Waterparks and Parks with Water: Best Places to Cool Off
If you live in the Phoenix area, chances are you know a little about hot weather. With even spring temperatures reaching the mid-80s or 90s, Phoenicians need plenty of tried-and-true ways to get cool. The good news is that there are numerous water parks, public pools, and splash pads to choose from when it’s time to get relief from the southwestern sun – and many of them are smack dab in (or within a short ride of) Phoenix. Today we’re sharing the most popular ones we found with you just in time for the heat to roll in!
Here are the best spots to cool off on a hot day in the Phoenix area:
Hours: These will vary, so check here before you plan your visit. So far they are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends-only, starting in late March.
Price: Purchase tickets here. A one-time ticket for general admission is $34.99, but there are numerous passes and add-ons offering deals for groups, families, etc.
Hours: Hours vary considerably depending upon the date of your visit, so check here before planning your visit.
Price: Guests of the resort may visit Oasis free of charge (admission is included in their resort fees), with the number of wristbands distributed at check-in based upon your confirmed room type. Day pass and cabana rentals for non-guests start at $60 for adults and $55 for children (infants are free) and can be purchased here.
Great Wolf Lodge Waterpark
Hours: Hours may vary, but are currently 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Check here for updates.
Price: Guests of the resort have unlimited free access to the water park, and non-guests can purchase day passes here. Full day passes start at $50 per person, while half-days are $40, but this is subject to change, so check the date of your visit here.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
Price: General admission starts at $46.99 for adults but is discounted for March and April to $39.70; Junior admission is $39.99, Seniors are $39.99 and Toddlers are $5.99. Infants under age 1 are free. Further details are here.
River Ranch Water Park
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. but they may change without notice. Check here before you head out.
Price: Guests of the resort may visit the water park free of charge. Non-guests may purchase day passes on low occupancy days here, by entering the date they wish to visit. Adult admission starts at $30 with kids’ passes for $20.
Wet ‘n Wild Phoenix
Hours: Summer hours are Sunday to Wednesday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. In August, hours will be reduced to Friday through Sunday only.
Price: Weekday rates are $39.99 and weekends are $42.99 for riders at least 42 inches tall. Those shorter than that, or seniors, can pay $29.99 for weekdays and $32.99 for weekends. Toddlers age 2 and younger are free. Order online and save $8 on general admission.
Described as a combination water park and entertainment venue, Enchanted Island offers plenty of dry and wet attractions to keep Phoenicians cool and having fun. Designed with littles in mind, you’ll find most of the park is especially fun for kids aged 10 and younger–but everyone enjoys Enchanted Island! Situated inside scenic Encanto Park, there are 9 rides including pedal boats and canoes to ride through the site’s lagoons, a splash zone (which opens mid-April), bumper boats, a carousel, train ride, climbing wall, and more. Need a break from the attractions? Try the arcade, sit underneath one of the numerous shade trees for a picnic (no outside food or drink allowed, FYI), or take a nature walk on a park trail path.
Location: 1202 West Encanto Blvd., Phoenix
Hours: Wednesdays and Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m, Fridays and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays 12 noon to 8 p.m. Call for updates, changes, or more details at 602-254-1200.
Price: Admission is free but the rides, games, and food are priced individually. A single ride is $5, but you can also buy books of 10 rides for $40, 20 rides for $60, All-Day passes for $23.75, and assorted other deals as explained here.
According to the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation website, “Phoenix's public pools are open six days a week seasonally from Memorial Day weekend (May 29) through July (closed Fridays), and on weekends only August through Labor Day.” Some of the information below is subject to change and should be checked for updates at the links and/or phone numbers shared within each entry.
Pecos Park Swimming Pool
Pecos Park pool features a water slide, diving boards, a water basketball hoop, shaded areas, sprinklers, and plenty of lifeguards. There’s also a lobby, showers, an ADA chair lift, and a bathhouse with locker rooms and restrooms.
Location: 17010 S. 48th St., Phoenix
Hours: Open swim times are available in 2 hour and 45 minute blocks from noon to 2:45 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. daily. Call for updates at 602-534-9255
Price: Their site lists fees for adults at $3, seniors at $1, and kids free. Call for updates at 602-534-9255.
After a complete renovation, Cortez Pool revealed the freshly rebuilt public swimming pool in 2014, featuring LED lighting, two water slides, two diving boards, spraying water jets, a well-shaded kiddie pool, and a zero-depth entry area. There are also several large umbrellas on deck for additional shading and life jackets are provided.
Location: 3434 W. Dunlap Avenue, Phoenix
Hours: Open swim hours are from noon to 2:45 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. daily. This pool is also used for high school swim competitions and other events, so hours may be subject to change. Call for updates at 602-262-7107.
Price: Adult fees are $3, kids are free, and seniors pay $1
The Encanto pool features a sparkly clean pool, diving board, baby pool, snack bar, an ADA chairlift and stairs, and highly-rated, friendly lifeguards, as well as spacious restrooms and changing areas with showers. There are shade tarps and a few chairs with tables provided, but you can also bring in your own folding chairs and food.
Location: 2125 N. 15th Avenue, Phoenix
Hours: Open swim hours are from noon to 2:45 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. daily as of this writing. Call for updates at 602-261-8732.
Price: Kids swim free while adults pay $3 and seniors pay $1
Paradise Valley pool is a popular pool with a water slide, diving boards, beach-style entry area, shady spots, lots of seating, and spray features. Lifeguards are on duty, but kids also get a swim test to determine their ability to swim independently in the pool – otherwise, they will need to wear a life jacket. Bring your own folding chairs and coolers full of snacks and drinks to really beat the heat! Be prepared to share the space; this pool gets remarkably busy some days.
Location: 17648 N. 40th St, Phoenix
Hours: Open swim hours are daily from noon to 2:45 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. Call for updates at 602-534-5161
Price: Seniors pay $1, adults pay $3, kids swim free
Cactus Aquatic and Fitness Center
If you could go for some lap swimming in a temperature-controlled Olympic-sized swimming pool, look no further. Cactus Aquatic and Fitness Center’s pool has 23 lap lanes, 5 diving boards, depths of 3 - 14 feet, men’s and women’s locker rooms, and plenty of public hours available in the summer. Pay attention to the hours to make sure you don’t arrive at the wrong time; public swim hours (which can change) can be viewed here, or call (480) 312-7665. Pool rules are posted here.
Location: 7202 E Cactus Rd Scottsdale
Hours: Open now. Daily lap swimming is open to the public from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday, then the pool closes briefly, reopening from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday hours for lap swimming are 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Price: Non-residents pay $5.00 for adults and $3 for children, and it’s $3.00 for adult Scottsdale residents and $2 for children for the day. 10-day and 30-day passes are also available.
*If none of these public pools work for you, check here for other City of Phoenix pools to choose from. There may be updates for summer 2022, so check before planning your trip by calling 602-262-6861 or viewing the specific community park or pool website.
Splash pads in the City of Phoenix are usually open from the last Saturday in May through October 1st, and can be found at several city parks. Some splash pads are situated in outdoor shopping malls and other locations. The most popular spots we found are:
Located in Altadena Park, this splash pad features spraying animal fixtures, cannons, loops to run though, as well as the park’s playground area, picnic space with grills, benches to rest on and plenty of shade. Be forewarned: there are no restrooms available.
Location: 3711 E. Altadena Avenue, Phoenix
Hours: Mondays through Saturdays (closed Sundays) from May 29 to October 1, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (the park itself opens at 5:30 am, stays open until 10 p.m.). Call 602-262-6696 for updates.
Mountain Vista Park
With whimsical decor including a fun dolphin arch and plenty of jet sprays, this splash pad is a favorite for the littles crowd. Situated inside Mountain Vista Park, you’ll have nearby access to the playground, picnic space, grills, ramada, as well as well-lit soccer, softball, sand volleyball, and basketball courts. Restrooms are available on-site.
Location: 13647 S. 50th St., Phoenix
Hours: The park opens from 5:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Call 602-262-6111 for updates.
Downtown Phoenix offers a splash and play area with jets at CityScape, near the Palomar Hotel. Accessible by light rail so you don’t have to worry about parking, CityScape covers two full city blocks with numerous shopping, dining, and entertainment venues.
Call for more details at: 602-772-3900.
Location: 1 East Washington St., Phoenix
Hours: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily
Desert Ridge Marketplace
Located near AMC Theaters, Starbucks, and plenty of seating for grown-ups, the splash pad at Desert Ridge Marketplace promises a fun break from the heat. Watch for free events at the Marketplace and live performances on The District Stage nearby. Read their splash pad rules here. Call for further details at: 480-513-7586.
Location: 21001 N. Tatum Blvd, Phoenix
Hours: 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily unless closed for maintenance or events
Civic Space Park
Amongst the modern sculptures, green space, and impressive sustainable features of Civic Space Park (i.e. solar panels on shade structures, extensive shade, trees planted using specially engineered soils, light rail access, etc.), stands the splash pad. It’s open daily from Memorial Day weekend through October 1, and if you visit at night, its colored lights come on for added fun. Call for further details at: 602-262-7490.
Location:424 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix
Hours: Park hours are 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Price: Splash pad is free
Rio Vista Community Park
Just 13 miles from Phoenix, Rio Vista Community Park is a popular spot offering sports fields, fishing, volleyball courts, picnic areas with ramadas, a veterans’ wall, skate park, cafe, jogging path, and more. The Rio Vista splash pad is open from April 15 through October 15.
Location:8866 W. Thunderbird Rd, Peoria
Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (The park itself is open from 6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.)
Mesa Parks Splash Pads
If you’re headed to Mesa, you’ll have your choice of their 3 splash pads (as well as 9 public pools), all open now. They also have a FlowRider for any skill level at the Rhodes Aquatic Complex.
Riverview Park’s splash pad, featured in the image above, is gated in with various types of fountains and misters for all ages, lots of seating, and a nearby playground and restrooms.
Eastmark’s splash pad has lots of fountains for kiddos of different heights to play in, as well as chairs with tables, a nearby playground, and an on-site diner. Pioneer’s splash pad has lots of shade, a 15-foot waterfall, various fountains, plenty of seating, a nearby playground, and on-site restrooms.
Location: Riverview is at 2100 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Eastmark is at 5100 S. Eastmark Parkway, and Pioneer Park is at 526 E. Main Street, all in Mesa.
Hours: Riverview Park is open 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Eastmark 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Pioneer Park 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Call for updates at 480-644-7529
Price: All are free
Mansel Carter Oasis Park
There’s never a dull moment at the 48-acre Mansel Carter Oasis Park! Once you’ve splashed at the ship-wreck themed splash pad, you're steps away from the lake, skate park, sand discovery dig zone, lighted baseball, multipurpose, and volleyball fields/courts, picnic ramadas, as well as a peninsula with rock waterfall and more.
Location: 19535 E. Appleby Road, Queen Creek
Hours:The splash pad is open from 7 a.m. to 9.30 p.m.
Kiwanis Recreational Center
The Cloud at Kiwanis Park Splash Playground is open from April through October offering a fun spot for kids and adults alike. The splash pad and play areas are near plenty of shady seating, and there are grills and pavilions for cookouts, a stocked pond for fishing, a place to rent paddle boats, nature trail walking paths, and more. There is also a great indoor wave pool that is expected to reopen in mid-April.
Location: 5233 S. Ash Avenue Tempe, AZ 85283
Hours: 8 a.m. until 10 p.m.
*If these are too far for you, more city park splash pads can be found in the Phoenix communities of Deer Valley, El Prado, Falcon, Maryvale, Perry, Starlight, Sunnyslope, and University Parks. Get details here.
Salt River Tubing
To tube down Arizona’s historic Salt River, you park in the designated area and ride the shuttle to a higher point of the river to float down. Choose from 3 float trips down a river that feeds several nearby lakes and holds the key to hours of summertime fun for Phoenicians. Trips each last 2, 3, or 5 hours, depending upon how long you want to drift along. Children must be at least 8 years old and 4 feet tall or taller. And keep an eye out – you may catch a glimpse of the state’s beautiful wild horses roaming nearby while you’re floating, too.
Location: 9200 N. Bush Highway, Mesa
Hours: Re-opening May 1st at 9 a.m., check the website and social media for updates starting in April (Normal hours are 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily, then after Labor Day it’s Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays only through September)
Price: Tube rental, parking, and shuttle service are $17 per person plus additional taxes and fees.
We at Jungle Roots hope you enjoy the summer and a well-deserved break from the heat at one or more of these locations. If you visit one, please let us know and tell us how you liked it! We love hearing from our patients and finding out how much fun they’re having on summer vacation. For a full listing of all public pools, splash pads, and other park amenities in Phoenix, check this alphabetical list from the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department. Happy summer to all!
At Jungle Roots Children’s Dentistry & Orthodontics, we strive to provide the highest comprehensive pediatric and orthodontic dental care in a unique, fun-filled environment staffed by a team of caring, energetic professionals. We believe the establishment of a “dental home” at an early age is the key to a lifetime of positive visits to the dentist.