While we love our spray parks around Puget Sound, it's hard to beat the relief of sticking your feet in the cool water of a wading pool. And while bigger kids love bigger pools, wading pools are the perfect, lower-stress water play option for tots and little kids.
Central Seattle/Capitol Hill/Queen Anne/ Downtown
East Queen Anne Playground: Beyond the wading pool, the playground has lots to offer here, plus lots of shade and benches for post-wading relaxation. 160 Howe St., Seattle. Open starting June 26, Mon–Tues.–Sun., noon–7 p.m.
Cal Anderson Park: In bustling Capitol Hill, this lively park offers tons of people watching, playing, and wading near the fountain. 1635 11th Ave., Seattle. Open starting June 30, Fri.–Sat.–Sun., noon–6:30 p.m.
Volunteer Park: One of several wading pools in the city open daily, it's one of the biggest in the city and a wonder on a hot day. The nearby playground features climbing rocks and a wall, slides, higher swings, and cool sand box, 1400 E. Galer St., Seattle. Open daily starting June 24, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
Green Lake Park: Also open daily, Green Lake boasts one of the biggest and most popular wading pools in the city. Take a stroll or bike ride and watch the boats or paddle boarders after wading. N. 73rd St & W. Green Lake Dr. N., Seattle. Open starting June 24, daily, 11 a.m.–8 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 starting June 27, Tues.-Wed.-Thurs.-Fri., noon–7 p.m.
Dahl Playfield: This northeast Seattle has a small wading pool, a fun playground an woodsy bog to explore, and an exciting bike path encircling the park. 7700 25th Ave N.E., Seattle. Open starting June 27, Tues.-Wed.-Thurs., noon–7 p.m.
View Ridge Playfield: One of several wading pools that was opened last summer with additional funding, View Ridge Playfield has softball fields, basketball courts and tetherball swing, 4408 N.E. 70th St. The wading pool is open noon-7 p.m., Monday and Sunday
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Wallingford Playfield: All elements of the wading pool are wheelchair accessible at a popular neighborhood spot. Reader tip: "The wading pool at Wallingford park is deep enough for preschoolers to actually swim." 4219 Wallingford Ave N., Seattle. Open starting June 28, Wed.–Thurs.–Fri., noon–7 p.m.
Magnuson Park: The small wading pool at Magnuson, open daily, overlooks Lake Washington and a sandy beach, so bring your shovels and buckets. Kite Hill is a short walk away, and there are great paths for beginning and experienced bikers. 7400 Sand Point Way N.E., Seattle. Open starting June 24, daily, noon–6:30 p.m.
Soundview Playfield: You can find the wading pool at Soundview on the westside of the park, near the children’s play area. 1590 N.W. 90th St., Seattle. Open starting June 26. Mon.–Sat.–Sun., noon–7 p.m.
Gilman Playground. In 2016, Gilman received updated play equipment, including play structures and accessible seating. The wading pool is open this summer due to additional funding. 923 N.W. 54th St. Open noon-7 p.m., Friday and Saturday from June 30 through Aug. 19
West Seattle/South Seattle
E. C. Hughes Playground: On a clear day, you get a great view of Mount Rainier from the wading pool at this park. 2805 S.W. Holden St., Seattle. Open starting June 28, Wed.–Thurs.–Fri., noon–7 p.m.
Beacon Hill Playfield: One of several wading pools open this summer because of additional funding, this park next to Beacon Hill Elementary School features ADA-accessible basketball hoops and a children's play area. 1902 13th Ave. S., Seattle. Open Wed-Thurs, noon-7 p.m.
South Park Playfield: After wading at the sunny wading pool at this park, consider a visit to Marra Farm, a unique giving garden with a children's garden. 8319 8th Ave S., Seattle. Open starting July 1, Mon.–Tues.–Weds.–Thurs., noon–7 p.m.
Van Asselt Playground: After working up an appetite at the Van Esselt wading pool at (open daily) try some of the diverse ethnic foods that are plentiful on Beacon Hill. 2820 S. Myrtle St., Seattle. Open starting June 24, daily, 11 a.m-8 p.m.
Powell Barnett Park: After closures due to lack of funding, this wading pool opened again in 2017. The park also includes a playground, basketball hoops, fields, benches and picnic table. 352 Martin Luther King Jr Way, Seattle. Open Sat.-Sun.-Mon.-Tues., noon- 7 p.m.
Hiawatha Playfield: Located in a cozy neighborhood in West Seattle, Hiawatha has a large, round wading pool with lots of shade nearby. 2700 California Ave S.W., Seattle. Open starting June 28, Wed.–Thurs.–Fri.–Sat., noon–6:30 p.m.
Lincoln Park: It’s hard not to love Lincoln Park, with its beautiful views, tide pools, and lush trails, plus a large play area and wading pool. It's open daily. 8600 Fauntleroy Way S.W., Seattle. Open starting June 24, daily, 11 a.m.–8 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 Mon.–Tues.–Sun., noon–6:30 p.m.
Peter Kirk Pool: This popular outdoor also has a wading pool for younger kids. ($5 admission to the pools.) 340 Kirkland Ave., Kirkland.
Samena Swim and Recreation: Samena has an outdoor wading pool that is open on warm days (72 degrees minimum). It's a membership-based pool. 15231 Lake Hills Blvd., Bellevue
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium: If you visit in the summer, bring a change of clothes and water shoes so the kids can splash in the Kids’ Zone Lilypad Fountain. 5400 N. Pearl St., Tacoma
Stewart Heights Pool: This outdoor pool has a zero-depth entry area that's great for little kids not to mention a 160 foot water slide, lazy river, bubble pool, water play structure and water basketball. Fee for admission. 402 E 56th St., Tacoma
Fircrest Park: This park has a children’s wading pool adjacent to a larger swimming pool. There is a fee for entry. 555 Contra Costa, Fircrest
Mud Mountain Dam Recreation Area: This park in Enumclaw has a wading pool and makes for a nice day trip — be sure to call ahead to confirm it's open. 30525 Mud Mountain Rd., Enumclaw
Henry Moses Aquatic Center: This wonderful outdoor pool in Renton has a shallow water area just for toddlers and a water play structure. ($4.50–$15 admission to the pools.) 1719 S.E. Maple Valley Hwy, Renton
Kandle Pool: Tacoma's wave pool has a separate shallow tot pool. Fee for admission. 5302 N. 26th St., Tacoma
More fun staying cool in the water
- Best spray parks in the Seattle area
- South Sound spray parks
- Outdoor pools and water parks
- Best beaches for families around Seattle, the Eastside and South Sound
Editor's note: This article was updated most recently for 2018.