LIST: 50 FREE, low-cost splash pads, spray grounds and waterparks in the Houston area

Where to beat the heat and make summer memories without breaking the bank

Children enjoying the water feature at Levy Park (Image courtesy of Levy Park)

Splash pads, spraygrounds, interactive fountains and community aquatic centers are a go-to source for free and low-cost family summer fun.

Here’s where to go to get a quick dose of H2O when you’re not up for a full-fledged beach trip.

These cool spots are alphabetized by location.

MORE: 7 Houston-area waterparks to visit this summer

Baytown

The City of Baytown operates these water parks:

  • Calypso Cove ($) 2428 W Main Street: The park features a shallow play pool for small children and a lap pool with a waterslide. It’s open daily May 28 to Aug. 8, and on weekends, Aug. 13 to Sept. 5. Admission is $5-7 per person. Children ages 3 and under are free.
Calypso Cove (Baytown Parks & Recreation Department)
  • Pirates Bay Waterpark ($) 5300 E Road: This family-friendly resort-style waterpark in Baytown has a 671-foot lazy river, various slide towers, a wave pool, Flowrider surfing machine, NinjaCross obstacle course, and a pirate-themed water play center with a large dumping bucket, spray nozzles, tot slides, and water guns. Admission is $18-25 per person on weekdays and $23-30 per person on weekends and holidays. Season passes are also available. Family passes, which allow entry for up to four people, are $350, individual season passes are $100, and weekday individual season passes are $60. Weekday season passes are not valid on holidays.
Pirates Bay Waterpark (JPP PHOTOGRAPHY 2021)

This Harris County Precinct 2 park in Baytown features a splash pad:

  • Edna Mae Washington Park 7613 Wade Road: The park is a 28.99-acre park located north of I-10 East and next to the J.D. Walker Community Center. It has traditional park amenities including a 0.7-mile lighted jogging trail, a multi-functional green space, a full-sized lighted basketball pavilion, an equestrian area and a splash pad, which is open daily from the first Saturday in April through the last Saturday in October.

Bellaire

The City of Bellaire has a splash pad in its aquatic center:

  • Bellaire Town Square Family Aquatic Center ($) 7001 5th Street: The Bellaire Town Square Family Aquatic Center features multiple pools, but the standout is a splash pad boasting an activity tower, a water slide, and a giant dump bucket. Summer season daily admission is $8 for residents and $16 for non-residents.

Conroe

This City of Conroe operates this small waterpark with low-cost admission:

  • Conroe Waterpark ($) 1205 Candy Cane Lane: The Conroe Waterpark features a children’s wading pool with playground, a youth-adult pool with a basketball hoop and five water slides. Visitors are allowed to bring in coolers and food. The Conroe Waterpark is located at 1207 Candy Cane Lane, next to the Conroe Aquatic Center. Admission is $10 per person. Season passes are available for individuals ($45) and families ($124).

Houston

The city of Houston operates 27 splash grounds in parks across the city. Playground size and equipment varies from park to park but they generally have brightly colored facilities featuring equipment that squirts, sprays, mists and shoots water. The information below is from the City of Houston.

  • Aron Ledet Park 6500 Antoine: The Aron Ledet Park spray ground opened in June 2005 through the generous support of H-E-B. The design of the play area appeals to park visitors with its brightly colored play surface and the inventive design of its spray fixtures.
  • Blueridge Park 5600 Court Road: The Blueridge Park water spray ground opened to park visitors in July 2003. Its design incorporates a colorful play surface, a curved seating wall, and water fixtures designed to appeal to a child’s sense of fun and whimsy.
  • Burnett Bayland Park 6200 Chimney Rock: Burnett Bayland’s water playground opened in 1999. It features a multi-colored rubber surface and spray and ground features that include three colorful arches, a flower, a cactus, a spiral spray and two water cannons. The water spray ground project was funded with a Community Development Block Grant. Other park improvements include three picnic shelters, several benches, and landscaping.
  • Cullen Park 19008 Saums Road: The Cullen Park spray ground opened in August 2003, thanks to H-E-B. It features a colorful play surface and multiple geyser and spray fixtures, and is located within easy viewing of the picnic pavilion and the pecan grove picnic area.
  • Dodson Lake 9010 Dodson: The H-E-B Water Playground at Dodson Lake Park was the seventh addition to the company’s Water Playground legacy. It opened in 2008 and its design includes a unique concentric circle splash pad that creates the illusion of ripples with geysers, pop-up sprays, tulip sprays and a fan jet spray.
  • Edgewood Park 5803 Bellfort: The Edgewood Park spray ground was built as part of the H-E-B Water Playground legacy and was opened to the public in June of 2003. Its design includes a brightly-colored concrete play area, geysers and spray elements, and a curving seat wall.
  • Emancipation Park 3018 Emancipation Avenue: The Emancipation Park spray grounds were opened to the public in June 2018. There are three distinct spray ground areas. One is located inside the pool area and the two others are located in the park. All feature in-ground bubblers and directional sprays. The pool deck splashpad is open to the public only during pool hours.
  • Ervan Chew Park 4502 Dunlavy: Built in 2010, the spray ground at Ervan Chew Park is convenient to the playground, picnic area, soccer and baseball fields, and the dog park.
  • Guadalupe Plaza Park 2311 Runnels: The spray ground at Guadalupe Plaza Park was opened to the public on July 30, 2016. The park’s seating wall allows parents to enjoy the action as the children play in the water jets and the view of the beautiful Azios Family Fountain, adjacent to the spray ground.
  • Gutierrez Park 7900 Flaxman: The Gutierrez Park water spray ground opened in 2006. Located at the entrance to Gutierrez Park, the water playground features a large plaza with multiple ground sprays. The plaza is surfaced with colored concrete and features a seat wall along one edge.
  • Hackberry Park 7777 S. Dairy Ashford: This 1,200-square foot spray ground opened to the public on Aug. 12, 2010. It features brightly-colored recreational areas equipped with turtles and lily pads that squirt and spray water and mist, as well as in-ground geysers.
Hackberry Park splash pad (Houston Parks and Recreation Department)
  • Herman Brown Park 400 Mercury: The spray ground at Herman Brown Park features a frog theme. At one end, a large, vividly colored play surface sports the picture of a leaping frog, and the spray ground undulates down from it with a gentle slope, suggesting a stream. More frog pictures line this area. Interactive water geysers and spray elements triggered by a push button spring up from the “stream.” A covered pavilion with restrooms is adjacent to the spray ground, as are some tables in the sun. Tennis courts are a short walk away.
Sprayground at Herman Brown Park in Houston (Houston Parks and Recreation Department)
  • Hermann Park 6001 Fannin: The Hermann Park water spray ground, located near the Playground For All Children, opened in 1990. It features timed spray elements on a blue rubber surface. In-ground sprays, poles, palm trees and a spiral provide a variety of water effects for all children to play in. Two large beaches create a sand play zone adjacent to the water play area. Here children of all abilities can enjoy the fun of sand on the ground.
  • Hidalgo Park 7000 Avenue Q: The Hidalgo Park spray ground opened to the public June 21, 2003, thanks to a generous donation from H-E-B. It adds a festive dimension of cool fun to one of Houston’s most venerable parks with a brightly colored play surface and geysers and water spray fixtures, all within easy reach of a curved seat wall.
  • Jaycee Park 1300 Seamist: The spray ground at Jaycee Park is Houston’s ninth funded by H-E-B, built through the company’s partnership with H.P.A.R.D., the Houston Parks Board, and Friends of Jaycee Park, a neighborhood group organized to raise funds to revamp the park. Opened to the public on May 21, 2011, the water facility’s timed spouts are surrounded by colorful, oversized butterflies and leaves in the paved surface, and there are benches around it for the enjoyment of parents who want to stay dry while watching their youthful charges run wild.
Sprayground at Jaycee Park in Houston (Houston Parks and Recreation Department (HPARD))
  • Lansdale Park 8201 Roos, 77036: The spray ground’s timed spouts are surrounded by colorful, oversized butterflies, and leaves in the paved surface. Benches are placed around the site for seating.
Sprayground at Lansdale Park in Houston (Houston Parks and Recreation Department)
  • Marian Park 11000 S. Gessner: The Marian Park water spray ground opened in 2011. It is a welcome addition to this important and much-used community center. It includes three different areas of play, with individually operated spray features. An adjacent shade structure with seating makes it easy to supervise everyone playing in the water jets.
  • Melrose Park 12200 Melrose Park Road: The water spray ground at Melrose Park opened in 1999. It features a multi-colored rubber surface and spray and ground features such as a flower, cactus and an arch. The water spray ground project was funded with a Community Development Block Grant. Other park improvements include benches and landscaping.
  • Montie Beach Park 915 Northwood: The Montie Beach water spray ground is the sixth such facility built through a donation from H-E-B. The park’s design includes a beach theme with a palm island, a whale design in its colorful play surface sporting a spout spray at its hump, and multiple wave sprays that create a rolling “wave” effect. It opened in 2006.
  • Nieto Park 500 Port: The Nieto Park water spray ground opened in 2003. It was designed to look like a beach, with a wave of stairs, a surfboard, real palm trees and plastic palm trees that spray water. It has a rubber surface with play items that also spray water. This project was funded with Community Development Funds. Other park improvements include two picnic shelters, benches, landscaping, drinking fountains and electrical work.
  • Park at Palm Center 5400 Griggs Road: The water spray ground at the Park at Palm Center was built in 2009. It is adjacent to the playground and picnic area in the park, and adds a wonderful recreational element to the neighborhood.
  • Settegast Park 3000 Garrow: The Settegast Park water spray ground opened in 2005. It includes a multi-colored rubber surface and a ground geyser, a bell-spray column, a misty arch, a magic touch bollard, a water trio, a donut and a flower. Other park improvements include park security and ball field lighting; drainage, irrigation and landscaping improvements; the addition of a new educational garden with ornamental steel fencing, and playground renovations.
  • Shady Lane Park 10220 Shady Lane: The spray ground at Shady Lane Park was built as part of the Parks Build Community renovation undertaken as part of the National Recreation and Park Association 2013 Congress and Exposition. It ties in with the renovation’s bayou ecosystem theme with alligator heads emerging from the concrete among the water jets, and the water course motif carries throughout the park. It opened to the public on October 10, 2013.
  • Stuebner – Airline Park 9201 Veterans Memorial: The spray ground at Stuebner–Airline Park is approximately 1,900 square feet. All spray features are surface-mounted in a combination of sprays and jets. The surface pattern is a combination of multi-colored circles and semi-circles. This spray ground also sports two benches and a seating wall.
  • Tony Marron Park 808 N. York: The water spray ground at Tony Marron Park opened in 2004. It is located at the pavilion plaza and features a variety of ground sprays. A seat wall curves around the area, offering great views of the park and downtown, as well as access to the cooling water. The project was funded through the Park People.
  • Wildheather Park 14900 Whiteheather: Wildheather Park spray ground opened to the public in September 2016. It features directional water jets, donut sprays, jet streams, and side winders with in-ground geysers. The Wildheather Park splashpad is located next to several new features, including a playground, pavilion, adult workout station, and seat wall.
  • Wiley Park 1414 Gillette: The James Wiley Park water spray ground opened in 2001. It includes a multi-colored rubber surface and spray features such as a flower, rainbow, fire hydrant activator, raining buckets and an in-ground spray fountain. Other park improvements include benches, landscaping, drinking fountains, electrical work and black vinyl coated chain link fence.

Harris County Precinct 1 operates this public park with a splash park:

  • Gene Green Park 6500 East Sam Houston Pkwy N: Located east of downtown Houston, near the Interstate 90 and Beltway 8 interchange, Gene Green Beltway 8 Park boasts a kiddie spray park, tennis and basketball courts, a BMX freestyle course, dog runs, paved trails, an amphitheater and a well-equipped skate park. The kiddie spray park is open from the first Saturday in April to the last Saturday of October.

The Gateway Fountain at Discovery Green in downtown Houston is another popular, free summer water attraction in the city. It’s operated by Discovery Green Conservancy.

  • Gateway Fountain at Discovery Green 1500 McKinney: Here, 14-foot high jets shoot water onto a gently sloping granite play area.
Discovery Green is resuming the Gateway Fountain Splash Pad, after being closed for 15 months due to COVID-19 precautions. (KPRC)

The public playground at the six-acre Levy Park in Houston’s Upper Kirby area has a water feature.

  • Levy Park 3801 Eastside Street: The playground at Levy Park has non-traditional play features, a climbing wall and seven-foot-wide slide, the Cosmo climbing sphere, lighted tunnels, dance chimes, a three-tiered water feature, and a pavilion with seating.
Children enjoying the water feature at Levy Park (Image courtesy of Levy Park)

Located in west Houston, the Quillian Center, a sports and recreation center operated by First Methodist Houston, boasts a large aquatic facility which features a 25-meter pool, diving board, slides, and a small children’s pool and play area called the Noah’s Ark Pool. The Quillian Center welcomes both members of First Methodist Houston and non-members.

  • Quillian Center ($) 10570 Westpark Drive: The Noah’s Ark Pool here boasts a “Noah’s Ark” play structure that includes three slides and a crawl-through. There’s also a mushroom water drop, a rainbow slide, a coconut water drop, and spray animals. Access to the pool facilities costs $8 per person.

Katy

These Katy parks feature splash pads:

  • Nottingham Park 14205 Kimberley Lane: Operated by Harris County Precinct 3, this 22-acre park features a splash pad, playground, tennis courts and a 12-hole disc golf course.
  • Directors Park 21437 Clay Road: This splashpad located in Directors Park has various spray features that cycle when activated by pushing a button on a railroad crossing signal. Besides the splashpad, Directors Park offers a large playground with play structure and swings, picnic tables and park benches, and walking paths that total approximately a half-mile. The park is open from sunrise to sunset year-round. The splashpad operates weekends in May, most days Memorial Day through Labor Day (closed Mondays for maintenance) and weekends in September.

Pasadena

The City of Sugar Land operates three splash pads.

  • Memorial Park Splash Pad 500 W Jackson: Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
  • Red Bluff Park Splash Pad 415 Delta: Saturdays and Sundays, 1 p.m. - 6 p.m.
  • Sunset Park Splash Pad 914 W Hart Avenue: Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Sugar Land

The City of Sugar Land operates two splash grounds.

  • Riverpark 5875 Summit Creek: The Splash Pad at Riverpark is just behind the Riverpark neighborhood pool. Water fountains, dumping buckets and a misting rainbow are a few of the elements of this enjoyable park feature. Operating hours are sunrise to sunset. The splash pad is closed on Tuesdays until noon for maintenance.
  • Splash Pad at the Plaza 18111 Lexington: The splash [ad at the plaza adjacent to Smart Financial Centre provides a zero-depth aquatic play area for individuals of all ages to enjoy. The plaza also features seating, restroom facilities and a large parking lot. The splash pad is generally open to the public between April 15 and Oct. 15. Operating hours are 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., and closed until noon on Mondays for maintenance.

Webster

The City of Webster operates one splash pad.

  • Texas Avenue Park 17100 Texas Avenue: This urban park in Webster has baseball and softball facilities, basketball and tennis courts, playgrounds and walking track and a baseball-themed splash park.

The Woodlands

The Rob Fleming Aquatic Center in The Woodlands boasts several water play features.

  • Rob Fleming Aquatic Center ($) 6535 Creekside Forest Drive: Rob Fleming Aquatic Center is located in the Village of Creekside Park and is adjacent to Lake Paloma and Rob Fleming Park. The aquatic center features a 500-foot lazy river, two-story tube slide, a plunge pool, and an interactive play structure with sprays, nozzles, knobs, ropes, staircases, a slide, and a 150-gallon dump bucket. Day passes are $12 for residents and $18-24 for non-residents. Season passes are also available and cost $45 for residents and $150 for non-residents.

The Woodlands Township operates five spray grounds that are open from March through October.

  • May Valley Park 11598 May Valley Circle: The spray ground is a public facility open to all during spray ground hours and is subject to maintenance schedules and shut downs.
  • Timarron Park 550 N Greenprint Circle: Timarron Park has a spray ground, BBQ pits, playgrounds, tennis and basketball courts, and numerous pavilions and gazebos.
  • Sawmill Park 2200 Millpark Drive: Sawmill Park has a pool, spray ground, and tennis, basketball and volleyball courts.
  • Shadowbend Park 4995 Lake Woodlands Drive: This park has a spray ground, jogging trail, pool, playground, ball fields, BBQ pits, and tennis, basketball, and volleyball courts.
  • Village Green Park 26400 Kuykendahl Drive: Village Green Park is .407 of an acre and includes the community’s smallest spray ground.

MORE: Here are 8 Houston-area cruises, boat tours perfect for summer


🏊‍♂️ Where do you go to cool off with your kids? What would you add to this list? Drop your recommendations and insights in the comment section.


About the Author:

Briana Zamora-Nipper joined the KPRC 2 digital team in 2019. When she’s not hard at work in the KPRC 2 newsroom, you can find Bri drinking away her hard earned wages at JuiceLand, running around Hermann Park, listening to crime podcasts or ransacking the magazine stand at Barnes & Noble.