The fountain at Grand Park is all about water play. Photo courtesy of Grand Park/The Music Center
The fountain at Grand Park is all about water play. Photo courtesy of Grand Park/The Music Center

The Coolest (Mostly) Free Splash Pads and Spraygrounds in LA

Kids in Los Angeles can splash through hot days at one of LA's many parks and playgrounds with free and fabulous water features, like the ones below—many of which are open year-round. Entire playgrounds (plus a few swimming pools and wading pools) are dedicated to water play with plenty of fountains, geysers, pumps, and water sprayers. Kids adore these spraygrounds and splash pads, and parents love the fact that they're a great way to beat the heat without a drive to the beach (not to mention, the car won't get all sandy!).

If a pool or a water park sounds like too much work (or too expensive), cool those kids down at one of these (mostly) free splash parks or spraygrounds.

While pools and water parks are open again this summer, many of our favorite splash pads are slow to reopen. Some are undergoing construction and some cities (Glendale) have elected not to open Splash Pads this summer (yet). That doesn’t mean all these splash pads won’t open later in the summer!

So, we scoured the city to find splash pads that are open, even if they’re in smaller, more tucked away parks. And we will update this list as more spraygrounds and splash pads open up across LA.

If these aren't close by for you, try our list of splash pads in Orange County.

Splash Pads, Spraygrounds, and Parks with Water Features Open in 2021

1. Grand Park – Downtown

The free interactive splash pad in the heart of the park in the heart of downtown is open all year round. Kids who find public fountains irresistible can kick off their shoes at this one with no cause to resist. With the Music Center and City Hall among your surroundings, it's a splash pad with a definite sense of place, and a refreshing oasis in the middle of the concrete city.

The Coolest Free Splash Pads and Spraygrounds in LA: Keep babies cool

Babies love a good splash pad, too!  Photo by Misty O'Dell/CC BY 2.0

2. Stoner Park – West LA

Although technically a pool, this facility offers a whole lot more fun than that word encompasses. A gradual entry the length of the pool makes it feel more like a shore than a pool, and the giant sprinkling mushroom, walls of water, and other spraying features in the shallows are non-stop fun. There is a formidable waterslide, too, for kids old enough to indulge (48” and 7 years old). Hours can be persnickety; always check before heading out. While this one isn't free, it's just a buck for kids and $4 for adults.
Note that rules at Stoner are strict: adults must wear bathing suits whether or not they intend to swim, or else wait outside the gate; kids under 7 must have an adult in the water. Also, the water is pretty cold, so save this one for a sunny day.

3. Virginia Avenue Park—Santa Monica

In action from Memorial Day (at the latest) to Labor Day (at the earliest), this splash patio is a big favorite. The water splashes up, across, and around in all sorts of ways, alternating between features to keep things lively. There is shade, and the park is a very manageable size for watching multiple kids, both in and out of the water.

4. Annenberg Beach House—Santa Monica

It might sound too obvious to point out a water feature at the beach, but Santa Monica’s public beach house has a free and inviting splash patio. Although there’s no shade here, the patio does have several tables and chairs that make it a good spot for a picnic lunch. Be warned, though, that there is a pool on the other side of the fence that costs $10 for adults, $4 for kids – or a beach, of course, that’s free!

RELATED: Beyond Splash Pads: 6 Places for Year-round Water Play in LA
splash pad at the Annenberg Community Beach House
The splash pad at the Annenberg is beach adjacent! Photo courtesy of Annenberg Community Beach House

5. Coldwater Canyon Park—Beverly Hills

Not to be confused with the larger Coldwater Canyon Park up on Mulholland, this park is in Beverly Hills proper, across from the fire station where Beverly Drive merges with Coldwater. The water feature here is a little man-made creek for kids to paddle and splash in – gentle and low-key, but very popular on a summer day.

6. North Hollywood Recreation Center—North Hollywood

The splash pad here is adjacent to the swimming pool, which means adults and children alike need to don bathing suits. Because the splash pad required admission to the pool, kids are $1 and adults are $4. On the upside, the plentiful fountains are worth the visit.

RELATED: Water Safety Musts from the Experts

The Coolest Free Splash Pads and Spraygrounds in LA: Keep the temperature down.
Splash parks take the temperature down. Photo by Ian D. Keating/CC BY 2.0

7. Alondra Park—Lawndale

This free splash pad features sprayers, mushrooms, and pop-ups and might be the only place of its kind in the South Bay. There is a nearby skate park that is quite popular.

8. Rio de Los Angeles State Park—Glassell Park

This park by the LA River has a sports field, playground, and splash pad/water play area that is open in the summer. With beautiful walking trails and plenty of green grass for picnics, this little-known park is a great place to spend the day keeping cool.

9. Queen Anne Park—Mid-City

I’m almost loath to talk about this park that no one seems to know about. It’s a neighborhood park in the truest sense—I’d never heard of it until a friend who lives nearby brought our family to the splash pad on a hot summer day.  There’s nothing super special about this little park, but on a hot summer day when your kids just want to get wet, and you don’t want to drive far, it’s perfect. There are grill stations, a playground, tennis courts, sports fields, and it’s never very crowded.

10. City Terrace Park—Downtown LA

The partially covered splash pad is great for cooling off; note that the swimming pool is temporarily closed. City Terrace is a popular park among DTLA families for birthday parties. Other amenities include 2 baseball diamonds, a tennis court, and a playground. 

The Coolest Free Splash Pads and Spraygrounds in LA: Dalton Park Splash Pad.

Ready ... aim ... stay cool! Dalton Park Splash Pad. Photo by Victor Cejeda

11. Dalton Park—Azusa

Dalton Park is a small neighborhood park with a splash pad that gets crowded in the summer, as well as a playground, fitness zone, picnic shelters, and a variety of programs for families.

12. Valleydale Park—Azusa

This park may not be large, but it packs in the activities. Sports fields, horseshoe pits, fitness zones, and a playground draw families all year round, and the water play splash pad is a summertime favorite, in no small part because it’s shaded!

13. Carolyn Rosas Park—Rowland Heights

Carolyn Rosas Park is a hub of the Rowland Heights community, offering a variety of public programs as well as a fitness center and sports fields. But the draw for kids in the summer is the splash pad, of course. (Though they also love the playground with actual sand!)

14. San Angelo Park—La Puente

This splash pad is tops; and has a wide variety of splashers, sprayers, and assorted water fun to keep kids busy for a good long while. Families enjoy this little park's playgrounds, playing fields, tennis courts, and picnic areas.

15. Amelia Mayberry Park—Whittier

The partly shaded summertime splash pad is a major kid-pleaser on hot days at this 14-acre park with a basketball court, softball field, and a fitness zone as well as a playground and a skate park.

The Coolest Free Splash Pads and Spraygrounds in LA: Los Robles

Stay in the shade while you splash at Los Robles Splash Pad. Photo courtesy of LA Parks and Recreation

16. Los Robles Park—Hacienda Heights

This pretty (and shaded) little neighborhood park is a popular spot in the summer due to the splash pad as well as the playgrounds, swings, and grassy area that's perfect for picnics.

Splash Pads & Spraygrounds Not Open (Yet) in 2021

Tongva Park—Santa Monica

Closed for repairs as of July 7, 2021.
Santa Monica parks have more water than most, and the beach city's newest park has fast become one of its most popular. The splash/spray pad is part of the small but well-designed play area, with a padded ground, some shade, and tables. The rest of the park has inviting fountains not for playing, and a man-made paddling stream for cooling little feet. And all an easy walk from the Pier and the Promenade.

La Pintoresca Park—Pasadena

Closed as of July 7, 2021 due to construction.
The colorful splash pad in the center of La Pintoresca Park is surrounded by benches where adults can relax just outside the reach of the spray, which is turned on now through Labor Day. If the water isn’t flowing, try hitting the start button on the east side of the spouts. The patio itself has no shade, but shady trees are within reach.

Pacific Park—Glendale

All Glendale splash pads are closed for the summer of 2021, check the website for updates. The wading pools are open, but for reserved private parties only (which means they’re not free: you must pay for the lifeguard to reserve a wading pool).
Glendale’s downtown Pacific Park does its bit to keep kids cool on hot Valley days with its splash pad and water play area. Shade is a bit scarce, but the air-conditioned library is adjacent in case of need.

Cerritos Park—Glendale

All Glendale splash pads are closed for the summer of 2021, check the website for updates. The wading pools are open, but for reserved private parties only (which means they’re not free: you must pay for the lifeguard to reserve a wading pool).
Part of the Pacific Community Park, there are 32 acres of sports fields, picnic shelters, trails, and more, so consider exploring after your little one gets his or her fill of splashing around.

Panorama Recreation Center—Panorama City

Not yet open as of July 7, 2021.
The seasonal splash pad here is full-on, with water spraying in every direction and a floor that is more wading pool than patio. Bathing suits are required, and diapers are not allowed. Shade is pretty limited.

Sylmar Park—Sylmar

Not yet open as of July 7, 2021.
Sylmar’s free splash pad, adjacent to the recreation center and pool (the pool is $1 for kids and $4 for adults), lures kids on a hot day with tree-shaped sprinklers, a spraying whale, and a variety of fountains that drench and delight.

Mason Park—Chatsworth

Not yet open as of July 7, 2021.
This splash pad has recycled water, so tell kids to pay attention to the many signs telling them not to drink (and keep an eye on little ones). There are two parking lots and a playground right next to the pad for kids who want to mix it up.

St. Andrews Park and Recreation Center—South LA / Inglewood

Not yet open as of July 7, 2021.
A reader tipped us off to this local favorite park and recreation center with a splash pad. Time it right on a summer evening and you could even enjoy the Summer Jazz Festival while kids splash.

Don't forget that while the kids feel cool, the sun is hot. Be sure to slather them with sunscreen, and bring along hats, towels, and a change of clothes. Also, many of these spraygrounds and splash pads have cement or concrete grounds, which can be slippery when wet. Water shoes can half make sure kids stay safely on their feet.

Originally published August 13, 2011 and updated annually since

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