The 17 Best Splash Pads in Grand Rapids (Local Parent’s Guide)

best splash pads grand rapids mi

Move aside, sprinklers. Splash pads have arrived.

Does your kid or grandkid love water? Looking to cool down and beat the summer heat?

There is a wealth of splash pad options sprinkled throughout Grand Rapids. So if the children in your life delight in being deluged with buckets of water, running through hoops of misty spray, or stomping on miniature geysers of water, you’re in the right spot.

If your kids are anything like mine, I’m here to guide you through all the splash pads in Grand Rapids. Pack some towels and SPF 50. Adventure awaits.

Map of the Best Splash Pads around Grand Rapids, MI

City run splash pads

Splash pads operated by the city of Grand Rapids are free and, in 2023, run from June 9 – September 10. They’re open from 10 am to 9 pm. If you want to swim at one of the city’s pools, it’ll set you back a couple of bucks.

All city parks also have playgrounds. Beyond that, amenities beyond vary by park.

Aberdeen Park

The splash pad at Aberdeen Park is Michigan themed. There are tons of buckets that fill with water, then splash down. If you’re a millennial, you may remember the 90s toy Mr. Buckets. Like Mr. Buckets, Aberdeen Park is “buckets of fun.”

  • Address: 2230 Eastern Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
  • Website: Aberdeen Park

Alger Park

They’ve got rings that spray your little one with water. And the pole that makes a mushroom of water. (Does that have a name?) All the greatest splash pad hits. Much giggling and summer magic will ensue.

  • Address: 921 Alger St. SE, Grand Rapids 49507
  • Website: Alger Park

Campau Park

A no-frills splash pad with geysers of water. Perfect for your little minimalist.

  • Address: 51 Delaware St SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49507
  • Website: Campau Park

Cherry Park

A mini-park with geysers of water. Dry off, and take your kid to lunch at nearby (and kid-friendly!) Brewery Vivant afterward. Order yourself a beer – don’t let your kids have all the fun.

  • Address: 725 Cherry St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
  • Website: Cherry Park

Fuller Park

Another smaller splash pad with jets of water (with a bonus ring that sprays water). Hey, if it’s 90 degrees, what more do you need?

  • Address: 250 Fuller Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
  • Website: Fuller Park

Garfield Park

The newest city splash pad is also one of the fanciest. Your kiddos can summer in style with water features that include rings, towering poles, and more.

  • Address: 250 Burton St SE, Grand Rapids 49507
  • Website: Garfield Park

Gerald R. Ford Academic Center

Another splash pad that features simple, geyser-like fountains. Hey, it’s free and saves you money on your water bill, right?

Heartside Park Splash Pad

Even children with discriminating splash pad tastes will find something to love at Heartside Park. Towering sunflowers that spray water? Yup. Hula-hoop circles that spray water and are impossible to run through without putting a smile on your face? They’ve got those.

Heartside Park is nestled in the heart of downtown, so if you’re visiting the city with kids, it’s a slam-dunk option.

  • Address: 301 Ionia Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
  • Website: Heartside Park

Highland Park

Highland Park is a great option if your kids love jets that spray water in lazy arcs (who doesn’t).

  • Address: 523 Grand Ave NE, Grand Rapids 49503
  • Website: Highland Park

Joe Taylor Park

It’s astounding how many hours I’ve spent watching my kids revel in summer happiness at Joe Taylor Park. It’s a gem of a park, with some of the “higher-end” splash pad offerings. Buckets of water, rings of glee, and frothy jets.

  • Address: 1001 Baxter St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506
  • Website: Joe Taylor Park

Lincoln Park

Almost as cool as Lincoln Park in Chicago. Ok, maybe not quite.

Still, cool off in style at GR’s Lincoln Park, which features jets of water. Grab tacos from nearby Tacos El Cuñado afterward – the Bridge Street location is the O.G.

  • Address: 231 Marion Ave NW, Grand Rapids 49504
  • Website: Lincoln Park

Mary Waters Park

Another great splash pad that’s downtown-ish. There are plenty of nearby restaurants if your kids run out of gas and need some quick fuel. The Mitten is home to terrific pizza and spacious outdoor seating, and is a quick drive away.

  • Address: 1042 Lafayette Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49507
  • Website: Mary Waters Park

Mulick Park

Gotta love Mulick Park – it’s my go-to splash pad. The water is activated by waving your hand over a yellow post with a black cap. Your kids may have more fun turning on the water than playing in the splash pad itself.

  • Address: 1632 Sylvan Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506
  • Website: Mulick Park

Roosevelt Park

The jets of icy water at Roosevelt Park’s splash pad are just the thing to cool down in the summer.

  • Address: 1340 Godfrey Ave SW, Grand Rapids 49503
  • Website: Roosevelt Park

Wilcox Park

Another one of my personal favorites, Wilcox is a sprawling park right next to Aquinas College. The splash pad is of the jets of water variety – no fancy buckets or sunflowers – but the nearby playground and bucolic fields will keep your little ones occupied for hours.

  • Address: 100 Youell Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506
  • Website: Wilcox Park

Other splash pads in GR

Millenium Park

No, not the one in Chicago with the bean.

Millenium Park is a county-run park in Walker. It’s bigger than Central Park. Take that, New Yorkers!

For a small fee, your kids can enjoy the splash pad at here – it might just be the most tricked-out, elaborate splash pad in West Michigan.

  • Address: 1415 Maynard Ave SW, Walker, MI 49534
  • Website: Millenium Park

The Fredrik Meijer Gardens Children’s Garden

Okay, okay. Not an actual splash pad.

But the elevated pools of water, shaped like the Great Lakes, are not to be missed. There are plastic boats bobbing everywhere. Your child can grab one and motorboat around the water feature. Believe me, they’ll manage to get so wet, you’d think you spent the day at a splash pad.

Come on a Tuesday in the summer, and enjoy a free concert afterward at the FMG amphitheater.

Note: requires Meijer Gardens membership or daily admission.

  • Address: 1000 E Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525
  • Website: Meijer Gardens