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Splash Parks and Water Play in Orange County

Splash Parks and Water Play in Orange County

Orange County Splash Parks and Water Play (including Free Fountains, Splash Pads, Waterslides, and Hotels with Water Features)

Always check official sources for Summer 2024 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.

Here are links to a few splash pad options if you are looking to get wet this summer:

FREE SPLASH FOUNTAINS

Look for these splash pads and spray parks to open for summer around Memorial Day. I will make note if they are open more year-round.

Splash Parks and Water Play in Orange County

To start let's look at this list of FREE splash fountains.

More FREE splash pads not featured on this blog:

  • Rancho Santa Margarita Splash Pad at Central Park opened to the public in 2022. I have a post on the playground that is attached to it at RSM Central Park. Will open May 18th for Summer 2024 with a whole Opening Day Celebration and Rec Expo. It is sometimes down for maintenance, but there is a great playground there and library across the street so there is always something else to do.
  • The Splash Pad in Westminster’s Sigler Park is open WEEKENDS (May 25th-June 9th) and DAILY (June 15th – Sept 2nd) for Summer 2024 between the hours of 12pm-5pm and closing 2-2:30pm for maintenance. The splash pad is at the corner of a large rectangular park area right off the main boulevard.
  • Fullerton actually has an info page about their spray pools. Opening May 24, 2024.
  • 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.” Usually opens Memorial Day and remains open 7 days/week through Labor Day from 11am-5pm.
  • For Anaheim, there’s Ponderosa Park (OC Register story from June 2018) AND Mira Loma Park & Splash Pad. Usually opens Memorial Day weekend.

Other splash pads:

  • Yorba Linda Adventure Playground opened on April 22, 2023 and it has a splash pad, plus waterslide. I have not promoted this a lot because the hours are pretty tricky and unpredictable. Also, reservations for weekend access to the waterslides are hard to come by unless you are a resident of Yorba Linda (since they get priority registration for those Saturday and Sunday required reservations). It’s really important to check the official Yorba Linda Adventure Playground website for exact hours and procedures for reservations. At this time, Yorba Linda residents can reserve a spot “up to two weeks in advance and non-residents can reserve up to two days in advance.”
  • Atlantis Play Center in Garden Grove – Splash pad usually open during summer except for the weeks when they are running summer camp inside the park. It was closed for maintenance during Summer 2023 and they are planning to be open for Summer 2024.
  • Harry M. Dotson Park in Stanton – I haven’t been promoting this option since there was increased gang activity and a shooting midday on a Saturday in Spring 2023. But in case you are familiar and local, this could be an option?

Always check the city or original source to make sure the parks are open. Sometimes they turn off the water without notice.

lemon park spray pool fullerton
Lemon Park Spray Pool

PAY FOR WATER PLAY

I’ve never been, but the City of La Mirada Buccaneer Bay (Splash!) will open for Summer 2023 beginning Memorial Day weekend on May 18th (for season passholders) and May 25th for the rest of the public. It 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)

Season passes are $60-$70 and day tickets are $22/$27.

Newport Dunes Inflatable Water Playground & Water Sport Rentals – Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day (May 24th through September 2nd). For Summer 2024 – a reservation system is in place and your admission is valid for “One Hour Only, No Full Day access!” Price is $15-$20 per person per hour. Walk-ins are still allowed, but they warn that time slots will sell out. This is also recommended for kids over 5 years old.

The Adventure Lagoon Anaheim Water Park just came on the scene in Summer 2021. No word on dates for Summer 2024, but it often opens as early as April.

Other Southern California Water Theme Parks:

SMALLER SCALE WATER PLAY FOR LOCALS

More Info on Community Pools and Public Swim Programs

There are a number of cities with aquatics programs and some have community pools and public swim or “rec swim” programs – either year-round or summer only. You will need to consult these city websites for official information.

Again, you may have to pay a non-resident fee vs. the resident fee if you don’t have to live in the city where you’d like to participate in the activities.

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!

What did I miss? Please help me keep this list up-to-date. I’ve been maintaining it every summer SINCE 2008!

BEACHES:

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.

Cynthia C.

Sunday 2nd of June 2013

I live in Rancho Santa Margarita, and I have always had a great time in the open splash area next to Kohl's, in front of Daphne's/Baja Fresh/ Niko Niko Sushi.

By 3pm the water is warm enough to stand in, areas are timid enough for toddlers, and it's been really clean every time I've gone.

Hope others have the same great experience.

jim

Thursday 14th of March 2013

Are there any splash parks in south oc? I live in Dana point

Fiona

Sunday 15th of July 2012

There's a splash pad at Atlantis Play Center. We went there yesterday (7/14/12) but it was pretty packed because it was weekend. The official website for the Play Center's here:

http://www.ci.garden-grove.ca.us/?q=commserv/atlantis/

anah

Monday 9th of July 2012

we just had my son's birthday party at Sigler Park's splash pad yesterday! it was awesome! for $100, you get to rent it out for 2 hours and it was well worth it, we arrived during public hours and it was jam packed...they brought out the megaphone and cleared everyone out for our party. there are 3 benches for parents and chairs along the side... we bought BJ's pizza down the street, i brought fruit and cupcakes and the kids had the pad to themselves!! there's also a playground right next door too for some before/after play. it was the best birthday ever! we'll be back again soon ;) thank you so much for the recommendation - you truly made memories for me and my family!!

Michele

Wednesday 11th of July 2012

Thanks for sharing, Anah.

MIchelle

Wednesday 17th of August 2011

I've seen the splash fountain at the Cerritos Library but we haven't played in it because we visited during the cold weather. It looks fun, though!

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