Places to Cool Down This Summer
Summers here can get really hot—there's no denying that! Wichita pools, splash parks and interactive fountains are a fun way to beat the heat. If you're looking for a great place to spend an afternoon playing in the water, check out some of these popular summer splash spots.
Old Town Plaza Interactive Fountain
Old Town Square offers a variety of dining and entertainment options, and it's also a great place to have some summer fun on a warm day. In the center of the plaza, you'll find dancing fountains to splash around in. It's free and it's fun, so there's no reason not to take advantage and cool down. The fountains typically run from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
If you want to cool off without getting wet, there are plenty of air conditioned shops to duck into, or you can enjoy shaded seating in the square, where and you might just catch one of the many performances by local musicians and street performers.
Waltzing Waters Fountain at the Wichita WaterWalk
The Fountains at WaterWalk are for visual entertainment rather than splashing in, but as one of Wichita’s coolest water features, they can’t be left off the list. While most fountains are pretty to look at, these put on a whole show, featuring lights and music.
During the summer, the shows run Thursdays through Sundays and begin at noon, 8 p.m., 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. Each show lasts 10 to 15 minutes. Shows are choreographed to a variety of genres of music, including classical, classic rock, country and ’80s rock. The fountains are located just east of Gander Mountain at 605 S. Wichita Street.
Rock River Rapids
With their giant water slides, diving boards, a rock wall, a lazy river and more, Derby’s Rock River Rapids is a perfect pace to spend a summer day, especially a hot one! Twist and turn down the blue slide in a double-tube with a friend, or take a daring plunge down the red speed slide.
Rock River Rapids is located at 1900 E. James in Derby. Admission is $8 for kids (3-17) and seniors (60+), and $9 for adults ages 18-59. Children 2 years old and younger are free.
Riverside Central Park Interactive Fountain
Riverside Central Park features a large interactive fountain area that guest are invited to splash around. This is a really popular fountain, but it's a lot of fun! If you're in the Riverside area and looking for a way to beat the heat, you won't find a better way than this. The Fountain is located near the Kansas Wildlife exhibit, and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the summer.
Buffalo Park Splash Pad
Buffalo Park’s new splash pad is Kansas prairie-themed, with “grass stem” shaped overhead sprayers and bubbling ground jets. Kids can even climb up unto a large buffalo head sculpture that sprays and mists water. Limestone block seating rings the splash area. The new facility also includes an open shelter, picnic tables and restrooms.
Buffalo Park is located at 10201 Hardtner Road, off of Maize near 21st Street. The splash pad typically operates from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
New Market Square Splash Pad
In the center of New Market Square, in front of Old Navy, you'll find a splash pad with bench seating for those who wish to stay dry, but in the height of the summertime, those fountains could coax almost anyone to come out and play. The fountains run from approximately 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily during the summer.
Maize City Splash Park
The new splash pad in Maize City Park operates daily through Labor Day weekend. This water playground offers more than 20 features, including water cannons and bucket dumps. It’s located between Vermillion Primary School and the Maize Recreation Center at 401 S. Khedive, and is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Fairmount Park Water Playground
Fairmount Park is located at 1647 N. Yale, near 17th and Hillside. The splash park at Fairmount is pretty big. This is a great summer fun option for those in the Fairmount area, and it's totally free. The fountains are open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Lincoln Park Interactive Fountain
Lincoln Park is located at 1323 S. Topeka, near the intersection of Lincoln and Broadway. It also features a covered pavilion and shaded areas. As a City of Wichita park, the fountains should be running from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m.
Osage Park Water Playground
The splash park at Osage park is large and very popular. It features colorful rings to run through, plus fun rotating buckets that dump water. Osage Park is located at 2121 W. 31st Street South, near the intersection of 31st and Meridian.
These fountains typically operate from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. This is a great place for south-siders to play, and it doesn't cost a dime!
Wichita Public Pools
You’ve probably heard that Wichita public pools will be undergoing some renovations, changes and closures over the next several years. There are still eight city pools open this summer, and they still offer Free Swim Days! Otherwise, regular admission is $3 for adults, $2 for children 17 and under, and $8 for a family of up to six people (at least one must be an adult).
Here are the Wichita city pool locations:
- Aley – 1800 S. Seneca
- Boston – 6700 E. Boston
- College Hill – 304 S. Circle Dr.
- Evergreen – 2700 N. Woodland
- Harvest – 9500 W. Provincial
- Linwood – 1900 S. Hydraulic
- Minisa – 1350 N. Jeanette
- Orchard – 1062 N. Clara