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Splash Time! Stay Cool at Super South Sound Spray Parks

Where families can beat the heat and play in the spray

Published on: May 30, 2019

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Photo:
Norpoint Park sprayground. Courtesy Metro Parks Tacoma

On a warm spring or summer day, there's one thing that's sure to please nearly everyone: playing in the water. And that's what free spray parks are all about. For spray park splashing in the South Sound, here's our guide. Try them all and let us know if we missed your favorite!

Closer to the Seattle area or heading that way? Don't miss our guide to spray parks around Seattle, the Eastside and North Sound.

Tacoma spray parks

Point RustonTacoma's revitalized Ruston Way waterfront is packed with attractions for families. Play at the ferry-boat-themed playground and sprayground (open now!) at Point Ruston, and then bike down the wide, 2-mile pedestrian path, enjoying the stunning views of Mount Rainier and Commencement Bay along the way. Finish off with a cone at Ice Cream Social in Point Ruston or lunch at one of the many restaurants. The sprayground is nature-inspired and super popular. (Find more to do on Ruston Way here.)
Hours: Open seasonally, noon–10 p.m., with an LED fountain light show from dusk–10 p.m.
Find it: 5005 Ruston Way, Tacoma

Courtesy Point Ruston
Courtesy Point Ruston

Norpoint ParkWith landscaped rain gardens, eco-turf and a playground as well as a sprayground, there are many reasons to visit Norpoint.
Hours: Open 10 a.m.–8 p.m. daily through Sept. 2; then weekends the rest of September
Find it: 4818 Nassau Ave. N.E., Tacoma 

Wright Park: This beautiful park in northeast Tacoma boasts an updated playground and an almost 1-mile trail. Explore the W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory while you're there.
Hours: Open 10 a.m.–8 p.m. daily through Sept. 2, then weekends the rest of September
Find it: 501 South I St., Tacoma

Wright Park. Courtesy Metro Parks Tacoma

Jefferson Park: Spanning over 15 acres, this park has a renovated spray park and playground, plus athletic fields.
Hours: Open 10 a.m.–8 p.m. daily through Sept. 2, then weekends the rest of September
Find it: 801 N. Mason Ave., Tacoma

Verlo PlayfieldHave a picnic after the kids work up an appetite splashing in the sprayground. Note, some still know this playfield by its former name, McKinley Playfield.
Hours: Open 10 a.m.–8 p.m. daily through Sept. 2, then weekends the rest of September
Find it: 4321 McKinley Ave., Tacoma

South Park: The trees at this forested park provide plenty of shade when you need a break from splashing or strolling the gardens.
Hours: Open 10 a.m.–8 p.m. daily through Sept. 2, then weekends the rest of September
Find it: 4851 S. Tacoma Way, Tacoma

Wapato Hills Park: The Skip and Laura Vaughn Playfield and sprayground at this park is adjacent to a preserved open nature space.
Hours: Open 10 a.m.–8 p.m. daily through Sept. 2, then weekends the rest of September
Find it: 6231 S. Wapato St., Tacoma

Titlow Park: This 75-acre park on Tacoma’s west side boasts a spray park, lagoon, an updated playground plus basketball courts and fields. Tip: Come on a low-tide day to inspect what marine life lives in the shallow water. The Tiptoe Through the Tidepools program is held at Titlow Beach about once a month in the summer.
Hours: Open 10 a.m.–8 p.m. daily through Sept. 2, then weekends the rest of September
Find it: 8425 6th Ave., Tacoma.  

Franklin Park: This park has a newer sprayground, walking trails and an expanded community garden.
Hours: Open 10 a.m.–8 p.m. daily through Sept. 2, then weekends the rest of September
Find it: 1201 S. Puget Sound Ave., Tacoma

George B. Kandle Park: This park boasts a huge outdoor wave pool, a free mini-sprayground, spray toys and a separate spraypool.
Hours: Open 10 a.m.–8 p.m. daily through Sept. 2, then weekends the rest of September
Find it: 2323 N. Shirley St., Tacoma

SERA Campus sprayground: This spray park next to the STAR Center in south Tacoma is the newest and largest spray park in Tacoma. After kids are done splashing, they can play in the STAR Center’s unique Treetops playground, a staffed indoor/outdoor playscape with a huge range of play equipment.
Hours: Open 10 a.m.–8 p.m. daily through Sept. 2, then weekends the rest of September
Find it: 3873 S. 66th St., Tacoma

Point Defiance Zoo & AquariumIf you visit in the summer, bring a change of clothes and water shoes so the kids can splash in the Kids’ Zone Lilypad Fountain. Access included with zoo admission.
Hours: Daily, 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m. (later in late summer and on weekends)
Find it: 5400 N. Pearl St., Tacoma

Puyallup

Kiwanis Kids Spray ParkOne of the South Sound's newer spray parks, and Puyallup's first, this spray park replaces the wading pool that used to be in Pioneer Park.
Hours: Open daily, Memorial Day through Labor Day 
Find it: 324 S. Meridian, Puyallup

Olympia

East Bay Public Plaza: This unique reclaimed water stream near the WET Science Center and Hands On Children's Museum has water to spare, stepping stones to climb on and much more. Check the Facebook page for occasional closures before heading out to avoid disappointment. 
Hours: Open daily 10 a.m.–8 p.m. in summer; fall months 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Find it: 325 Marine Dr. N.E., Olympia

 

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East Bay Public Plaza reclaimed stream. Credit: Elisa Murray

Heritage Park Fountain: This is an Olympia favorite for wading and splashing. The fountain is scheduled to open for summer in June, but is occasionally closed for maintenance, so check the website before heading out!
Hours: Open 11 a.m.–9 p.m. daily June–Sept.; and 11 a.m.–7 p.m. in non-summer months
Find it: 330 5th Ave. S.W., Olympia

Auburn

Les Gove Park Rotary Play Sprayground: The colorful water-spray features here make this destination one of the most popular spray parks in the area. Tip: Les Gove also includes the terrific, fully accessible Discovery Playground.
Hours: Open daily through Labor Day
Find it: 910 Ninth St. S.E., Auburn

Federal Way

Town Square Park: This flagship community park features tons of fun for kids, including a zip line, a play structure and a seasonal splash pad.
Hours: Pending confirmation
Find it: 31600 Pete von Reichbauer Way S., Federal Way

 

Editor's note: Elisa Murray contributed to this article, which was originally published in 2013 and updated in May 2019.

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