Splash Parks, Sprinklers, and Water Playgrounds in Orange County Parks

Parks with splash pads and water play areas in OC

When summer finally hits, Southland families are looking for water, water everywhere. There's hanging at the beach or playing in a pool, but fun places with splash pads and water features rank pretty high on a summer bucket list. Little kids, bigger kids, and even the occasional parent (yes, you!) can cool off on a hot day without tons of planning or tons of waste. Let's face it: playing in the water is just plain fun—and if you keep an extra towel in the car, you're always ready.

Check out some of these free water play parks and sprinklers around Orange County. Most are open Memorial Day to Labor Day, though we recommend calling to confirm before heading out, as water conservation efforts may sometimes be in effect.

Free Splash Pads

• Irvine Spectrum – Irvine
(949) 753-5180
There used to be two water features at Irvine Spectrum; now there's only one, on the south end of the mall near Target. This pop-up water fountain is perfect for little kids, and the newish playground next door is fun, too. There are tables, chairs, and umbrellas close by for parents to watch and relax.

• Heritage Park – Irvine
(949) 724-6750
Heritage Park has quite a few great highlights such as a beautiful lake, areas to picnic, clean bathrooms (inside the Community Center), and a pretty elaborate, two age group playground. This park gets even better when summer hits, because the water fountain is added to the list of things to do. The feature is a little more than a sprinkler, so plan for your kids to get pretty wet here.

• The District – Tustin
(714) 259-9090
This quaint pop-up sprinkler is nice when you're willing to let your kids get just a little wet. There's just enough water to play without getting too drenched. Grab a snack in The District Mall, and take a seat in the extra comfy chairs. The play area is between Tilly's and Five Guys.

• Pioneer Road Park – Tustin
(714) 573-3000
Like its name, this park was designed to transport you back to the pioneer days, with its log cabin and covered wagons augmenting its large playground area. Pioneer Park is probably best known for its water play features in the summer. The water area is pretty spacious, with several pop-up fountains and water cannons to spray. Plan to spend some time getting soaked here. The water play area is open 10am-4pm daily, May 27-Sept. 30, 2017.

RELATED: Water Parks and Water Slides for SoCal Kids

Afternoons are splashtastic! Photo courtesy of Sigler Park/City of Westminster

• Frontier Park – Tustin
(714) 573-3000
Tustin built the water-play splash pad at this park in 2014 but had to shut it down soon after opening because of drought restrictions. Now it is up and operating for 2017, from 10am-4pm daily May 27-Sept. 30.

• Lemon Park Spray Pool – Fullerton
(714) 738-6575
Lemon Park houses a slash pad with multiple features and endless opportunities to get completely wet. The water area is gated with high-shooting fountains to cover the entire pad.  The park also has playground and picnic areas to hang out in after all the water fun.  Stop by during water play hours from noon–5pm. Bathing suits are required at this one.

• Sigler Park Splash Pad – Westminster
(714) 895-2860
This splash pad has continuous fountains that sprinkle, shoot, pour, and spray for a soaking water fun day. The adorable features are designed in bright colors and funny characters to add extra appeal. This park also has a playground for young and older kids. Water play hours are noon–5pm.

• Stanton Central Park Splash Pad – Stanton
(714) 890-4268
The splash pad operates seasonally and reopens Memorial Day weekend in 2017. It has a train theme, like the rest of the park, and there's a train engine that has a slide and sprinkles water out its sides, as well as several other water features, The park itself, which opened in 2016, has a skate park, butterfly garden and large playground area. Water play areas are noon-5pm Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.

• Crown Valley Park Sprayground – Laguna Niguel
(714) 425-5100
This seasonal spray ground, which opened in 2016 as part of the park's overall remodeling, features about two dozen water features, including several overhead sprayers and cute, colorful animal sprayers. The spray ground is open 10am-4pm daily beginning Memorial Day weekend and continuing through Labor Day. The park's remodel also includes two new all-inclusive and accessible playgrounds with rubberized surfaces, one for younger kids and one for older kids.

If you want to pay for water play:

With summer comes the water at Crown Valley. Photo courtesy of Crown Valley Sprayground/City of Laguna Niguel

Atlantis Play Center – Garden Grove
(714) 892-6015
The cost is minimal at this ocean-themed park with a fun splash pad. It opens for the 2017 season on June 6. 
$2 per child (2 and under free)
Tuesday–Friday 10am–2pm
Saturday 10am–4pm
Sunday noon–4pm

Boomers Buccaneer Cove – Irvine
(949) 559-8341
A pirate’s treasure trove five levels high houses slides, sprays, and buckets of water.
Chaperone Pass (for access to water area only, no sliding) $5
Weekends only, May 27-June 11
Daily, June 12-Sept. 4
Monday-Friday 11am–6pm
Saturday-Sunday 11am–7pm

Newport Dunes Water Playground – Newport Beach
(949) 729-3863
A different kind of water park, this resort has a day use area featuring inflatable play structures on the waters of the Back Bay lagoon, no waves.
Summer rate: $25
Open daily 10am-6pm

Disney California Adventure – Anaheim
(714) 781-4565
Worth knowing if you're visiting Disneyland anyway: You can cool off in Bug’s Land and (sometimes) on the World of Color landing.
Cost included in park admission
See park hours

Top photo: At Disney's California Adventure you can cool off at Princess Dot's Puddle Park in A Bug's Land. Photo by Paul Hiffmeyer courtesy of Disney

Originally published August 1, 2014

Irvine Spectrum
71 Fortune Drive
92618 Irvine , CA
Phone: (949) 753-5180
33° 39' 3.816" N, 117° 44' 44.718" W
Heritage Park
14341 Yale Ave.
92604 Irvine , CA
Phone: (949) 724-6750
33° 42' 0.468" N, 117° 46' 39.54" W
The District
2437 Park Ave.
Tustin Tustin , CA
Phone: (714) 259-9090
33° 41' 44.2284" N, 117° 49' 40.8288" W
Pioneer Road Park
10250 Pioneer Road
92782 Tustin , CA
Phone: (714) 573-3000
33° 46' 0.93" N, 117° 45' 41.85" W
Lemon Park
701 S Lemon St.
92832 Fullerton , CA
Phone: (714) 738-6575
33° 51' 50.1804" N, 117° 55' 14.2932" W
Sigler Park Splash Pad
7200 Plaza St.
92683 Westminster , CA
Phone: (714) 895-2860
33° 45' 27.324" N, 118° 0' 9.5472" W
Atlantis Play Center
13630 Atlantis Way
92844 Garden Grove , CA
Phone: (714) 892-6015
33° 45' 49.0824" N, 117° 58' 7.7952" W
3405 Michelson Drive
92612 Irvine , CA
Phone: (949) 559-8341
33° 40' 8.202" N, 117° 49' 51.186" W
Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort
1131 Back Bay Drive
92660 Newport Beach , CA
Phone: (949) 729-3863
33° 37' 48.4788" N, 117° 52' 19.8048" W
Knott's Soak City
8039 Beach Blvd.
90620 Buena Park , CA
Phone: (714) 220-5200
33° 51' 28.9008" N, 117° 59' 53.2788" W
1313 Disneyland Drive
92802 Anaheim , CA
Phone: (714) 781-4565
33° 48' 55.2636" N, 117° 55' 30.4284" W
Frontier Park
1400 Mitchell Ave.
92780 Tustin , CA 33° 43' 54.9732" N, 117° 49' 11.568" W
Stanton Central Park
10660 Western Ave.
90680 Stanton , CA 33° 48' 27.6372" N, 118° 0' 6.5592" W
Crown Valley Park
29751 Crown Valley Parkway
92677 Laguna Niguel , CA 33° 31' 52.7592" N, 117° 42' 31.3524" W