no word on if it will open the water attraction for 2021. Every time I drive by, it doesn’t look like the water park area is running.
- Newport Dunes Inflatable Water Playground & Water Sport Rentals – Opened 2021 Memorial Day weekend.
- The Wave Water Park, Vista – “Will reopen for weekend operations June 19 through September 6 on Saturdays and Sundays from 12:00 pm – 5:00 p.m.” (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!) reopened May 29th and gets the best reader comments:
“We visited Splash in La Mirada on Saturday and “OH MY GOODNESS” it was sooo much fun!” (-Lisa)
“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 – Grand Reopening May 29
- Sea World’s Aquatica in Chula Vista (San Diego area) – opening May 29 for what it says is its last season
- Legoland Water Park in Carlsbad and they even have a new splash pad area in the Lego Movie World section of the park (San Diego area)
- Hurricane Harbor, Valencia (LA area) – opened May 22nd for California residents
- Raging Waters, San Dimas (LA area) – opened May 29th
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 recreational 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
It’s useful to remember that this list is ONLY waterslides or water parks AT hotels — meaning (in most cases) you must be a registered guest and staying at the hotel to enjoy the amenities.
ResortPass is one way to gain access to some hotels by paying for the day without having to pay for an overnight stay. See if the hotel you have in mind is listed!
- Slyder’s Water Playground at Hyatt Huntington Beach (OC)
- Waterfront Beach Resort Hilton in Huntington Beach (OC)
- Splash Landing Pools and Family Sandy Beach at La Costa Resort (North San Diego County)
- Waterslides at Hyatt Mission Bay Spa & Marina (San Diego)
- Family Pool at the Grand Pacific Palisades in Carlsbad (North San Diego County)
- Splashtopia at Rancho Las Palmas Resort (Palm Springs)
- Children’s Pool at Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa (Palm Springs Area)
- Chuckwalla Slide and Family Pool at Marriott’s Shadow Ridge I – The Villages (Palm Springs Area)
- Mirage Pool at The Westin Desert Willow Villas (Palm Springs Area)
- Monorail Pool at the Disneyland Hotel (OC)
- Redwood Pool at Disney’s Grand Californian Resort (OC)
- Rooftop pool at Disneyland Paradise Pier Hotel (OC)
- Surfside Waterpark at Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance (OC)
- Castaway Cove at Howard Johnson by Wyndham Hotel Anaheim (OC)
- Waterpark at Cambria Hotel & Suites in Anaheim (OC)
- Splash Zone water playground at Holiday Inn & Suites Anaheim (OC)
- Kids Splash & Play at Renaissance Club Sport Hotel in Aliso Viejo (OC)
- Children’s Splash Zone at Laguna Cliffs Marriott (OC)
- Pool with kids activity area at Knott’s Berry Farm Hotel (OC)
- Great Wolf Lodge, Garden Grove indoor water park (OC)
- Resort Pool and Splash Zone at Terranea Resort (LA area)
What did I miss? Please help me keep this list up-to-date. I’ve been maintaining it every summer for the past THIRTEEN years.
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.
Originally published in Summer 2008.