The summer heat is on its way, and your kiddos are going to want to get WET!
Madison offers several family-friendly spots for water play–in fact, as I was doing research for this post, I was surprised to see just how many local hot (cool??) spots there are!
And the best part? Most of them either very inexpensive or completely free!
Most local splash pads, pools, and beaches open Memorial Day weekend or soon after, so the time to start mapping out your summer bucket list is NOW! (While you’re at it, don’t forget to include some of these fun ideas!)
Splash pads are popping up all over our area, and we love it! Kids can get wet, and parents can relax a little, knowing there’s no deep water to worry about.
All of our local splash pads use eco-friendly water conservation equipment to treat and recirculate splash pad water. And (maybe the best part) they’re all absolutely FREE!
Lakeview Park Splash Pad (Middleton)
Adjacent to a beautiful playground and picnic pavilion with restrooms.
Fitchburg Splash Pad (McKee Farms Park)
McKee Farms Park offers a multi-use shelter with restrooms, picnic tables, a bicycle/pedestrian path system (over a mile long), large parking areas (152 car capacity), and three play equipment areas (including Kids Crossing, the beautiful Dream Park).
We can’t resist the adorable farm theme!
DeForest Splash Pad (Conservancy Commons Park)
Adjacent to a playground and a sheltered area with restrooms.
Cypress Splash Park (South Madison)
Kids can dart back and forth between the water and the adjacent Genevieve Gurst-Herfurth Memorial Park Playground. Portable toilets are available, but there are no other restroom facilities. Cypress Splash Park is staffed with a lifeguard for added safety.
Reindahl Splash Park (East Madison)
Adjacent to Reindahl (Amund) Park, located off East Washington Avenue, with plenty of free parking and a shelter with restrooms.
Elver Splash Park (West Madison)
Adjacent to a playground and a sheltered area with restrooms. Lots of small fountains make this splash pad especially fabulous for very young kiddos and kids who are nervous about the whole splash pad thing (aka my son).
Bonus: climb the big hill or let the kids run out some energy on the baseball fields afterwards. 🙂
Madison has some fantastic public pools, with fun features for all ages. We dare you to try them all this summer!
Goodman Pool (Madison city pool)
Includes 2 waterslides, an 8 lane 25-meter lap area with diving boards, a zero-depth entrance, and several fountains and other shallow water play features for preschool children. The pool area is complete with a sand play area, concessions, changing rooms, deck chairs, umbrella tables and shade structures, plus ample restrooms and parking. Located between Park Street and John Nolen Drive.
- Water spray features
- 210 foot water slide
- 2 kiddie slides
- 18 foot drop slide
- Diving boards
- Water basketball
- 8 lane competitive swimming area
- Sand playground
- Concession stand
- Indoor sun shelters
- Outdoor picnic shelters
- Coin-operated lockers
Newly renovated in 2015! Enjoy a heated pool with a minimum depth of 3 feet and a maximum depth of 4 feet, plus an outdoor themed splash pad, featuring a tent, trees, and a campfire.
The attached bathhouse includes changing rooms, coin-operated lockers, toilets and showers.
A hidden gem! Goodman Aquatic Center (not to be confused with Goodman Pool!) is located at 7762 County Highway PD, just 15 minutes from downtown Madison.
Includes six 25-meter lanes, zero-depth entry, and a kiddie water feature. Poolside, you’ll find a large shaded area, lots of deck chairs, and concessions available daily.
This pool has a saltwater generator, making it better for the environment and for swimmers. With this generator, the pool can use salt as a sanitizing agent, instead of relying on large amounts of liquid chlorine. The Goodman Aquatic Center also uses large solar panels to help heat the pool water.
When you think of Madison, you might not immediately think “BEACHES!” But we actually have several beautiful lakeshore spots in the area, perfect for sandcastle-building and “real water” swimming!
Madison offers 4 regional beaches and 6 neighborhood beaches, all of which are staffed by lifeguards during certain hours in the summer. Generally, lifeguards are on duty from 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM, mid-June through the end of August, but please check the beach website for any changes to that schedule.
Oh, and of course, all of our beaches are completely FREE!
Vilas Park Beach, 702 S. Randall St. (next to the zoo)
Olbrich Beach, 3527 Atwood Ave.
Tenney Beach, 1414 E. Johnson St.
B.B. Clarke Beach, 835 Spaight St. (just off Williamson Street)
- Bernies Beach, 901 Gilson St.
- Esther Beach, 2802 Waunona Way
- James Madison Park Beach, 614 E. Gorham St.
- Olin Park Beach, 1156 Olin-Turville Ct.
- Spring Harbor Beach, 1918 Norman Way
- Warner Park Beach, 1101 Woodward Dr.
You can find all the details on Madison beaches HERE!
P.S. What about waterparks?? When we Madisonians hear that word, many of us automatically think of Wisconsin Dells. But don’t forget that there’s an awesome outdoor waterpark right here in Dane County – check out Dolphin’s Cove! (At the Prairie Athletic Club in Sun Prairie.)
What’s your family’s favorite local watering hole?
What would you add to this list?
Have a FUN and SAFE summer!