The free splash pad at War Memorial Park; photo by Tyler Rosenthal.

Sure, it's hot outside, but you're in luck: This is Arkansas and we love our water parks! There are lots of splashy options to cool down, all just a short drive away. From big-time water parks like Magic Springs to free attractions in city parks, here are nine water parks and splash pads in central Arkansas.

1. Arkadelphia Aquatic Park: Ask your kids if they’ve ever slid down a frog’s tongue. If the answer is no, be relieved and then take them to Arkadelphia’s Aquatic Park. You’ll find a larger-than-life amphibian to play upon, arching sprays, floating play pieces, a pool with zero depth entry and an open-flume waterslide. Youngsters are guaranteed a hopping good time. Open through August; 1-8 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun; Family Fun Hours specifically for adults with children only is 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Sat. $6, 10-visit pass $50, family of four season pass $200. For info: (870) 246-2747, or click here.

2. Crenshaw Springs Water Park in White Hall: This brand-new water park in White Hall is named for the natural spring that brought the community's first residents to the area. Visitors will find two 40-foot slides, a lazy river, zero-depth entry pool, a rock climbing wall and splash areas for little ones. The city-owned park has planned additions for the future, dependent on profit. Open through Labor Day: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-6 p.m. Sun. $10, children ages 9-12 $8, children ages 4-8 $6, children under 4 free; 10-visit pass $75; family of four season pass $200 (for White Hall School District residents only). For info: (870) 247-2399, or click here.

3. Diamond Springs Water Park in Murfreesboro: Even if you don’t find a diamond in the rough at the adjacent Crater of Diamonds, this aquatic playground will keep you in a mining mood. With waterfall hideaways, geysers shooting from beneath the surface, sprayers, waterspouts, cascades, two water slides and more, your little swimmers will dig this place. Open through Sept. 6: Noon-6 p.m. daily through Aug. 14, noon-6 p.m. Sat. & Sun. through Sept. 6. $6, children less than 42 inches in height $4, children under age 2 free; 20-visit pass $90; family season pass $235. For info: (870) 285-3113,

Thrills await at Magic Springs Water & Theme Park; photo by Tyler Rosenthal.

4. Magic Springs Water & Theme Park in Hot Springs: Crystal Falls, the Magic Springs water park, opens for the season this weekend. Splash and play in popular attractions Splash Island, Boogie Blast, and the Kodiak Adventure River. Smaller children will enjoy Bear Cub Bend and Grizzly Creek Splash Zone. Special events at the park include a "Dive-In Movie Series," in which swimmers float around the wave pool as they watch family-friendly movies. Families can also enjoy a special character series featuring the likes of Wolverine and Peppa Pig. Both the water and theme parks are open every day through August 17; water park open on weekends through Sept. 7. Hours vary throughout the summer. Admission prices vary; season pass $75. For info: (501) 624-0100,

More fun at Magic Springs; photo by Tyler Rosenthal.

5. Splash Pad at Tyndall Park in Benton: Splish, splash outside with friends and family at this free attraction. 9 a.m.-8 p.m. daily. For info: 776-5970, FREE!

New features have been added to the popular splash pad in Riverfront Park; photo by Tyler Rosenthal

6. Splash Pad & Vogel-Schwartz Sculpture Garden in Riverfront Park: In late April, Little Rock Parks & Recreation unveiled a new splash pad designed for children up to age five. Plans also include a complementing sculpture depicting a family boating outing, and the artwork will be placed near the water feature later this year. The new water play area is now open, and is located in the Riverfront Park's Children's Play Area behind the Marriott Hotel. For info, click here. FREE!
The free splash playground at War Memorial Park; photo by Tyler Rosenthal.
7. Splash Pad at War Memorial Park: Open for another summer, War Memorial Park’s splash playground offers rocks, nets, nooks and crannies to climb on with fountains, mist and plenty of water to keep kids wet. A covered slide and a view of Coleman Creek nearby also entice visitors. For info, click here. FREE!
8. Splash Zone in Jacksonville: This city park in Jacksonville boasts two water slides, a water tunnel, the umbrella-shaped Rain Drop and Dew Drop water showers, and the kids-only Tea Cup. One of the two swimming pools is kid-friendly, with a depth of just 30 inches, perfect for little ones just learning how to use their sea legs. Open through Sept. 1; hours vary throughout summer. $5, children ages 2 and under free; 20-punch pass $80; season pass $50; slide $1 extra and not included in passes. For info: (501) 982-7946,
Wild River Country features an area especially for little swimmers; photo by Tyler Rosenthal.
9. Wild River Country in North Little Rock: Feel the thrill of speeding down eight thrilling water slides, splash in the waves, ride the River Rapids or simply relax as you float around the lazy river. Wild River Country features a full day of fun for all ages. Open through Sept. 1; hours vary throughout the summer. $30, children 48 inches in height and under $21, children ages 2 and under free; admission after 3 p.m. for all ages $21; season pass $80. For info: (501) 753-8600,