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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: June 24, 2021

Best-spray-parks-splash-pads-kids-families-South-Sound
Photo:
Norpoint Park sprayground. Courtesy Metro Parks

On a hot 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.

This hot news just came in for the heat wave: Metro Parks will open its spraygrounds a week earlier than planned — Saturday, June 26 — to help keep us cool. Whew! 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

Metro Parks' 10 spraygrounds, listed below, will open Saturday, June 26. Check the website for hours and other updates.

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 June 26–Sept. 2, 10 a.m.–8 p.m. daily; then weekends the rest of September
Find it: 3873 S. 66th St., Tacoma

Norpoint Park: With landscaped rain gardens, eco-turf and a playground as well as a sprayground, there are many reasons to visit Norpoint.
Hours: Open June 26–Sept. 2, 10 a.m.–8 p.m. daily; 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 nearby W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory on a future visit —  it's currently closed for renovations.
Hours: Open June 26–Sept. 2, 10 a.m.–8 p.m. daily; then weekends the rest of September
Find it: 501 South I St., Tacoma

Jefferson Park: Spanning over 15 acres, this park has a renovated spray park and playground, plus athletic fields.
Hours: Open June 26–Sept. 2, 10 a.m.–8 p.m. daily; then weekends the rest of September
Find it: 801 N. Mason Ave., Tacoma

Kids and families playing at Jefferson Park sprayground in Tacoma
Jefferson Park sprayground. Courtesy Metro Parks Tacoma

Verlo Playfield: Have 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 June 26–Sept. 2, 10 a.m.–8 p.m. daily; 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 June 26–Sept. 2, 10 a.m.–8 p.m. daily; 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 June 26–Sept. 2, 10 a.m.–8 p.m. daily; 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. 
Hours: Open June 26–Sept. 2, 10 a.m.–8 p.m. daily; 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 June 26–Sept. 2, 10 a.m.–8 p.m. daily; then weekends the rest of September
Find it: 1201 S. Puget Sound Ave., Tacoma

George B. Kandle Park: This park boasts a huge outdoor pool (also with a planned reopening in early July 2021), a free mini-sprayground, spray toys and a separate spraypool.
Hours: Open June 26–Sept. 2, 10 a.m.–8 p.m. daily; then weekends the rest of September
Find it: 2323 N. Shirley St., Tacoma

Additional Tacoma splash pads

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium Kids' Zone: If you visit the zoo 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 or membership.
Hours: Daily, 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m. (later in late summer and on weekends)
Find it: 5400 N. Pearl St., Tacoma

Point Ruston spray park: Tacoma's revitalized Ruston Way waterfront is packed with attractions for families, including a ferry-boat-themed playground and splash park.
Hours: Daily, 12 p.m.–10 p.m.
Find it: 5005 Ruston Way, Tacoma

Courtesy Point Ruston
Point Ruston spray park. Courtesy of Point Ruston

Puyallup

Kiwanis Kids Spray Park: One 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: The Plaza is currently closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, with a goal of opening later this summer
Find it: 325 Marine Dr. N.E., Olympia

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East Bay Public Plaza reclaimed stream. Credit: Elisa Murray

Woodruff Park: A fun sprayground was added in a recent renovation of this Olympia area park. It includes high-flying water features to keep the little ones cool on a hot day. 
Hours: Open daily, Memorial Day through Labor Day 
Find it: 1500 Harrison Avenue NW, Olympia

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: Currently closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, with a goal of opening later this summer
Find it: 330 5th Ave. S.W., Olympia

Auburn

Les Gove Park Rotary 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 and a very nifty crow.
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 several years ago and updated most recently for 2021.

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