Looking for a way to cool off without lugging the kids to the beach or fighting crowds at a public pool? Sprinkler parks and splash pads are fun and perfect for kids of all ages, from pre-swimmers to too-cool teens.
1. Beaver Brook Reservation Spray Deck & Park – Belmont
The Beaver Brook Playground and Spray Deck on the Waltham-Belmont line has been completely renovated in recent years with everything from new play equipment and freshly paved tennis courts to revamped restrooms and water bubblers. The big draw is the spray deck, made from a soft, resilient surface and featuring multiple zones with different activation details and sequences. Children can scramble across rocks and splash in pop-up sprinklers at this beautifully landscaped woodsy retreat.
2. Artesani Wading Pool & Spray Deck – Brighton
This scenic riverside location with views of the Charles is like a mini waterpark. Artesani Park offers two playgrounds, a wading pool, and zero-depth spray deck with all sorts of waterfall-like structures! The wading pool has lifeguards on duty, showers, changing rooms, picnic area, and an ice cream truck visits often. Both the spray deck and wading pool are open daily during the summer.
3. Christian Science Center Splash Fountain – Boston
On hot summer days you're sure to find flocks of Bostonians cooling off at this famous landmark. The long reflecting pool mirrors the beautiful Christian Science Church and the Back Bay skyline. Wind your way in and out of the columns comprising the colonnade of the church building fronting the reflecting pool. The fountain at the northern end of the pool (near the Prudential Center) features 180 water jets that shoot directly out of the ground, providing endless summer fun for little ones.
4. The Greenway Fountains – Boston
This mile-and-a-half of contemporary parks in the heart of Boston offers seven different water fountains for cooling down in the summer, all within walking distance of each other. The most popular is the Rings Fountain, located in the Wharfs District near the Boston Aquarium, where dozens of nozzles shoot into the air creating a circle of vertical water. Nearby, the interactive Harbor Fog Sculpture puts off a cool mist in response to movement. Littler kids who just want to get their feet wet will love the canals in the North End park, or the refreshing, bamboo-lined Serpantine Path Chinatown Stream. A bubbling fountain at the center of a Labyrinth is a fun stop near the Armenian Heritage Park.
5. Boston Frog Pond Spray Pool – Boston
Sit back, relax, and enjoy the beauty and history of the Boston Common while your little tadpoles splash around and cool down on hot summer days. The Frog Pond Spray Pool is open daily during the summer, and is a favorite among city dwellers and visitors alike. Bigger kids can splash their way to the giant, spraying fountain in the middle of the wading pool, while littler ones can soak in the outskirts. Lifeguards are on hand, as well as a café with drinks and snacks. And don’t forget the Frog Pond Carousel, where kids can catch a whirling ride on fun and zany characters.
6. Park Hill Splash Park - Fitchburg
Children can splash in geysers and run through colorful water-spraying rings at this fenced-in splash pad, adjacent to Park Hill Park. The sprinklers go off at different intervals which is a fun surprise for kids looking for water play. Nearby in the park, visitors can enjoy a skatepark, play structures and swings, tennis and basketball courts and several fields.
7. Ward Park Wading Pool - Marlborough
The highlight of this large, sloped wading pool is its giant red mushroom-shaped fountain for kids to splash in. New swimmers and littler ones can enjoy the shallow pool. Open seven days week from noon to 5:45 p.m. starting on June 22. The adjacent park has a walking track, bike trails and skate ramp.
8. Assabet Park Splash Pad -- Northborough
Adjacent to the park’s toddler playground, this splash pad is a popular spot for little ones to cool off. Roughly the same dimensions as a basketball court, it offers several different features such as bubblers, misters, and geysers to delight everyone from babies to preschool-age kids. As it is on an asphalt surface, water shoes are recommended to protect sensitive toes. Bring lunch, there are plenty of picnic tables at the park.
9. Adventure Spray & Play at Davis Farmland -- Sterling
Splish and splash at New England’s largest, zero depth, water spray park. There are two spray pads; one for toddlers and the other for multi-generational fun. Parents and children can get creative as they interact with every kind of mister, sprinkler and geyser imaginable. Cool off under the water tower or giant sunflowers, the kiddie car wash, the Slip & Slide, get bubbly in the bubble blast and slide down an inflatable waterslide! Davis Farmland is open daily, 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Opens June 15.
10. Bradley Palmer State Park Wading Pool – Topsfield
This hidden gem has a large, shallow wading pool for little ones to dip in, and a turtle sprayer and sprinkler mushroom for splashing around. There are lifeguards, bathrooms, a small climbing structure, and lots of shady lounging areas. After cooling off, enjoy the picturesque park and its pine needled paths and sunny rolling meadows.
11. Cristoforo Colombo Spray Park – Worcester
Splash around and get sprayed by bouts of water. This park in Worcester’s Shrewsbury Street commercial district also has a padded-surface playground, tennis court, and several climbing structures. Spray Park is open daily during the summer from noon to 7 p.m. with lifeguards on hand.
12. Greenwood Spray Park – Worcester
Greenwood Park is located on the south end of the city in the Quinsigamond Village Neighborhood section. It is bustling with lots of activities during the summer months. The spray park features fun-shaped sprinklers and geysers that spray from the ground. There is also a playground, softball field, spray park, basketball court, nature trail, picnic areas and tennis court onsite.