cover photo: LaCrone Park (Kzoo Parks)
Find Your New Favorite Splash Pad Park and Cool Water Playground in SWMI
Summer isn’t summer in Michigan without a visit to a water playground where kids can splash and spray the day away.
Splash pads are one of our favorite summer activities to beat the heat without requiring a beach trip (bonus: your car will be sand free!)
Whether you’re looking for something near Kalamazoo or part of a day trip, we have you covered.
Check out this list of cool splash pad parks and pools for your family to visit this summer.
2023 STATUS: We’ve added a park status of ✔️OPEN or ❌CLOSED so you can stay up to date with the water fun! Splash pads are weather dependent and often require repairs- we recommend you call ahead to confirm their status before heading out.
In this Article
Splash Pads Near Kalamazoo
Cool off in these local parks- all within thirty minutes of Kalamazoo!
The majority of local splash pads are free and open from early morning until dusk. Admission prices and hours of operation are listed below.
Located in Kalamazoo, this splash pad was updated in 2020 with new water features and a rubberized surface. Families can press the button to start the water.
Note: there are no restrooms on-site.
This new splash pad opened in July of 2022. Press the button to activate the water feature and start splashing. All ages are welcome to enjoy the park and there’s even some shaded areas to take a cool break.
This splash pad opened in July 2020. Visitors can turn on the water by waving their hands over the orange pole. Features like a frog hoop and a triple bucket dump will give your kids hours of fun plus the no-slip surface helps keep them safe.
This new splash pad is now open in Texas Township with the following features:
💧 2,000 square foot splash pad with 17 spray features
☀ 3 Zones: Toddler, Young Child & Family-Friendly
💧 No entry fees – FREE to the community & visitors
The splash pad opened August 4, 2023 and will remain open through Labor Day.
Opened in 2019, this addition to the Allegan Riverfront Boardwalk includes rainbow-colored chairs along the side to rest while kids run through the long pad full of fountains and squirting water. Try it when the sun is setting to see the multi-colored LED lights.
The splash pad is open annually, from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
The splash pad is divided between a tot and a bigger kid area, complete with a dumping bucket. When the kids get bored, there are multiple play structures nearby. We love the easy access to the bathrooms for a quick change after the water play.
River Oaks is a Kalamazoo County park and therefore has an entry fee. Passes are available for purchase and you can even rent the space for gatherings.
Splash Pad Parks An Hour Away from Kalamazoo
Taking a day trip? We’ve found five splash pads that are about an hour away; many of these towns offer beaches to complement your visit.
If heading to the Lakeshore or Grand Rapids, try these West Michigan splash pads for more water play.
This splash pad opened in 2020 and is modeled after the Michigan Maritime Museum’s tall ship Friends Good Will. The splash pad is near South Beach along the channel. Picnic tables and modern restrooms are nearby.
New this year: a 600 pound steel Koi fish created by Art Prize artist Lou Rodriquez.
This park is an ideal area for kids to get wet, and then head next door to the rubber-floor playground which is full of play components to jump and climb through.
Afterward, head down one of the trails with educational signs and learn about local trees.
Located in downtown Hastings on Church Street, the is the perfect place for little feet to run around on the pavement, splashing as they go. To activate the jets, look for the button similar to what you pres for a cross-walk. Kids can splash while parents and caregivers sit on the benches by a beautiful mural.
Restrooms are conveniently located nearby.
The splash pad park is full of adorable squirting animals and hoops to run under that provide and fun and gentle spray. It’s easy to spend a couple of hours running back and forth between the playground and the splash pad, which are right next to each other.
Whirlpool Compass Fountain (St. Joe)
2023 STATUS: ✔️OPEN
200 Broad St, St. Joseph, MI 49085
Operating Hours: 12:00 PM – 8:00 PM (May 1 – Friday before Memorial Day), 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM (Memorial Day Weekend – Labor Day)
It’s hard to miss one of St. Joseph’s most appealing features since it sits across from the Silver Beach Carousel and the Curious Kids’ Discovery Zone Museum. With the impressive backdrop of Lake Michigan, the spray coming from this fountain on a breezy day is enough to cool down anyone within a fifty-foot radius.
Head to the beach after, only a few minutes’ walk west.
Pools & Other Outdoor Water Play
If a splash pad isn’t what your family is looking for, there are a number of other cool options to have fun in the water.
Whether it be in a pool, jetting down a waterslide, or in a kayak – your family will be sure to have a splashing good time.
Visit this NEW playscape during the week to explore nature and splash around in the stream. Unstructured play is encouraged here! You’ll love the natural elements and the park-like setting.
There will be classes throughout the summer and you can find those on their calendar. Weekend hours will be added, too.
This water wonderland has two water slides, a zero-entry pool, and a smaller water play area. Admission also includes access to the indoor pool with tipping buckets.
Concessions are available for lunch and other snack items.
Meijer Gardens’ children’s area has the Great Lakes Garden where kids can launch boats, build a bridge, and walk on all of the Great Lakes States. They also have a mini fountain area where kids can take off their shoes and enjoy the cold water on their toes.
This is a community pool located in downtown Kalamazoo that offers daily open swim options.
Head to the pool with your family after lunch, there’s Lap Swim for adults 18 + from 11:15 AM to 1:30 PM.
Kids can take a break from swimming and hit the “Boundless Playground” at Upjohn Park.
Nature’s Playground (Kalamazoo Nature Center)
2023 STATUS: ✔️OPEN
7000 N Westnedge Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Operating Season: May through September, 2023.
Temperature Note: The water features are only turned on when the temperatures are 50 degrees or warmer.
Admission: $7 Adults, $6 Seniors, $4 Youth. Ages 3 & Under are free.
KNC has a natural playground with a water feature that encourages kids to wade through the stream and play in the sand.
Nature’s Playground is open during KNC grounds hours and is included in regular KNC admission. Water Tower and restrooms are available during Visitor Center hours from May through September, as weather permits.
This is a water and play-oasis located just an hour’s drive away in Lansing. A sandy beach, enclosed large splash pad park, boat rentals, concessions stand, trails for hiking and biking, and a large playground await.