“What in the heck are splash pads?” a friend asked. Okay, the language might’ve been stronger when I was asked this, but you get the idea. I can’t remember when the word came into my knowledge bank. I must’ve seen a picture of one along with the term “splash pad.”
This post contains affiliate links. If you click them and make a purchase, I’ll receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. These payments help reduce costs of running this site. I appreciate you visiting today!
What is a splash pad?
It’s a place with water features, usually featuring a non-slip surface, for kids to run through on a summer day. Often, there are adjacent playgrounds. Splash pads have also been called spray pools. According to wikipedia, there is a spray pool in Aurora, Illinois that dates from the 1930s (though it has closed and reopened multiple times). It is located in Phillips Park as part of the Phillips Park Family Aquatic Center.
The largest splash pad in Europe honor goes to the Splash Fountain in Krasnodar, Russia (source: wikipedia). I was unable to find where the largest splash pad or spray pool in the world is located, nor which one is the oldest. I guess there isn’t much interest in the history of splash pads (yes, I googled that term!)
They are a new trend, they are fun, and there are a lot of designs! Some are as simple as a few fountains and others get complex and include tunnels of water to run through and buckets that dump water at random. One near us features a waterfall!
Why does the US love Splash Pads?
If you’re visiting the US in the summer, do a bit of research on the area you’re visiting and find the local splash pad. It’s a great and usually free activity that your children will enjoy! Let’s be candid, adults enjoy these, too. I play in the fountains with my kids and appreciate feeling slightly carefree for a moment. The moment is fleeting, because where’s my kid? And the other one? There they are! Thank goodness!
When it’s hot, they help cool you down. The kids run around through the water and get tired. It’s less scary than taking small kids who can’t yet swim to the pool. Splash pads are fun for all ages (just watch teens dump water on each other in their teenager-y way). Big kids need playtime, too!
Do you have a favorite splash pad or splash fountain? Where is it located?