Hot weeks in San Diego always have moms searching for ways to cool down with their kids. Of course, you can head to the beach and the neighborhood pool (CLICK HERE to see our list of community pools), but splash pads and water parks are also a great way to celebrate summer! Luckily, we have compiled all the ways that your kiddos can cool down this summer, and many of them are great for parents to join in on too. Here is a list of places children of all ages can enjoy.
***Indicates a FREE splash zone!
Legoland Water Park: The Legoland Water Park includes the Splash Zoo toddler area, interactive spray pads, fountains, a teeter totter and giant interactive DUPLÒ animals.
Aquatica by Seaworld: Featuring a lazy river, a wave pool, a protected play area for younger children and slides for children of all ages, Aquatica is located in the South Bay and offers single day tickets starting at $29.99
Santee Lakes Spraygrounds: For ages 13 and younger, this is a terrific play area with buckets that dump, water that spouts from the ground and it all overlooks the beautiful lakes of the park. The cost is $3-$6 per car to drive in and $2 per child to play on the sprayground. Have a picnic lunch and feed the ducks while you’re there!
***Civita Park: Civita is the perfect spot to bring a kid’s bike or scooter, as well as a picnic lunch. Bathrooms are nearby and clean, and parking is easy and free. There are currently no play structures, but rumor has it that a couple are in the works. Check out their summer concerts in the park, or the Friday farmers market too.
***Viejas Outlets: Shopping and splash padding?? Yes please 🙂 If you’re in East County, Viejas is a great way to spend the day. Kids of all ages can enjoy the interactive fountain, which in the evening, comes alive to the sound of music with the “splash tracks” free, multi-media experience. Add in some bowling, roller skating, arcade, or a movie in the park, and you have a full day of fun!
***Del Mar Highlands: Things I love about Del Mar Highlands…the free pop jet fountain, DIRECTLY in front of the frozen yogurt spot, the Hullabaloo concert series (happening the third Thursday of each month at 10am, Live Music Fridays (6-9pm), and the Cinepolis Kid’s Summer Series ($6 for movie and a snack pack)!
San Diego Zoo Safari Park: Included with your park admission, kids can walk through palm trees offering a gentle mist to find three slippery toy critters that spout water: a turtle, a lion, and a crocodilian.
The City of San Diego has at least two Recreation Center Pools that have water features designed for kids. Carmel Valley Pool has two water slides for the big kids, a spash-zone, and a zero-depth entry pool that is perfect for toddlers and parents alike.
Tierrasanta Rec Center Pool: This community pool makes our splash pad list because, OMG their children’s pool is epic for the admission price ($2/child & $4/adult). Make sure to check the times before you go, since they are not always the most convenient: Mon/Wed/Fri 12:00pm-3:30pm Tuesday & Thursday 10:00am-3:00pm, Saturday/Sunday 12:00pm-3:00pm
Alga Norte Aquatic Center: Two warm water pools, a splash pad, a locker room, and a shaded play structure
Hilton Head Park: Also located in the East County, this Rancho San Diego park includes a popular pirate-themed aquatic park. Open May through October, the charge for day use is $3 and season passes are $30 per person. Make sure you bring a hat and umbrella, as there is not much shade to escape the strong sun.
***Mountain Hawk Park in Eastlake: This South Bay park overlooks Otay Lakes, nearby mountains and offers a tot lot and picnic shelters in addition to the play fountain.
***Otay Ranch Town Center Popper Fountains: Located right in the middle of the food court, this is a great opportunity to splash around. Those who want to stay dry might enjoy coloring the walls of the garden with the provided chalk.
YMCA: We love the water playground in Santee, and, have you been to the newer La Jolla location yet? Wow! Check all area YMCAs for pools, spray pads and fun water programs like dive in movies!
Sweetwater Regional Park: Located in Bonita, Sweetwater splash pad is a great way to cool down. Admission to play is $3, and there is a $3 parking fee. Stay for some fishing, or even camping and make it a weekend adventure!
Splash Landing at La Costa Resort: Why not take a family stay-cation and check this one out?
Seaworld Bay of Play: This pop up fountain is just perfect for little kids. Of course at Seaworld you can get soaked in a variety of ways including sitting in the soak zone of the shows and riding Shipwreck Rapids or Journey to Atlantis.
The Wave Waterpark in Vista offers swim lessons, splash camps, a simulated wave for surf lessons, water polo classes plus traditional water park fun like a lazy river and water slides. Annual passes are available starting at $69.
***Waterfront Park:The Waterfront Park is one of the most picturesque, urban splash pads in the county. With a beautiful view of the bay and its Maritime Museum ships, as well as the nearby city scrapers, this downtown park should not be missed! There is a huge playground with some of the best play structures in town, as well as a huge grass area, perfect for a picnic or some kite flying.
Stay cool San Diego!