The wading pool at Seattle's Dahl Playfield opens for summer 2022 on June 28. Credit: Seattle Parks and Recreation
Free public wading pools are a dream for families with little kids. Wading pools are shallow — generally safer and more chill than local spray parks and outdoor swimming pools, both popular with kids who are a bit older. Even though wading pools are shallow, always stay within arm's reach of young kids when around water.
Seattle Parks and Recreation has opened 20 of its wading pools for summer 2022. Due to a shortage of wading pool attendants, the days and hours each wading pools is open vary by location, so be sure to check the city of Seattle website to make sure your destination is open on the day you want to go.
Weather-wise, Seattle wading pools — and spray parks — operate when the day's forecast calls for the temperature to be at least 70 degrees — without rain. For daily status updates, call the wading pool hotline (after 9:30 a.m. each day) at 206-684-7796 or check the Seattle wading pool Facebook page.
Seattle Parks and Rec wading pools
Green Lake Park: Green Lake boasts one of the biggest and most popular wading pools in the city. Take a stroll or a bike ride and watch the boats or paddleboarders after wading. North 73rd Street and West Green Lake Drive North, Seattle. Open daily, noon–7 p.m.
Lincoln Park: It’s hard not to love Lincoln Park, with its beautiful views, tide pools and lush trails, not to mention the large play area and wading pool. 8600 Fauntleroy Way S.W., Seattle. Open daily, noon–7 p.m.
Magnuson Park: Seattle's second-largest park has miles of trails along Lake Washington for you to explore before or after splashing around. 7400 Sand Point Way N.E., Seattle. Open daily, 12:15–6:30 p.m.
Van Asselt Playground: Make a day of it wading, playing on the playground and enjoying a picnic in the shade of the trees. 2820 S. Myrtle St., Seattle. Open daily, noon–7 p.m.
Volunteer Park: This park has one of the bigger wading pools in the city. The nearby playground features climbing rocks and a wall, slides, higher swings and a cool sandbox. There is lots of shade to be had. 1400 E. Galer St., Seattle. Open daily, noon–7 p.m.
Peppi’s Playground: Mature trees and grassy areas surround this wading pool, so bring your picnic blanket and get comfy. 3233 E. Spruce St., Seattle. Open Monday and Tuesday, noon–7 p.m.
South Park Playground: Next to the wading pool, you will find a play structure, swings and picnic tables in the shade. 8319 8th Ave. S., Seattle. Open Monday–Wednesday, noon–7 p.m.
East Queen Anne Playground: Beyond the wading pool, the playground has lots to offer, plus there is plenty of shade and benches for post-wading relaxation. This spot is also known as Little Howe Park. 160 Howe St., Seattle. Open Sunday–Tuesday, noon–7 p.m.
Soundview Playfield: You can find the wading pool at Soundview on the west side of the park, adjacent to the play area. 1590 N.W. 90th St., Seattle. Open Saturday–Monday, noon–7 p.m.
View Ridge Playfield: You'll find a number of picnic tables shaded by mature trees at this park, which also offers an extensive play structure, bathrooms and drinking fountains. Throw in a wading pool and it sounds like the recipe for a perfect summer day! 4408 N.E. 70th St., Seattle. Open Sunday and Monday, noon–7 p.m.
Sandel Playground: Kick off your shoes and run through the large open meadows toward the wading pool at this north Seattle park. 9053 First Ave. N.W., Seattle. Open Tuesday and Wednesday, noon–6:30 p.m.
Dahl Playfield: This northeast Seattle park has a small wading pool, a fun playground, a woodsy bog to explore and an exciting bike path encircling the park. 7700 25th Ave. N.E., Seattle. Open Tuesday–Tuesday, noon–7 p.m.
Beacon Hill Playfield: Located next to Beacon Hill Elementary, this popular park also offers basketball hoops, bathrooms, a play structure and more. 1902 13th Ave. S., Seattle. Open Wednesday and Thursday, noon–7 p.m.
Bitter Lake Playfield: One of Seattle's northernmost parks, the wading pool has great views of the lake. 13035 Linden Ave. N., Seattle. Open Wednesday–Friday, noon–7 p.m.
Powell Barnett Park: In addition to the wading pool, this park also features a playground, basketball hoops, fields, benches and picnic tables. 352 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Seattle. Open Wednesday–Sunday, noon–7 p.m.
Delridge Playfield: Kids love watching the skaters glide through the skatepark adjacent to the large wading pool at Delridge. 4501 Delridge Way S.W., Seattle. Open Wednesday–Friday, noon–5:30 p.m.
Wallingford Playfield: Located in the heart of Wallingford, this wading pool is conveniently located close to the park's restrooms and a fun, recently renovated playground. 4219 Wallingford Ave. N., Seattle. Open Thursday–Saturday, noon–7 p.m.
Gilman Playground: This park has fantastic climbing structures that will entertain even the most adventurous kids. The wading pool is surrounded by shade trees. 923 Northwest 54th St., Seattle. Open Friday and Saturday, noon–6 p.m.
Ravenna Park: A sandpit, play structure and plenty of hiking trails make this popular park a great place to spend a summer afternoon. 5520 Ravenna Ave. N.E., Seattle. Open Friday and Saturday, noon–7 p.m.
More fun staying cool in the water
Editor's note: This article was originally published several years ago and updated most recently with information for 2022. Elisa Murray contributed to this report.