Summertime Fun At Splash And Play Parks

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By: Jennifer Agress

Soak up summertime fun at these splash and play parks

As hot as it is in South Florida, sometimes we all need a new way to cool down! That’s where our neighborhood splash and play parks come in handy. Lucky for locals, Miami’s residential areas are packed with hidden splash pads and water playgrounds that are free and open to the public. So grab your towels, apply that waterproof sunscreen, and have a little family “fun in the sun” in your own backyard.

South Dade Park Aquatic Center/Helen Sands Pool

28151 S.W. 164 Avenue, Redlands
Part of the 8.61-acre South Dade Park, this renovated aquatic park and pool officially opened to the public in April 2019. The $5.4 million aquatic complex has a 25-yard swimming pool with eight lanes, a beach-style shallow entry and a water slide tower, making it perfect for both competitive and recreational swimming. Right next to the pool, the Water Splash Pad area offers children a safe place to run through dancing waters, waterfall palm trees and different water features. Aside from the aquatic park, there are basketball courts, a playground, a fitness zone, a skate park, soccer mini-pitches, a community meeting room and more. Entrance to South Dade Park is free, but pool entry starts at $2 per person. The Water Splash Pad is free and open to the public. Children must be 1+ years old to play on the Water Splash Pad.

Splash N' Play at Pinecrest Gardens

11000 S.W. 57 Avenue, Pinecrest
From weekend farmers markets and Saturday night jazz concerts, to some of the finest botanical gardens in Miami, Pinecrest Gardens has something for everyone. Great for kids, the water playground has giant misting palms, a large mushroom waterfall tree, fire hydrants squirting out water and water shooting up from the ground. When your little ones are tired of getting wet, walk through the gardens, visit the petting zoo, see Swan Lake, feed the fish or try playing a giant game of checkers. The Splash ‘N Play at Pinecrest Park is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in fall and winter, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in spring and summer. Entrance is free with $5 park admission. Children must be between the ages of 2 and 12.

Kids at Zoo Miami's Cypress Playground
Kids at Zoo Miami's Cypress Playground

Water Playgrounds and Splash Pads at Zoo Miami

12400 S.W. 152 Street, Miami
Next time you plan to take your kids to Zoo Miami, bring a swimsuit and towel! There are multiple water play areas scattered throughout the park, the largest one being the Ocean Voyage Splash Pad. Part of the Playworld Playground area, Ocean Voyage is covered in glossy shells and starfish and has 28 water features, like shooting water cannons, a whale tail waterfall and touch-activated spraying rods. As an added bonus, it’s also home to a shaded area where parents can relax while their kids play. Outside of that, Fiesta Fountain has water gushers that kids can run through, there’s a small water-spouting mushroom by the hyena exhibit and a water-shooting play area can be found right in front of the Children's Zoo. Zoo Miami is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. All Zoo Miami splash parks are free with admission.

Splash Pad at James Archer Smith Park

300 N.W. 12 Street, Homestead
Located directly across the street from MAST Medical Academy for Science and Technology, James Archer Smith Park has a low-key splash pad that’s great for kids on a hot Miami day. This round, patterned water area has 11 gushers that squirt up from the ground; perfect for your little ones to stand on, sit in, run through or splash around in. The park also has a children’s playground, BBQ and picnic areas, walking trails, a dog park and a fitness station, so there’s plenty of fun for the whole family all day long. The James Archer Smith Park Splash Pad is open daily from sunrise to sunset, during regular park hours. Entrance to both the park and Splash Pad are free and open to the public.

Splash Pad at Westwind Lakes Park

6805 S.W. 152 Avenue, Miami
Hidden in West Kendall, Westwind Lakes Park is most known for being home to Westwind Lakes Action Sport Park—a well-lit, 10,000-square-foot outdoor concrete park so extreme that it marked the first stop on Tony Hawks’ 2011 tour. Not ideal for young children, this part of the park is for avid skateboarders, inline skaters, BMX bikers and thrillseekers on scooters. When it’s hot outside, grab your little ones and opt for the seasonal Splash Pad instead. Spread across a 3,700-square-foot concrete deck, the water play area is fully ADA-accessible and has 20 fountains and spouts for children to run through. Nearby, there's a free standing shower, changing stations and even park benches where parents can take a breather while the little ones play. The Splash Pad is open daily, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. Entrance is free and open to the public.

Family fun at South Pointe Park
Family fun at South Pointe Park

Splash Pad at South Pointe Park

1 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach
The oceanfront South Pointe Park is undeniably one of Miami’s most beautiful public parks—just ask the photographers or film crews there using it as a backdrop for their next project. Like so much of Miami Beach, the Splash Pad at South Pointe Park was built in an Art Deco style and looks more like a sculpture than a water feature. Occupying the southernmost tip of Miami Beach, this 17-acre park is home to the famed Smith & Wollensky steakhouse, jogging trails, a beach area, South Pointe Pier, Miami’s only off-leash dog park and a tot lot. South Pointe Park is open daily from sunrise to 10 p.m. Entrance to both the park and Splash Pad are free and open to the public.

Normandy Isle Park and Pool

7030 Trouville Esplanade, Miami Beach
The spacious water playground at Normandy Isle Park and Pool is perfect for all ages. Ranging from zero to 1.6 feet in depth, the interactive play pool comes with water toys for toddlers, an in-water playground and a giant waterfall mushroom. Just next to it, there is a four-lane lap pool for adults, a concession stand, lounge chairs, several shade umbrellas and a changing room with showers. Outside of its water areas, the park has two basketball courts, a tot lot, a party pavilion and a lit open field for soccer and other sports. Normandy Isle Park and Pool is open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Admission is free for Miami Beach residents and children under 3 years of age or 42 inches tall. Otherwise, admission is $12 per adult and $7 per child age 4 to 17.

Splash Playground at A.D. "Doug" Barnes Park

3401 S.W. 72 Avenue, Miami
The Splash Playground at A.D. “Doug” Barnes Park isn’t very big, but with so much to do at this 65-acre park, it can be part of a fun day in the South Florida sun. After your kids run and play through the playground’s water features, dry off and take advantage of everything this destination has to offer. Do the nature walk through 15 acres of native South Florida tropical hardwood hammock and pine rockland forests, hop on an EcoAdventure tour, host a picnic or go camping, fishing or birdwatching. If your kids and still want to swim, jump in the 25-meter, six-lane heated pool. The Splash Playground at A.D. “Doug” Barnes Park is only open on Saturdays, during regular park hours. Entrance to the park and Splash Playground is free. Admission to the pool is $3 per adult and child and $2 per senior. Children must be 1+ years old to play in the Splash Playground and 3+ years old to swim in the pool.

Splash Pad at Officer Scott A. Winters Park

1145 98 Street, Bay Harbor Islands
If you’re near Bay Harbor Islands, don’t miss Officer Scott A. Winters Park. It’s the neighborhood’s most popular option for outdoor fun! The Splash Pad is designed to look like a sun and has plenty of water spouts that children of all ages can play in. In addition to that, there are two covered playgrounds—one for younger and one for older children—an open field with FieldTurf, a picnic pavilion, an ADA-accessible paved walkway and the adjacent 98th Street Dog Park and dog run. Officer Scott A. Winters Park is open daily from sunrise to sunset. Entrance to both the park and Splash Pad are free and open to the public.

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