Originally written by Lisbeth Van Daalen in 2017; updated by Sarah Spencer in 2021.
A trip to the splash pad with my kiddos is by far my favorite pastime each summer: no need for life jackets, appropriate for a wide age range of kids, and typically located next to a playground. There are several awesome splash pads in city rec centers or neighborhoods with pools, but those cost money. Below is our guide to FREE splash pads right here in Collin County!
I’ve written about this park before; it’s one of my favorite spots in Collin County! Head over to this spray ground that boasts a shady hill, sprawling playground, and covered picnic tables. Closed on Wednesdays for maintenance.
*Large splash pad
*Picnic tables and pavilion
This is a hot spot in the middle of the summer, so I recommend going early to beat the rush. The spray ground has interactive water features and even a few spots perfect for crawlers or early walkers. You can perch on the green grass surrounding the park or snag a covered picnic table for lunch. Don’t forget—this park also includes a giant playground and a walking trail to a small pond.
*Large splash area with covered picnic tables
*Open daily but gets crowded quickly; best to go on off-peak hours
*Large castle-themed playground next door (Hope Park)
The city of McKinney has really spoiled us with splash pads at different parks across McKinney. Chances are, if you live near McKinney one of these parks is close by! There’s even a dog-friendly spray ground at Bonnie Wenk Park. While many of these city park water features are basic, you can’t beat the convenience of so many locations. Click here to see which park is near you!
We discovered this cute splash park in a friend’s neighborhood on the far west side of McKinney. The splash area is large, there are two different parks, covered picnic tables, and a big grassy area to play ball.
*Lots of shade
*Right off the highway and close to Downtown McKinney
Located just north of Allen (off Stacy Rd. and 75), this fun spray ground is the perfect family date night! Gloria’s Latin Cuisine has a patio that overlook the water feature and a small grassy area. Be sure to check the site before you go for updates on the fountain status.
*Small, unique splash area
*Near the restaurants and volleyball court
2021 note: The fountain is currently closed. You can check fountain status at the Fairview Town Center link above.
Technically not a splash park, but there’s water to splash in and a park to play at…so it counts, right? This awesome park has a full day’s worth of fun to offer. You can swim or splash at the beach area, hang out on the playground, play sand volleyball, or grill at one of the pavilions. Located on the lake, this park is a blast for playdates during the week or BBQs with the whole family on the weekend.
*Splash pad with small playground
*Open daily during the summer
*Next to a playground
*Dog park, walking trails, a fishing pond, disc golf course
*Closed on Mondays
*Large splash pad
*Plenty of picnic space
*Unique splash area
*ADA-approved accessible playground (Liberty Playground)
*Fun and unique park
*Large splash area with mini playground
*Shaded area for parents
While it’s not located in Collin County, one of our favorite spots to venture to is Klyde Warren Park in Dallas. There’s a spray ground area just for kids and a large open fountain that are both great options for cooling off. Combine this activity with lunch at the food trucks, a visit to the Dallas Museum of Art, or a trolley ride downtown to make it a day!
*Unique splash area for the kids
What to know before a trip to a splash pad
- Wear (and reapply) sunscreen! Blue Lizard is hands-down the best I’ve tried.
- Bring snacks but eat them away from the fountains. Little pieces of snack bags, lids, etc., can damage the equipment and stop the fun.
- Go during down hours. It’s less crowded first thing in the morning (8-9am), during that late lunch/nap hour (1-2pm), and around dinner time.
- Wear water shoes. A lot of these are located on hot concrete and near the playground. Wearing water shoes means your kiddos can seamlessly transition in between playground (watch out for those slick spots!) and splash pad.
- Don’t forget a towel or cover up for the trip home. I always forget the towels and then have angry, cold kiddos on the drive home.