Best Splash Pads, Splash Parks, and Water Playgrounds in Boston

Get out and beat the summer heat at the best splash pads, splash parks, and water playgrounds in Boston! Photo courtesy of Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy
Get out and beat the summer heat at the best splash pads, splash parks, and water playgrounds in Boston! Photo courtesy of Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy
5/19/24 - By Elyse Andrews

You know it's summertime in Boston when kids are running through splash pads, splash parks, and sprinkler playgrounds, on the Rose Kennedy Greenway and at area parks and playgrounds. When the weather heats up, the water turns on, and kids can splash around at several of the area's "coolest" spraygrounds, splash pads, and wading pools. As an added bonus, these spray parks are all free to visit. Read on for the best splash pads, splash parks, and water playgrounds in Boston and the surrounding communities. Make sure to check with the local parks departments before heading out for any updates or changes to hours and rules. 

For more fun summer ideas, check out our guide to Drive-in Movie Theaters in and Around Boston for Outdoor Movie Night with Kids. If you're looking to get out of the city for some splash time, read up on The Best Cape Cod Beaches for Families.

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Best Splash Pads, Splash Parks, and Water Playgrounds in Boston

Photo of kids at splash pad on Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston
The Canal Fountains are perfect for little kids who just want to get their feet wet. Photo courtesy of Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy

1. Rose Kennedy Greenway Fountains—Chinatown, Wharf District, and North End

Rose Kennedy Greenway fountains, listed below from north to south, are available for splashing through early October.

  • Rings Fountain—Greenway at Central Street
    64 nozzles shoot up in the air and create circles of vertical water.

  • Canal Fountains—Greenway at Salem Street (North Canal Fountain) and Greenway at North Street (South Canal Fountain)
    The Canal fountains run along the North and South lawns of the Parks. These fountains are perfect for smaller children, who just want to get their feet wet.

  • River Stream FountainSurface Road and Beach Street
    The bamboo-lined, rocky stream in Chinatown is best for older kids.

  • Harbor Fog Sculpture
    The contemporary, interactive sculpture takes cool to the next level. Movement activates and cool, foggy mist. Perfect for kids who don't want to get soaked but need a refreshing escape from the summer sun.

  • 2. Dorothy Curran Playground — South Boston

    This nautically-themed playground has some of the coolest water features in town: several large seaweed sculptures that spray kids down when the weather heats up. It's the perfect spot to keep the kiddos nice and cool.

    3. Artesani Playground Spray Deck and Wading Pool—Brighton

    ​The small, nicely maintained DCR playground has a spray deck and wading pool for cooling off. The spray deck is open through early September, while the wading pool is open Saturday and Sunday through August.

    Photo of Ryan Wading Pool and splash pad in Mattapan. 
    Mattapan's Ryan wading pool and splash pad are perfect for summer fun! Photo courtesy of Ryan Wading Pool and Playground 

    4. Ryan Wading Pool and Playground—Mattapan

    The water features at this next one are extensive. Not only is there a substantial wading pool, but there are several spray features in the shapes of animals. Ryan Wading Pool is open daily from mid-June to late August with extended hours on Thursdays in July and August.

    5. Stony Brook Spray Deck—Jamaica Plain

    This small neighborhood spray deck is part of the Stony Brook Playground. It's open daily from late May to early September.

    6. Johnson Playground Spray Deck—Jamaica Plain

    Like Stony Brook, this is small neighborhood spray deck is part of the Johnson Playground. It's open daily from late May to early September with extended hours in July and August.

    7. Alfond Memorial Spray Deck—West End

    You may not be able to dive into the Charles River, but you can cool down on its shores at the Alfond Memorial Spray Deck.

    8. Olsen Swimming Pool and Spray Deck—Hyde Park

    With brightly colored spray features, this splash pad is big enough for everyone who needs to cool down on hot days. The spray deck is open from late June to late August with extended hours in July and August.

    9. Frog Pond, Boston Common—Beacon Hill

    From late June through Labor Day weekend, children ages 12 and under can cool off in the Frog Pond Spray Pool, open daily at 11 am. 

    10. Splash Fountain, Christian Science Plaza—Back Bay

    This newer splash pool and fountain area that includes evening lighting is open daily, weather permitting. The fountain is on the Belvidere Street side of the plaza.

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    11. Coolidge Playground—Brookline

    At Coolidge Playground, water shoots out of what looks like a volcano, which is a big hit with the little ones.

    12. Soule Recreation Center—Brookline

    Nestled right in the middle of a large playground, this sizable spray deck lets kids cool down in between turns on the slides and swings.

    Best Splash Pads, Splash Parks, and Water Playgrounds in Cambridge

    Photo of child at one of Boston's best splash pads and splash parks. 
    Cambridge has some of Greater Boston's most creative splash pads. Kemp Park in Cambridge, photo by Frankie D., courtesy of Yelp

    13. Alexander W. Kemp Playground—Cambridge

    This super unique playground Cambridge Common (it’s built of natural materials) has a splash pad and water wheel with attached water tables.

    14. Danehy Park—Cambridge

    In addition to playgrounds, open green space, and paths, Danehy Park has a large spray deck that’s perfect for cooling off on hot days.

    15. North Point Park—Cambridge

    The spray deck at North Point Park has one of the best views in the area. You can see Boston and the Zakim Bridge while splashing around.

    Best Splash Pads, Splash Parks, and Water Playgrounds in Somerville

    16. Foss Park/Latta Brothers Memorial Pool—Somerville

    A large, colorful splash pad with inviting vertical jets of various sizes opened last summer in Foss Park, near the popular Latta Brothers Memorial Pool.

    17. Chuckie Harris Park—Somerville

    The innovative water feature at Chuckie Harris Park isn't the only cool thing about this park; there's also a multi-person slide and plenty of green space. 

    Best Splash Pads, Splash Parks, and Water Playgrounds in Greater Boston

    Image of child splashing in sprinkler park-Best splash pads and splash park
    The rock features make Beaver Brook feel a little like a natural spring. Photo by aslava via Instagram.

    18. Beaver Brook Spray Deck and Playground—Belmont

    There are a lot of fun water features in the Beaver Brook Spray Deck as well as a playground and lots of green space to explore in the Beaver Brook Reservation (a favorite for dogs and their humans). Tip: The rocks in the water area get slippery, so have your little ones wear water shoes with tread. 

    19. North Union Spray Park–Arlington

    This multi-use park has a baseball field, basketball court, playground, and a huge splash pad. Parking is available, and the park provides portable restrooms in the summer.

    20. Petersen Splash Pad at Watson Park–Braintree

    This 4,000-square-foot splash pad provides big relief for hot days on the South Shore. Kids will love the brightly colored water features. The surrounding park has a playground and athletic fields as well as trails and views of the Monatiquot River.

    21. McDonald Playground–Waltham

    This splash park features run-through water arches and sprinkling snakes. Kids will also love the adjoining playground where they can run around and dry off. 

    22. Lazazzero Playground –Waltham

    The playground and splash pad are fully-fenced which is great for little wanderers. 

     

    Originally published 2016, updated annually

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