Summer is here! As the temperature rises, we’re all looking for ways to cool off. If you are new to splash pads (also called spray grounds or spray parks), they are typically free public parks with water features that are open in the summer (generally Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend).
All of these metro splash pads have been given the stamp of approval by the Kansas City Mom Collective team and their kids. Each one has a bathroom on site, and in most cases, there is even an adjacent playground.
KCMC tip: Have your kids wear water shoes at the splash pads instead of going barefoot. Kids are going to run around and there are no lifeguards on duty to remind them to walk. Several of the splash pads have very slippery surfaces, so water shoes are a must!
Missouri Splash Pads
Burrus Old Mill Park (Blue Springs, MO)
112 NW Woods Chapel Road, Blue Springs, MO 64015
This is the first splash pad in Blue Springs. It is huge and has a fun jungle theme, like the new playground nearby. The splash pad has lots of buckets that dump water, jungle animals like hippos and elephants, and even a small slide! There are shaded picnic tables around the perimeter for caregivers. There are also reservable picnic shelters nearby, so you can host a birthday party or family gathering. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
John Anderson Park (Grandview, MO)
4701 E 135th St, Grandview, MO 64030
Enjoy the nautical theme of this splash pad— your kids can pretend they are on a pirate ship! There is ample shaded seating and a fun playground for the kids to explore if they want a break from the water. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Note: Outside temperature must be 75 degrees or above in order for the water to turn on.
Lea McKeighan Park (Lee’s Summit, MO)
120 NE Chipman Rd, Lee’s Summit, MO 64063
This splash pad has an area for younger kids and an area for older kids. There are bathrooms and the north shelter can be reserved for events. There are covered picnic tables close to the splash pad so you can stay cool while your kids play. The splash pad is surrounded by a metal fence that will help keep your kids from wandering over to other areas of the park. You can also find pickleball, playgrounds, walking trails, and a skate park at Lea McKeighan Park. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Miller J. Fields Park (Lee’s Summit, MO)
1301 SE 3rd Terrace, Lee’s Summit, MO 64063
You could spend hours here between this splash pad and the adjacent playground! The splash pad has a side for big kids (with a big bucket that dumps water) and a not as intense side for little kids. The playground is fantastic with a special area for small kids, a variety of xylophones to make music on, and a zip line. There is plenty of shaded seating for parents and shelters that can be reserved for parties. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Loose Park (Plaza area)
52nd Terrace & Summit Street in Kansas City, MO
While not the biggest splash pad in the city, this one is lots of fun and is set inside Loose Park where you can find walking paths, a playground, duck pond, and of course, the rose garden. The splash pad itself is entirely fenced in and has lots of shaded seating for parents, a grassy area for spreading out towels and a picnic, and nearby bathrooms. This splash pad can be difficult to see from the road. If you look for the tennis courts you will find the splash pad, as it is set just downhill from the courts on the west side of the park, south of the rose garden. There is ample parking along Summit St. Open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
T.B. Hanna Station (Raymore, MO)
214 S Washington St, Raymore, MO 64083
This park boasts the first inclusive splash pad in the metro area, designed by Unlimited Play. The splash pad has a train theme with a train track running through a train structure, perfect for wheelchairs, walkers, and other assistive devices. There are accessible bathrooms on site that are open year-round. The splash pad is part of the renovation the park recently underwent that has an inclusive playground with communication boards and accessible equipment. There are no benches or tables to sit at, so bring a lawn chair or picnic blanket for yourself. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Dagg Park (North Kansas City, MO)
701 E 21st Ave, North Kansas City, MO 64116
When it opened in 2016, this splash pad quickly emerged as one of the best in the city. With a separate small kid area, an amazing playground, and being entirely fenced in, this is a park you can comfortably let even your wandering toddlers loose in. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. — due to weekly maintenance, the splash pad doesn’t open until 1 p.m. on Mondays.
Coming soon in 2021: Liberty is opening a new playground at City Park that includes a splash pad.
Kansas Splash Pads
Lake Olathe (Olathe, KS)
445 S. Ward Cliff Dr. Olathe, KS 66061
Olathe’s first spray ground is open during the warm months of the year (opening and closing dates vary). Divided into three play sections with a shallow stream running between them, this spray ground is fun for a wide range of ages. There are two splash pads as well as a sand and water area with a foot wash (clutch!) for rinsing off the sand after you’re done playing. Musical instruments are scattered along the path surrounding the spray ground for the kids to play. Beyond the splash pads, there are lots of ways to stay busy at Lake Olathe. Splash pads specifically are open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Note: There is not a bathroom next to the spray ground, so you will have to walk down to the marina.
Roe Park (Overland Park, KS)
10400 Roe Ave, Overland Park, KS 66207
This was the first splash pad to open in Johnson County back in 2016. The splash pad itself is pretty small, but there is a huge playground and nature playground for kids to explore as well. The splash pad is activated by ground sensors. I like that there are multiple picnic shelters nearby so you can sit in the shade while your kids play. It can get crowded, so my best advice is to go early in the morning or in the evening. Open daily from dawn til dusk and is turned on in late spring and turned off before it freezes in the fall.
Thompson Park (Overland Park, KS)
8045 Santa Fe Dr, Overland Park, KS 66204
This park opened in Downtown Overland Park in 2020 and features a small splash pad and a new playground that is shaded by mature trees. The water is activated by pressing a button on a nearby pole. There are bathrooms and a reservable picnic shelter. Bonus: Popculture Gourmet Popcorn and Ice Cream is across the street! Open daily from dawn til dusk and is turned on in late spring and turned off before it freezes in the fall.
Coming soon in 2021: Shawnee is opening two splash pads this summer! One at Erfurt Park and the other at the brand new Wilder Bluff Park. Liberty is also opening a new playground at City Park that includes a splash pad.
What is your favorite Kansas City splash pad?