Beat the Heat at a Central Arkansas Water Playground

Now that the calendar has informed us it’s officially summer, it’s time to look for places to stay cool. To me, there’s no better place to do that than in the water. 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.

 Located out in the southeastern part of Little Rock is the city’s oldest water park, Willow Springs. Still a great place to have fun, Willow Springs opened for swimming in 1928. It has a 400-foot waterslide, two log rolls and water trampolines, and swimming beach, plus water basketball, volleyball and tetherball.  The three-acre water area is spring-fed so it’s always cool and inviting. An enclosed restaurant and covered picnic areas are also available.

Two water-pads are also great places to get relief from the heat. Peabody Park, located in downtown Little Rock behind The Peabody Hotel, 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.

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.
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