When it’s summertime in Arkansas, there’s no quicker way to cool off than to hit the water. However, a lake, river or other body of water isn’t always reachable. During the past two years, Little Rock has expanded its water playground horizon by adding two new splash parks.
The Splash Pad at the Vogel-Schwartz Sculpture Garden in Riverfront Park opened earlier this year. It is for children up to age five. The feature has been added to the kids play area of the garden, which is a collection of 60 pieces of art sculpture, the majority of which are within Riverfront Park. It is located behind the Little Rock Marriott in the River Market District.
The new area complements the existing Peabody Park in Riverfront Park. Designed from suggestions made by local children, this recreation space includes outdoor and underground rooms, large native stones for climbing and a sizeable water spray area in the middle of the park has motion-censored waterspouts. The Ozark Pavilion offers a view of the Arkansas River and the nearby William E. “Bill” Clark Presidential Park Wetlands contains indigenous plant species located near the river bank.
Approximately five miles or so to the west is the War Memorial Park Natural Play Area and Pavilion, which was totally renovated in 2013. It was designed to serve as a tribute to the many beautiful features of the Arkansas outdoors. The huge boulders are all native to the state. The splash pad resembles actual features of waterways in The Natural State including creeks, rivers and waterfalls. The area contains outdoor rooms, each with its own unique characteristics. A range of climbing skill levels is woven into the native stone walls with some areas attractive to even professional rock climbers.
Numerous slides, which jut out amongst the boulders, lead to the spray pad at the bottom. Grottos, caves and rock crannies are laced with water sprays, mists and fog for a distinctive play experience.