A Guide to Portland’s Water Play Parks

If the rising summer temperatures are elevating little tempers, let your clan cool down at one of Portland’s many spray parks or fountains. These accessible spritzers allow younger children to play more safely than at pools or swimming holes, but are fun for all ages! Try checking out one of the 15 splash pad sites through Portland Public Parks, or play in the fountains in and around Portland. Read on to get the rundown our favorites!

photo: bettie_xo via flickr

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Essex Park
Located in the Mt. Scott – Arleta Neighborhood, Essex Park features a unique series of water spraying rings for your water baby to walk under, as well as a sprinkler system. The park also features an accessible playground and has ADA restrooms.

Where: SE 79th Ave & Center St.
When: The splash pad is on now -end of Sept., 11 a.m.—7 p.m.
Online: portlandoregon.gov/parks/finder/index.

photo: Matthew Oliphant via flickr

Director Park
One of the newest parks in the Portland Parks system, Director Park features an interactive “jet and burble” fountain that kids love. Parents will appreciate the park’s free WiFi and the onsite deli for snacks (and maybe even a glass of wine outside while the littles play). There is also a large-piece chess game to test your skills pre or post splash.

Where: SW Yamhill and Park Ave.
When: The fountain is open now-end of Sept., 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. Closed on Jul. 26.
Online: portlandoregon.gov/parks/52453

photo: April Hasson

Woodlawn Park
Another North Portland favorite is Woodlawn Park, which has a small splash pad with water spraying rings. The splash pad is at-level, meaning those in strollers or wheelchairs or otherwise unable to climb up and down stairs can enjoy the water fun as well. Bonus – coincide your visit with one of the Movies in the Park events held here each summer.

Where: NE 13th Ave & Dekum St.
When: The splash pad is on now-end of Sept., from 11 a.m. -7 p.m.
Online: portlandoregon.gov/parks/finder/index

Raymond Park
If you’re near the Lents Neighborhood, bring your horseshoes for a quick game of toss at Raymond Park before dashing through the splash pad to cool down. This park also has nearby picnic tables for a post-splash snack.

Where: SE 118th Ave & Raymond St.
When: The splash pad is on now-end of Sept., from 11 a.m. -7 p.m.
Online: portlandoregon.gov/parks/finder/index.cfm

photo: Paul Kline via flickr

Jamison Square
The Pearl District’s Jamison Square hosts a fountain designed to mimic a shallow tidal pool. Water flows from stone rock formations into a large wading pool, which is perfect for youngsters. There are also grassy, shaded spots for setting up a blanket in the park and nearby cafes. This park can get crowded in the hot summer months, so plan accordingly, especially as related to metered parking nearby.

Where: 810 NW 11th Ave.
When: Park hours are 5 a.m.-12 p.m.
Online: portlandoregon.gov/parks/finder/index.cfm

Beaverton City Library Park
If you’re located in Beaverton, check out the Beaverton City Library Park (across from the library), which has spray fountains, as well as a play structure, picnic tables and a coffee and snack vendor in the park.

Where: 12375 SW 5th St, Beaverton
When: The park is open 8 a.m. to dusk
Online: beavertonoregon.gov/Facilities/Facility/Details/City-Park-Fountain-10

photo: The Skanner News via flickr

Peninsula Park
With both a fountain and a splash pad, Peninsula Park has the best of both worlds, plus gorgeous roses all summer long. The park also hosts not one, but two playgrounds for children of all ages, plus ample shaded areas, picnic tables and restrooms. The splash pad is on now through the end of September, from 11 am -9 pm.

Where: 700 N Rosa Parks Way
When: The splash pad is on now-end of Sept., from 11 a.m. -7 p.m.
Online: portlandoregon.gov/parks/finder/index.cfm

Note: Like a swimming pool, fountains recirculate treated water. Play all day, but actually consuming the water is not recommended.

Where is your favorite place to play in a fountain or splash pad when it’s hot out? Let us know in the comments section below!

— April Hasson & Annette Benedetti




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