What's the temperature, Siri? "It's is about 82* and climbing, it's going to be a hot one in Tampa today!" I'm afraid we are going to be hearing that a lot this summer, and with many warm days ahead, how fortunate are we to have so many wonderful splash pads and sprinkler parks in Tampa to keep us cool. Bookmark this list of soluble solutions for when the kids are crying "I'm bored" and you need to chill out!
Found in Downtown Tampa, the Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park overlooks the Hillsborough River with a sloping lawn featuring two fountains, a children's playground, and public boat docks. Find a cool dog park nearby, the Glazer Children's Museum and many of Downtown Tampa's favorite restaurants. Open and flowing April to October 9:00 am to 10:00 pm and November to March 10:00 am to 10:00 pm and is FREE to use.
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Quaint Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park is great for a quick cool down. This five-acre park is conveniently located next to the Tampa Bay History Center in Channelside, perfect for a little historical fun before splashageddon. As you can see below, kids are not the only ones who love a cool splash as our fur-legged friends do too. This park has much to offer with a playground, shade and great views. Another perk: it's close to the TECO Line Streetcar System. My train obsessed son and I often hop aboard for the ride over to Ybor City for lunch. Check out all the stops, there are great places you can explore together along the line. This splash pad is open April to October 9:00 am to 7:00 pm and November to March 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and is FREE to use.
601 Old Water St., Tampa FL Phone 813-274-8615 Photo from MacDill Puppy Raisers
Located in Channelside next to the Tampa Port Authority, the Florida Aquarium is one of the top-rated aquariums in the world, and it's right here in our backyard! Climb into fun after an underwater journey at the Florida Aquarium. No tentacles are required for children to hoist themselves to the top of the wet play elements inside the newly reconstructed Froggy Fun Rain-Forest Complex. With all-new wet and dry play elements, Sandy's Snack Shack, and shaded pergolas and decks overlooking beautiful Tampa Bay there is a fee to enter the Aquarium to play.
A neighborhood park in South Tampa near the southern portion of Bayshore Blvd. where you find walkways along the water, shaded areas, picnic shelters, a wet and dry children's play area, restaurant and fishing pier. There is plenty to do at Ballast Point Park besides the splash pad, so pack a picnic, grab your beach towels and head out for a full day of play. Or take a discovery stroll down the fishing pier then grab some lunch at A Taste of Boston located at the base of the pier. The facilities are FREE to use.
Formerly known as "The Scrub", this area was first settled by freed slaves. Over the years the neighborhood developed a vibrant business district and became a cultural mecca, and there is now plenty to learn and do at Perry Harvey Sr Park. Located north of Downtown Tampa this is more than just a splash park. You will find artistic brightly colored sculptures, hand-cut aluminum portraits of seven African American leaders from historic Central Avenue neighborhood, a skate park and much more. Leaders’ Row submerges you in motivational dreams with a refreshing finish and the splash pad keeps it cool. Splash away from April to October 9:00 am to 7:00 pm and November to March from 10:00 am to Sunset. This splash pad is also FREE to use.
Water Works Park is a city park located off of Tampa Street just north of Downtown Tampa on the Hillsborough River and part of Tampa's Riverwalk. Tipping its large barreled bucket of water this park drenches all those waiting eagerly below. Conveniently located bathrooms and covered tables make for a fantastic picnic spot. Take a ride on the Pirate Water Taxi to explore more, or ride up river to Lowry Park Zoo or Rick's on the River for lunch. Water Works Splash Pad is FREE to use.
At Giddens, in Seminole Heights north of Downtown Tampa you find a fully-equipped playground, with a splash pad and interactive fountain to cool off this summer. Have older children too? There are sports courts and plenty of open space for games and a dog park for your best friend. Available for play from April to October 9:00 am to 7:00 pm and November to March 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Giddens Park splash pad is FREE to use.
This complex includes a pool, with over 5000 square feet of surface water, and is open year-round Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 8 pm. Located in Carver City off Lois Ave between 275 and International Plaza and Bay Street this is one of Tampa's best-kept secrets with its walk-in wide pool, water slide and open lap lanes. The Loretta Ingraham Community Center includes a pelican slide that allows kids to glide directly through the pelican’s beak into the pool - I know what my 19-month-old daughter wants when she begs me for more “quack, quack”. And yes, she thinks it's a duck.
1611 N Hubert Ave., Tampa, FL 33607 Phone (813) 348-1175 Photo from LICC Facebook Page
Enjoy a day of outdoor fun at this beautiful city park where amenities include grills, wet and dry play areas, picnic tables, and more. You can stroll through Hyde Park Village to where wrought iron fences in the play area adding another layer of safety for your little ones. Anderson Park hosts two separated playgrounds, one for the big guys and one for the young ones at the splash pad kids can climb the lion statues from April to October 9:00 am to 7:00 pm and November to March 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. This splash pad is FREE to use.
Like me are you happy it's that time of year again? Time to slather on 50 waterproof SPF you need a spatula to spread, and crank up the summer fun at these spectacular splash pads, pools and sprinkler parks. Tell me where you like to go, do your kids or furry friends have a favorite? Let me know by commenting below, I love exploring new places with my kids. As a Local Contributor and mom to two, I hope you will connect with me on 813area, check out all of our content for families in Tampa, and follow my personal blog, Jack Of Mamas on the internet.