Splash Away the Heat at a Central Arkansas Water Playground

It’s July…famous for being one of Arkansas’ hotter months. Summer is in full swing so it’s time to look for ways to stay cool. There’s no better place to do that than at a water park or splash pad. Central Arkansas is blessed with a variety of options; all you have to do is pick the one that best suits your needs. Or visit them all. It’s going to be hot for a while.

Wild River Country in North Little Rock is a literal watery playground. You can select for all kinds of amusements, from wild to tame, and for all ages. Some of your options include The Vortex dark tube ride, Black Lighting and White Lighting body tube rides, the Lazy River float, River Rapids float, and the wave pool for just splashing around. Also available are the Cyclone four-person raft ride, the Vertigo slide, the Pipeline winding tube for single, double or triple riders, the Sidewinder raft ride for all ages, and the Accelerator speed slide. It’s a great family destination where you can spend the whole day getting wet.

Three water pads are also great places to get relief from the heat. Peabody Park, located in downtown Little Rock behind the Little Rock Marriott, was designed from suggestions made by area children. It includes outdoor and underground rooms and large native stones for climbing. The expansive 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 wetlands area containing indigenous plant species located near the river bank.

The Splash Pad at the Vogel-Schwartz Sculpture Garden in downtown Little Rock’s River Market District is a water splash park for children up to age five. It has been added to the kids play area of the sculpture 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.

Midtown Little Rock’s War Memorial Park has been totally redesigned, expanded and renamed War Memorial Natural Play Area & Pavilion. It was designed to mimic many of the natural attractions found in Arkansas. The boulders are all native to the state and the spray pad resembles features of actual waterways in the Natural State. The play area has outdoor rooms, not two of which are alike. Numerous slides throughout the boulders end up in the spray pad at the bottom. Grottos, caves and rock crannies are laced with water spray, mist and fog which provide heat relief.

Jacksonville’s Splash Zone offers a wild water adventure with a plunge pool with two water slides, a water tunnel, the umbrella-shaped Rain Drop and Dew Drop water showers and the kids-only Tea Cup; pool that goes from zero to 2 1/2 feet with a play structure for children under 48 inches. The 25 yard pool, which goes from 4 to 11 feet, incorporates a diving board and a massage bench with Jacuzzi jets. Also on-site is a pool with a 24-foot and 26-foot slide for people who are 48 inches or taller; concession stand available. Open Memorial Day to Labor Day.

The Splash Pad at Tyndall Park is Benton’s contribution to watery fun. Located at 913 East Sevier Street, it pumps 70 gallons per minute through various water spouts, buckets that fill then dump, plus a misting arc. Covered picnic tables are available inside the splash pad area for picnics.