This Summer, Find a Splash Pad Near You
Refreshing buckets of water rain down on a brave child at Sprayground in Faulkner Park, Tyler.
It’s summer! Time for hot weather, long days, and fun in the sun. Aside from spending time at area swimming pools and lakes, many are cooling off in the growing number of splash pads in the Upper East Side of Texas.
Splash pads are easy on the wallet, big on family atmosphere, and a great alternative to costly theme parks. They are above ground walk-in fountains that often have syncopated water jets to surprise and delight people walking into them. Swimsuits or just play clothes can be worn depending on how much one plans to get wet. Created for children, it’s no surprise from time to time to see an adult or two enjoying a jaunt across the pad, reminiscing perhaps of childhood water hose sprinkler days.
Some of this region’s towns with splash pads include Athens, Gladewater, Greenville, Henderson, Jacksonville, Longview, Mineola, Mount Pleasant, Palestine, Paris, Sulphur Springs, Tyler, and Whitehouse. Most are open for H2O fun from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
The splash pads get high marks from city and park officials. Laura Wilkerson of the City of Henderson said, “The Fair Park Splash Park offers a wonderful, refreshing experience for people of all ages in the hot summer months of the Texas heat.“
Like many parents Stephanie Flanagan of Bullard finds great benefits in enjoying splash pads during the summer months and said her family often goes to Splashground at Faulkner Park in Tyler.
“I bring my children here at least five times a month; it’s a bonus that it is free to come to and that it is a family environment,” she said. “My kids always come home happy and exhausted, which is a plus for me.”
The splash pad is at the end of a cul-de- sac and Flanagan likes that. “Everyone that comes there has children playing on the playground or on the Splashground. It just feels really safe,” she said.
Splash pads come in various designs and offer playful objects that dance with the water and the participants. Splashground in Tyler features spigots and buckets to drench children and cool them off as they run through the fountain area. Two splash pads in Longview feature a windmill that sprays water and a Dr Pepper can squirting water in all directions. To conserve water when not in use, splash parks are equipped with push buttons or touch-sensitive pads that visitors activate upon arrival or are controlled by city staff.
Parents’ needs are not forgotten either. Some parks have covered pavilions, lounge chairs, restrooms, and concession stands.
While most splash pads are free, a fee is charged at some parks that ranges between $2 and $5 per person daily. Season passes and reduced rates for large groups vary from $30 to $50.
Other considerations are to reserve space at a splash pad for events like parties, reunions, or other occasions. At the Whitehouse Splash Park, tables with seating are available for rental reservation from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
Longview has a plethora of splash pads to choose from. The most impressive is the Jack Mann Splash Park at Lear Park, which has large fountains and spray features in a state-of- the-art complex.
Longview’s Spring Hill Park ranks high on the list of worthwhile splash pads, too, because of its unique accessibility for those who are disabled or handicapped. The AMBUCS Too Universally Accessible Playground in Spring Hill Park features a play area and restrooms, along with the splash pad.
There are no fees associated with any of the splash pads in Longview. They are not available to rent, but they do offer pavilions that are rented for a small fee.
Mineola now has the largest splash pad in the area. The John J. and Rheba Meyers Splash Park is about 3,500 square feet. The splash park also has a concession area. The splash park holds a grand opening at the annual Fourth of July Fireworks celebration.
Find a splash pad near you:
Athens Kiwanis Splash Pad, 406 South Prairieville Road. Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Admission: Free. 903.677.0775. facebook.com/athenskiwanissplashpad
Bumblebee Park Splash Pad, 637 Coach Cooksey Street. Hours: Dawn to dusk daily. Admission: Free. 903.845.2196. cityofgladewater.com
Graham Park Splash Pad, 800 Walnut Street. Hours: 8 a.m. to 9:15 p.m. daily. Admission: Free. 903.457.3100. ci.greenville.tx.us
Fair Park Splash Park, 302 Fairpark Avenue. Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Admission: Free. 903.657.6551. hendersontx.us
Nichols Green Park Splash Pad coming soon as part of the make-over of the park on U.S. Highway 69 South. Admission: Free. 903.589.3510. jacksonvilletx.org
Broughton Park Splash Pad, 801 Martin Luther King Boulevard. Hours: 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.
Jack Mann Splash Pad, 100 H. G. Mosley Parkway. Hours: 9:30 a.m. to sunset daily except Wednesdays. Admission: Free.
Stamper Park Splash Pad, 400 Fair Street. Hours: 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. Admission: Free.
Spring Hill Park Splash Pad, 738 Fenton Road. Hours: 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. Admission: Free.
Visit parks.longviewtexas.gov for more information or call 903.237.1270.
John J. And Rheba Meyers Splash Park, 1150 North Newsome Street. Opens July 4. Admission: Free. 903.569.6115. mineolaciviccenterandrvpark.com
Caldwell Park Splash Pad, West Second Street. Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Admission: Free. 903.575.4000. www.mpcity.net
Reaghan Park Splash Park, South Micheaux Street. Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Admission: Free. 903.731.8400. cityofpalestinetx.com
Downtown Community Park, 322 Lamar Avenue. Hours: Daily — operable when manually activated. Admission: Free. 903.785.4557
Splash Pittsburg, Fair Park, 300 North Texas Street. 1,000 sq. ft. pad with above ground features including dump buckets, large mushroom water feature, water cannons, and more. The park also offers a concession stand, free wifi, and air-conditioned restrooms. Also on the grounds are three pavilions available for rent and semi-private and private parties. Open 7 days a week. M-W 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Thu-Sat 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Sun 1-5 p.m. Admission: $3 per person. 903.856.3621. pittsburgtexas.com
Pacific Park Splash Park, 302 Fairpark Avenue. Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Admission: Free. sulphurspringstexas.org
Faulkner Park Sprayground, 410 West Cumberland Road. Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Admission: Free.
Fun Forest Pool and Splashground, 2000 North Forest Avenue. Hours: Tue-Sat 1 to 6 p.m. Admission: Free.
Woldert Pool and Playground, 701 West 32nd Street. Hours: Mon-Thu and Sat 1-6 p.m.; Fri 1-7 p.m. Admission: Free.
For information on all Tyler parks, visit parksandrec.cityoftyler.org.
Whitehouse Splash Park, 309 East Main Street. Hours: Mon-Sat 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sun 1 to 5 p.m. Admission: $2. Group rates available. 903-839- 4915. whitehousetx.com
[County Line makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of this information. However, you should always call ahead to confirm dates, times, location, and other information.]