Fun in the Sun: Sensory Friendly Outdoor Family Activities
Texan heat waits for NOBODY! So, this summer, as you’re looking to beat the heat, check out some of these places to splash around and have family friendly fun! Many cities in the metroplex have multiple splash pads to check out or change routine! Check them out below!
Splash Pads & Water Parks
Addison Circle Park Interactive Fountains
The park features a pavilion, restrooms, public display fountains, water features, two stages, an impressive pergola, benches, and off-street parking.
Hours: Open daily
Location: 4950 Addison Circle Dr. Addison, Tx 75001
At W.J. Thomas Splash Park, push the top of the red fire hydrant to make it rain at Carrollton’s first and only city-run splash park. While the kids check out the water features, including a crashing wave that pours water over the top, parents can watch from the nearby wooden deck with picnic tables. The fountains will be turned on when average temperatures rise above 80 degrees. Open 9am–8pm daily through early October.
Location: 1955 N. Perry Road, (972) 466-3080
Visit Oak Hills Splash Park for more aquatic fun. No need to activate the water features; they run from 9am-8pm daily through October 15 and include a slide, spray grounds and tipping water buckets. A pavilion, table and grills are also available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Location: 1225 Royal Palm Lane, (972) 466-3080
Bring the kids’ swimsuits when you visit the farmers market in Old Town Coppell at the Main Street Interactive Fountain to get your local goods and produce, and let them cool down by frolicking in the fountains shooting from the ground.
Hours: Saturdays 8am–9pm or Sunday–Friday from 9am–9pm.
Location: 786 W. Main St., (972) 304-7043
It’s hard to miss the spraying and misting fountain in the Children’s Park within Klyde Warren Park, but look closer and you’ll see that the long-bodied water feature simulates the metamorphosis of a caterpillar. The main splash pad is on the corner of Woodall Rodgers Freeway and St. Paul Street. Find more fountains on Hart Boulevard, as you enter the park from either side or behind the main pavilion in Moody Plaza. The park is open 6am–11pm daily, and fountains turn on when the temperature outside reaches 60 degrees.
2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway, (214) 716-4500
The Big D also boasts water features above the Trinity River in West Dallas. Stroll along the pedestrian-only Continental Bridge (aka the Ronald Kirk Bridge), and you will find not just climbing fixtures and chess table but also touch-activated play fountains made to beat the summer heat. While the kiddos cool off in the fountains and misters, Mom can kick back in one of the surrounding lounge chairs.
Location: 100 Continental Avenue
In addition to the splash pads at Klyde Warren and Ronald Kirk, Dallas Aquatics offers 10 spray grounds throughout the city. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, enjoy these free water wonderlands seven days a week. Most are open from 10am–8pm, but hours vary. See website for exact hours.
The spray grounds at Parr Park are open daily from May–September, from 8am-8pm every day. Spray grounds are motion activated to save water. No need to press a button; just walk onto the pad. Water shoes are encouraged. Adjacent to Dove Park Pool, the Dove Park spray ground splashes kids with a mechanical bucket daily with the same operational hours.
Dove Park, 1509 Hood Lane
Parr Park, 3010 Parr Lane, (817) 410-3450
Take your pick of the city’s two locations for zero-depth water fun: the Southwest Spray Park and another spray park outside the Northwest Park Recreation Center. Families can enjoy the bubblers, fountains and more spray features at both parks. Due to water restrictions, the Southwest Spray Park is closed Tuesdays and runs from 11am-8pm all other days of the week. The spray park outside the Northwest Park Recreation Center is open 11am-8pm Tuesday-Sunday (closed Mondays). The regular operating hours start on June 1.
Northwest Park Recreation Center, 2800 Cheyenne St.
Southwest Spray Park, 2800 W. Shady Grove Road, (972) 721-2656
Galatyn Park Urban Center is a mixed-use public space that is home to local festivals, fairs and cultural landmarks like the Charles W. Eisemann Center for the Performing Arts. You don’t have to take in a show to appreciate the artistry on display at the Texas Instruments Community Fountain in the public plaza in front of the arts venue. Kids can take in the dancing jets of water from the vertical water fountain, which is lit at night for maximum dazzling effect, and even get soaked—but maybe after the performance is over.
Location: 2351 Performance Drive, (972) 744-4650
Glenville Park features tall water structures resembling cacti (true to the Texas heat), colorful rings kiddos can race through and water cannons for the ultimate refresher. Kids can dive into the pool just a few feet away for a big splash. The pool is also equipped with restrooms, including a family restroom. And, the kiddos can dry off at the playground nearby. Parking is available by the spray park and playground. Entry into the pool and spray ground is $2 for residents, $4 for non-residents and free for children 3 and under. Open 1-8pm daily (closed Tuesdays) and will open June 1.
Location: 500 S. Glenville Drive, (972) 671-0187
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Author: Lucas Buckels