It has been crazy hot these last few weeks. It’s part of living in St. Louis. Terrible heat and humidity. But another part of living in St. Louis is that the city is filled with splash pads!
Let’s be honest, running through a sprinkler is one of the supreme joys of summer, and splash pads are like sprinklers only better! We try to go splashing at least once a week these days, and here’s our list of favorite splash pads around town. Of course, there are tons of splash pads here, so if I didn’t list your favorite, let me know what park it’s in and why you love it so much so we can check it out!
Jaycee Park is out in St. Charles, but it is worth the drive. St. Charles County is home to some gorgeous parks these days, and this one is no exception. The splash pad is actually a multi-part area with a more natural feel. The top section has a waterfall springing out of a rocky ledge onto the upper splash pad.
The water flows down a “creek” complete with stones to divert the water. Cricket loved making boats out of leaves and floating them down the creek. I remember doing that in the gutter when I was a kid. The JayCee splash pad creek is a much cleaner alternative!
At the bottom of the creek is a lower splash pad. Both upper and lower splash pads have squirty fountains that spray at various intervals.
Cricket loved the creek, and the fountains amused her, but after a little while she was ready to ditch the splash pad and hit the playground, which is one of the better playgrounds I’ve seen. It’s also designed to be accessible to children of all abilities (splash pad too!) and I love LOVE the focus on inclusive play!
The only drawback to this park is the lack of shade. There is a nice pavilion, but it’s small and by the time we got there, other parents had staked their claims on the benches there.
- The Jaycee Park splash pad is open April through September, temperature permitting.
- Map to Jaycee Park
Millennium Park is a little less of a drive for us, and the playground is a favorite on winter days that are just warm enough to play outside because it gets full sun. This means you stay warmer and can play a little longer. It also means it tends to get blazing hot in the summer.
The splash pad at Millennium Park is fully fenced in, and you let your kids into the area through a latched gate and watch from outside the fence. It’s nice that it’s fully contained like that, especially if you’ve got a runner. The splash pad is one of the larger ones in the area with lots of fountains and fun, but the sun is fierce, so we save this one for cloudier days.
- The splash pad is seasonal
- Map to Millennium Park
Brendan’s Playground, located in Westhoff Park in O’Fallon, is another long drive if you don’t live in St. Charles County, but like Jaycee Park, it’s a fantastic playground. The splash pad is small, best for younger kids, but the playground next to it makes it worth the trek! Unfortunately for us, we’ve only made it out once this year and the splash pad was closed for repairs, so no splash pad pictures. But the kids had a ball playing on the bug-themed playground!
Like Jaycee, Brendan’s playground was designed to be accessible to all children, regardless of ability. The cities of St. Charles and O’Fallon are doing a fantastic job with designing playgrounds where everyone can play together!
Unfortunately, because it’s so new, trees haven’t had the chance to grow tall yet, so while there are several lovely picnic pavilions, there really isn’t any shade.
- The splash pad is seasonal
- Map to Brendan’s Playground
Creve Coeur Lake
Creve Coeur Lake is a huge park, and the upper park (on the bluffs above the lake) actually has two splash pads! This is an enormous park with multiple entrances and to reach both of these splash pads, enter the park from Dorsett Rd.
The smaller of the splash pads (located by Playground #3) can be found just behind Go Ape. This one is generally the less crowded of the splash pads, which is nice, and although it isn’t quite as exciting as the other one, we still had to drag the Grasshopper and Cricket away when it was time to go. This one is only open on weekends and holidays, but if you accidentally go during the week and find it closed, you can head on over to the other splash pad!
The second splash pad (located at Playground #2 and the Branwood shelter) is our absolute favorite splash pad. It is shaded by huge trees that make it more comfortable for parents, and the splash pad itself is full of action. There is a bucket that dumps water on your head, fountains, and tons of space to run through the water. It’s also close enough to the slides that kids can move back and forth between water and playground. Slides when you’re wet? Awesome fun! The only drawback is that this one can get a little crowded. But, like I said, it’s one of the best, so there’s a reason people flock to it!
- These splash pads are open Memorial Day through Labor Day, 10 am – 8 pm
- Map to Creve Coeur Lake upper park
Do you have a favorite splash pad in St. Louis or your own home town? What do you love about it?