Summer is heatin’ up and you’ve got rowdy, fun-loving kids who need somewhere to get their wiggles out, cool off and be entertained for a lot of whiles (as my son Johnny puts it!) Splash pads are such a great option and Charlotte’s got plenty of them to choose from. Smarty Pants is here to help you decide which one is best – or most convenient – for you, or how you might plot to hit them all! Here are 10 of our favorite splash pads in and around the city of Charlotte. All of those listed are free or open for a minimal fee.
Blakeney Shopping Center
5933 Blakeney Park Dr.
Charlotte, NC 28277
Blakeney is our splash pad of choice for one-stop shopping! After closing last summer due to COVID, the splash pad at Blakeney is back open this summer (from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. weather permitting.) It’s not as big as some splash pads but it comes with perks close by, like Brixx Wood Fired Pizza, Shake Shack and TCBY! There’s also a free family-friendly summer concert series that runs every Saturday night from 7-9 p.m. through Sept. 4 on the Blakeney Plaza.
Clark’s Creek Community Park
5435 Hucks Road
Charlotte NC 28269
The Clark’s Creek Spray ground (and park) comes highly recommended from a friend and we have a play date on the books to check it out. Can’t wait! Like me, she’s a mom of three little boys so I value her advice and she says it has natural barriers (hills) to keep kids in, convenient restrooms, shaded picnic tables, a playground built in to the side of a hill and a really cool garden where a farmer does walking tours a couple of times a day. The park itself has only been open for two years and looks so shiny, new and cool in all the pics!
First Ward Park
309 E. Seventh Street
Charlotte, NC 28201
You can’t beat the uptown location, which allows you to take advantage of the nearby Lynx Train Station, or ImaginOn library – make a full day of activities! The spray ground is a great way to cool off after say a picnic on the nearby green space. Granite seating on the edge of the fountain deck gives parents a chance to relax. There’s not a ton in the way of shade though, so you’ll want to pack the sunscreen, swim shirt and hat, or keep the stay on the short side.
601 East Park Avenue
Charlotte, NC 28203
This is an old standby for Charlotte moms when it comes to Splash pad fun. Nestled into the edge of Latta Park – it’s hard to see from E. Park Ave. even as you drive by, but it’s there! – this can’t-miss splash pad is perfectly located for cooling off after a hot session of Soccer Shots at Latta Park (speaking from personal experience!) It’s fenced in, has lots of water to play in (there are enough spouts to keep a lot of kids soaked!) and there are bathrooms located right up the hill. The adjacent park and green space give ample opportunity to throw down a picnic for a chance to dry off afterward. Again, you’ll want to pack the sunblock on this one.
Veterans Memorial Park
2136 Central Ave.
The splash pad at Veteran’s Park is convenient to both Plaza Midwood and Elizabeth. It’s large and covered by a canopy – shade is key! – and it’s also fenced in. All of that plus having benches located along the edges make it easy for keeping an eye on your splashers. It can get crowded, especially on weekends, so it might be better suited to older kids during popular times.
16805 Birkdale Commons Parkway
Huntersville, NC 28078
The splash pad is gated and smack dab in the middle of serious shopping. What more do you need? Well, there’s a Starbucks close by, if you need a little pre-splash boost, a TCBY, in case your child needs coaxing out of the fountain, and both Bad Daddy’s burgers and Brixx Wood Fired Pizza if you are looking for easy lunch. Talk a friend into going with you, and then you can sneak into some of the boutique shops like locally-owned Uniquities!
2100 North Davidson St.
Charlotte, NC 28205
Cordelia Park in NoDa features both a public swimming pool (admission is $1 per person) and an adjacent sprayground, which is great for younger kids who aren’t strong swimmers yet or for parents looking for a little lower pressure setting! The sprayground is spacious, fenced in and shaded – all three a bonus for parents – plus there are nearby walking trails and a community garden.
Stallings Municipal Park
340 Stallings Road
The Splash pad at Stallings is lot more spacious than at Latta Park, which helps justify the drive. The park has three playgrounds plus three tennis courts – hit some balls with older kids, then cool off in the splash pad! It’s open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily with the exception of Thursdays when it’s closed for maintenance.
5900 Oakwood Lane
Indian Trail, NC 28079
Worth the drive out Highway 74 because this is one of the area’s most creative and colorful splash pads, with water not only shooting out of spouts in the concrete but from frog and flower statues. There’s fencing around the splash pad and covered picnic areas right next to it, which means parents can relax in the shade while keeping a watchful eye on the kiddos. For older kids, the park also features a zipline. The Splash pad is closed on Tuesdays for maintenance. Check their Facebook page for latest info.
700 West C. Street
Village Park packs a whole day of fun between its splash pad, carousel, Rotary Express Train rides (closed for repairs but expected to open early this summer https://www.kannapolisnc.gov/Community/News/ID/1862/Village-Park-Splash-Pad-Opens-May-29), and oh yeah, a summer concert and movie series at its outdoor amphitheater. The splash pad, train and carousel do have admissions but it’s only $1.50 each. The splash pad is open from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday – Saturday and Sundays from noon to 6 p.m. Seating is limited but parents are invited to bring their own chairs.
For your information: The Waverly Splash pad is closed while the terrace undergoes renovation. Waverly says to look for the splash pad to reopen later in the summer.