Summer is quickly approaching and I’m bracing myself for the heat. As a mom myself, I know that my kids LOVE splash pads in San Antonio. It’s such a fun way to spend an afternoon outdoors and beat the heat. I was looking around learn about more options for my own family and figured I may as well write it all down here. I work with a lot of families with young kids, so hopefully this round-up will be helpful! I’ve also done round-ups on San Antonio waterparks and San Antonio pools!
When possible, I’ve included cost, general location, times, hours, and a link to their site.
There are SO MANY great free places to splash around this summer!
Yanaguana Garden at Hemisfair Park downtown is the sweetest playground at such a fun location. My family loves walking through Hemisfair, seeing the Tower of the Americas, grabbing some Lick Ice Cream, and playing at the playgrounds. Even my teens still enjoy it! There’s tons to do at Yanaguana Garden, but in summer, the Union Pacific Railroad Splash Pad is where it’s at. There are cozy lounge chairs for parents, shaded areas, a faux lawn, and food options all around you. Located downtown, it is free to access (though you may need to pay for parking – there is a garage right in Hemisfair that’s free for 30 minutes and $1.50/30 minutes after that). While you can walk through Hemisfair any time, the splash pad runs 9am-9pm daily.
Located just north of downtown in the Historic Pearl, this splash pad is small and simple (you’re typically not going there for just the splash pad). But Gustav’s Geysers provide a great activity for you kids while you’re hanging out! The Pearl is a great place to meet up with some friends for lunch and play. You can check out the Twig bookstore (the cutest), grab brunch or lunch, meander a bit along the river, and let the kids run around on the green space to dry off after splashing in the water. It’s free to visit the Pearl, but you’ll likely need to pay to park unless you can find street parking. You get the first two hours free in the Koehler Garage at the Pearl though, and there are many other parking lots all around it.
Located on the southwest side at 5102 Old Pearsall Rd, this huge 505 acre city park offers so much. In addition to being the city’s biggest splash pad, it also has the city’s largest skate park, multiple playgrounds, a zip line, a dog park, trails, and more. There’s also a fitness challenge park where you can time your 40-yard dash and practice your ninja-warrior moves!
Situated on the near west side at 3700 W. Commerce St, this 30-acre city park (as the name suggests) sits along Elmendorf Lake. In addition to it’s modest splash pad, it also houses on of the city’s free public pools, a playground, 1.25 miles of trails, and a floating dock and fishing area in the lake.
Located on the near east side at 2803 E Commerce St, this city park is another one that is home to both a free splash pad and pool. It also houses softball fields and a shaded basketball court, as well as shaded pavilion seating.
If you live on the northwest side of the city, check out the fantastic splashpad at Northview park. It’s split into three different bays for different age groups. Open 10-8 April through October, this splashpad is part of the Universal City parks department. Find it at 100 Randolph Plaza Dr.
Also on the northwest side, this splashpad is found at 9374 Valhalla Dr. Open 11-7 (12-6 on Sundays), you can see the city’s updates here.
Emmitt park is a gift to the city from Community Bible Church and is open to the public. The park is located on their campus on the northside at 2477 N Loop 1604 E. In addition to a splashpad, the park includes a wheelchair accessible playground, walking trail, basketball court and sand volleyball court. Open 7am-dusk.
Another northside option, Voigt Park is part of the city of Hollywood Park . The splash pad is open 5-8pm on Mondays and 9am-8pm Tues-Sun. There is also a pool here, but unlike San Antonio city pools, this one has an entrance fee.
While there are many great free options, there are also some phenomenal areas to splash around at some of San Antonio’s best paid parks.
Located on the west side of the city, Aquatica at Sea World is a fantastic sprawling water park with pools, splash areas, a lazy river, and big rides. This park has something to offer every age. You can buy tickets to just Aquatica (single-day tickets start around $35 online – buy ahead online to save money!) or you can get SeaWorld/Aquatica combo passes. They also offer a variety of season pass options. SeaWorld also has a fun splash pad area if you’re there on a hot summer day and want to cool off.
Inspiration Island at Morgan’s Wonderland on the Northeast side is dubbed the world’s only ultra-accessible splash park. The whole Morgan’s Wonderland area was built specifically to be inclusive to everyone regardless of ability, and their waterpark is no different. Taken right from their site, “In keeping with the Morgan’s Wonderland mission of inclusion and the desire to enable everyone to play, wheelchair users have the opportunity to transfer into waterproof wheelchairs provided by the park, free of charge. The park also provides complimentary waterproof bags for ventilators and O2 water-collar covers for guests who need to cover tracheas. We proudly provide three types of waterproof wheelchairs that fit a variety of heights and sizes to ensure EVERYONE can fully embrace the freedom of accessible, inclusive play.”
But this park isn’t just for people with disabilities and their families. It’s a fantastic and fun park by any standards, and goes above and beyond with it’s commitment to inclusivity.
Guests with special needs always get free admission at both parks, as well as kids under two. Single day tickets range from $13-$29, and they have a variety of membership options. Hours vary a bit, so double check before you go, but the splash park is open 11-6 most days through the summer.
The Family Adventure Garden section of the park is home to No Name Creek, which offers seasonal water fun. It’s a cute winding rock creek bed that is a blast to play in. So if you’re heading to the gardens on a hot day with little ones, be sure to throw in a towel and a change of clothes so you’re ready to take advantage of this sweet section of the park! Admission ranges from $13-16 for people over 3, and they have membership options.
The DoSeum has two outdoor spaces that both have a fun water feature. In The West Yard you can find WaterWorks: a water pavilion where kids get the opportunity to test how different physical forces create different outcomes with water. Or…they can just play in water. 🙂 In The East Yard, they can splash and play in Will’s Stream, a river designed for safety and fun. You may not have assumed a change of clothes would be necessary at a children’s museum, but it wouldn’t hurt to have along if you go to the DoSeum in the summer. Admission is $16 for anyone over 1, and they have membership options.
There’s a pretty thorough round-up of splash pads in San Antonio. Looking for more things to do over summertime? First, you should consider scheduling in-home family pictures while the kids are out of school and the days are long. We can do pictures in the morning and then you can head out to a San Antonio splash pad to celebrate afterwords!