Beat the Heat: The Best Splash Pads and Water Fun in San Antonio

The end of the school year is just around the corner, and the weather knows it! Summer temperatures have arrived, and across San Antonio moms are looking for safe spots for their kids to burn energy and stay cool.

For toddlers, preschoolers, and young children, splash pads are a great resource. They help kids keep cool, give them an opportunity to safely play in the water, and a chance to meet other kids their own age. For moms, though there is still the inevitable bag of water toys, swim diapers, and dry clothes, it’s usually an easier outing than the pool!

Here are a few of our favorite splash pads and water play areas in San Antonio and the surrounding communities:

Free Splash Pads/Water Play Areas

Emmitt Park (2477 N Loop 1604, San Antonio, TX 78232) Located on the Community Bible Church Campus and built as “a gift to the city” in 2020, Emmitt Park is ideal for family outings. The splash pad is simple but perfect, with tons of water geysers to cool everyone off! And you’ll need it, because there are lots of different play options at this park: a huge playground, a toddler-friendly play area, a circular swing, and an in-ground merry-go-round. All of this is enclosed by a sturdy fence with gates most easily opened by adult hands (moms of fearless wanderers, unite!). Outside the fence, you’ll find a shaded seating area, picnic tables, restrooms, a pavilion of basketball courts, sand volleyball courts, and pickleball courts. Whatever your kids are into – especially if you have older ones and younger ones – they will find fun here.

Northview Splash Pad (100 Randolph Plaza, Universal City, TX 78148) The Northview Splash Pad in Universal City has everything summer dreams are made of. Open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m, 7 days a week, the pad’s 16 water features are divided into three levels or bays. “Toddler Bay” has equipment with a more gentle spray, while “Family Bay” showcases a 23-foot spider with different water effects. The highlight of “Teen Bay” – a group surely usually left out of the splash pad fun? – is the infamous 15-gallon dump bucket. A few other things that make this a great summer spot are pavilion picnic areas, restrooms, and a nearby playground.

Fischer Park (1820 McQueeney Rd., New Braunfels, TX 78130; open daily from the Friday before spring break through October 31st, 9:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.)— Just a quick trek up i35, the Fischer Park splash pad features a variety of interactive water toys that spray, spout, mist and pour, providing fun for children of all ages! At 62 acres and the largest park in the New Braunfels park system, Fischer Park offers a variety of amenities for discovery and exploration. Stroll, run, or bicycle through nature on over two miles of greenway trails. As well as the sprayground, there are two fishing ponds and playgrounds to enjoy. Take a look at Dawn’s Fischer Park write-up for more details on the park – up to date rates for Pavilion rental can be found here.

The Pearl (303 Pearl Pkwy., San Antonio, TX 78215, one mile north of downtown San Antonio; check website for hours)—Could the Pearl be any more perfect? I love its plaza feeling, as well as the convenience of being able to access almost anything you could ever desire within a relatively small area. The splash pad at the Pearl is basic, but in the very best way: there are plenty of water geysers spraying, with lots of open space for kids to run and play between sprays. Bring a picnic basket or pick up food from one of the nearby restaurants or the newly opened Pullman Market. At the weekend, the farmers’ and makers’ markets are ideally located to coincide with a splash pad visit. If you do bring your own lunch, be sure to indulge in some delicious macarons from Bakery Lorraine or an ice cream from Lick Honest Ice Creams.


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Yanaguana Garden (434 S. Alamo St., San Antonio, TX 78205; open daily from 7:00–12:00 a.m.)—This downtown revitalization project just keeps getting better, even if it can be a little tricky parking at the moment. The splash pad is a perennial favorite for park-goers, and I’ll admit that I – like many parents – have let my kids run through in their regular clothes when we’ve taken a downtown walk that got a little longer and hotter than expected. Waterfalls and spraying fountains keep them cool, while a large sandpit, colorful playground, and a giant chess board keep them busy. Stay for lunch around the corner at the downtown outpost of Dough Pizzeria, then grab some hard-earned mom fuel at CommonWealth Coffee and paletas for the kids at Palateria San Antonio.

Stage Stop Splash Pad (9374 Valhalla Drive, Selma, TX 78154) You really can’t go wrong with the playground/splash pad combo, and Stage Stop Park in Selma is proof. Kids can enjoy the two shaded playgrounds until they need to cool off in the water! They’ll love getting soaked in the colorful splash pad. The nearby soccer field, basketball court, and walking trails add to the fun. Parents will also appreciate the ample seating and clean restrooms.

Benavides Park (1500 Saltillo Street, San Antonio, TX 78207) Good things come in small packages, and the modest splash pad at Benavides Park is proof – just perfect for little ones on hot summer days! Benavides Park also provides a shaded playground, softball field, pavilion, and basketball court, so there’s plenty to keep older kids busy, too.

Pearsall Park (4700 Old Pearsall Park, San Antonio, TX 78242; open M–F, 9:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.)— Northsiders, if there’s one thing that you should drive across town for, it’s this park! Pearsall Park is all about fitness and getting outside, with trails, fitness challenge zones, and a skate park. The splash pad and playground remain the top draw for families with little ones. The splash pad is billed as the largest in the city, and it’s surrounded by San Antonio’s largest playground. It’s an “Everything’s bigger in Texas” type’s dream!

Bulverde Community Park (29815 Bulverde Ln., Bulverde, TX 78163; open daily from 6:00 a.m.–11:00 p.m.)— A great spot for birthdays, this park has party pavilions and a gazebo for rent. You can also easily reserve the baseball/softball fields and basketball court online; and there are a number of walking trails across the park’s 13 acres. Last but my no means least, there are two playgrounds, and the splash pad. It’s open from May to October and has plenty of space for running around and enjoying the splash!

Park West (N. Vaughn Ave, Seguin, TX 78155) Park West offers 47 acres of fun including a skate park, athletic fields, nature trails, a playground, and, of course, a splash pad. The splash pad lets kids be squirted, sprayed, and soaked with a huge variety of water features. The pavilions give parents the chance to sit down and stay dry, which I call a win/win.

Voigt Park (700 El Portal Dr., Hollywood Park, TX 78232; open Tuesday–Sunday, 8:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m.)—This little sprayground is a hidden gem, and my personal favorite to enjoy with my preschooler. Nestled in the City of Hollywood Park, it’s a great, quiet area for toddlers and little ones who want to run around and have fun in the water. There are also two playgrounds, and if you’re up for a dip in the pool, you can swim right next door for a small fee. My tip? Get there early, and take a few water toys.

Lincoln Park (2915 E. Commerce, San Antonio, TX 78202)— With its gorgeous splash pad with tons of room to play, Lincoln Park also has a whole host of other activities to keep families busy. There’s a community center, basketball court and baseball field; as well as a swimming pool, picnic tables and a playground. There’s also a 0.5 mile walking trail, so why not head there early, and walk around before enjoying the splash.

Elmendorf Lake Park (3700 W. Commerce St., San Antonio, TX 78207; open daily from 9:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.)—Water fun isn’t ALL about splash pads at this park, but they’re definitely included. Aside from the gorgeous setting with the OLLU campus in the background, the park also has its namesake lake, where fishing and kayaking are allowed. The splash pad and playground are beautiful, and the playground is covered – so you and your little ones can enjoy a little respite from the scorching San Antonio sun.

Pay-to-Play Splash Pads/Water Play Areas

These fun San Antonio destinations also include opportunities for water play. An admission fee or membership is required at each.

San Antonio Botanical Garden (555 Funston Pl., San Antonio, TX 78209; open daily from 9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.; with a members only hour from 8:00 – 9:00 a.m.)—Hands down, the Botanical Garden’s No Name Creek is our favorite place to play! With spraying geysers, a waterfall, plenty of room for kicking and splashing, there’s plenty of room for dozens of kids to play without feeling too crowded. And, when you’ve gotten your fill of water fun, you can make the most of all the other benefits the SABOT has to offer. For a full roundup of reasons to become a member, check out this post!

Morgan’s Wonderland Inspiration Island (5223 David Edwards, San Antonio, TX 78233; opening for the season May 17, check website for operating hours, as these vary by date)—Inspiration Island is the water play area at Morgan’s Wonderland, and it has plenty of space for everyone to have fun in the splash. With five themed splash pad areas and a river boat water ride, your whole family will love it. Fan favorite? According to fellow ACM writer Shanti, the pirate ship and the waterfall kept her kids entertained for hours. (Check out her full review here.)


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San Antonio Zoo (3903 N. Saint Mary’s St., San Antonio, TX 78212; open daily from 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.)—Let’s face it: if you’re heading to the zoo, you’re probably not going for the water features. However, they do help if you want to extend your time outside the house in the height of summer. Little ones can stay busy for hours in the Kronkosky Tiny Tot Nature Spot, which, fortuitously, includes a small stream for wading in. Make the most of the zoo this summer and enjoy the Dino Adventure Park (also included in the price of regular admission), the kiddie park, and the zoo train.

The DoSeum (2800 Broadway St., San Antonio, TX 78209; closed on Tuesdays, check their website for up to day hours)— It can be hard to pry little ones away from Tiny Town, but there’s a lot to explore at The DoSeum – including splash! The outdoor water area includes boats and streams, as well as the opportunity to give an impromptu science lesson. With overhead misters, it’s easy to stay cool until you want to duck back into the museum. This summer (beginning June 1) Dogs: A Science Tail will also be on to keep puppy loving little ones happy.

In San Antonio, there won’t be tropical breezes and temperate weather this summer – but I hope these splash pads, playgrounds, and fun spots for water-lovers will help keep you and your family cool. If you have a favorite spot that isn’t on our list, please comment and let us know so we can add it to our list. Happy splashing!

Parts of this post were published in July 2018, but it was fully updated in May 2024. 

Natalie is the editor and content manager of Alamo City Moms. A proud Brit, she moved to Texas in late 2017 to be with her husband, a native San Antonian; she became a US Citizen in 2022. Their son was born in October 2020, and they are one and won! She spent the frivolous years of her early 20s pursuing a PhD in Renaissance history, living in Venice, Italy, and teaching. She pivoted into editing when she moved to the US, and joined the ACM team as a contributing writer in summer 2021. The rest, as they say, is history! Natalie lives on the north side of San Antonio with her husband, son, and their English cocker spaniel Oban. She loves searching out and sharing the best places to eat, drink coffee, and shop in San Antonio, and she’s never shy about sharing the highs - and lows - of motherhood. Favorite Restaurant: Tardifs Brasserie Favorite Landmark:World’s Largest Cowboy Boots Favorite San Antonio Tradition: Riverwalk Christmas Lights


  1. The zoo also has a small beached(sand) wading area with small waterfall. Way more than just a creek. It’s hard to find. By that beach area they have a place to rinse off your feet. And clean up. Like when you leave a beach on the east coast.

    Also at the Doseum there I are a set of double doors next to Bakery Lorraine. Outside those double doors is a well maintained man made creek. At the end of is a tree house with a spiral stair case.

    Kids wade in the creek. Bring a change of clothes for the kids. TheY are bound to sit in it.

  2. There are good splash pad options at 6 flags and Aquatica, and it’s worth the money for an annual pass

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