Cool Down: 9 Family Water Parks and Splash Pads in Arkansas
The free splash pad at War Memorial Park; photo by Tyler Rosenthal.
Sure, summers in Arkansas are sweltering, but you're in luck: The Natural State loves its 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.
P.S. For summer-born babes, many of the water parks--including Arkadelphia Aquatic Park, Diamond Springs Water Park and Splash Zone in Jacksonville--offer pool rentals and birthday party options. Visit each park's website for more information, or browse our full birthday party guide here.
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 May 23-Sept. 7; 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun., closed weekdays when public schools are in session. $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 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 May 23-Sept. 7: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-6 p.m. Sun. $12, children ages 4-12 $10, children under 3 free; 10-visit pass $7; season pass $55 (for White Hall School District residents only). For info: (870) 247-6964, 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 May 23-Sept. 6: Noon-6 p.m. daily through Aug. 16, noon-6 p.m. Sat. & Sun. Aug. 16-Sept. 7. $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, CraterOfDiamondsStatePark.com.
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, includes popular attractions like Splash Island, Boogie Blast, and the Kodiak Adventure River. Smaller children will enjoy a few new slides this year, including one shaped like a bowl. Families can also enjoy a special character series featuring the likes of Captain America and Dora the Explorer. The water park is open through Sept. 7; theme park is open through Nov. 1. Hours vary throughout the summer. Admission prices vary; season passes available. For info: (501) 624-0100, MagicSprings.com.
More fun at Magic Springs; photo by Tyler Rosenthal.
5. Splash Pad at Tyndall Park in Benton: Cool off at this community mini water park, complete with water spouts, filling-and-dumping buckets, and a misting arc! Enjoy your lunch at one of the covered picnic tables inside the splash pad area. Open May 23-Labor Day; 9 a.m.-8 p.m. daily. For info: (501) 776-5970, Benton.AR.gov/Parks-Recreation. FREE!
The popular splash pad in Riverfront Park; photo by Tyler Rosenthal