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June 13, 2019
Splish, Splash into summer!
Anna Giblin of @playgroundguru on Instagram shares her Top 5 Playgrounds with Splash Pads around Tampa Bay
1. Julian B. Lane Park : This tops our list for a few fab reasons. First: two covered, age-appropriate play areas that include slides, climbing walls, balancing equipment, music play, sit and spins, and great soft AstroTurf to prevent any major boo-boos. Second: The splash pad is fenced-in with a secure play area and clean family bathrooms. An easily-accessed touch pad controls the splash pad, helping conserve water and energy. The neon orange fill-and-dump bucket is a big hit. As well as covered picnic tables, chess, checkers and ping pong tables, free admission and tons of parking, this park also offers amazing views of the Hillsborough River.
2. Water Works Park: Coming in at number two, this great park gets points for location. It’s super close to Ulele and Armature Works so you can grab a coffee and relax while the kiddos splash and play! Water Works Park has the coolest climbing jungle gym/ropes course in the center of the park, a fun seesaw that holds up to six kids, climbing gear with two slides (more geared towards toddlers), stand and spins, and of course: the splash pad. The coolest feature besides the huge dump bucket is the water gun station. These green water shooters were designed to turn off when pointed outside of the ‘water zone,’ so don’t worry about getting soaked while sitting under one of the many covered picnic table areas! You’ll also find several little fountains and splash areas on the perimeter of the splash pad.
3. Splash Pad at the Florida Aquarium: Number 3! This splash pad/playground does not disappoint with covered play areas for all age groups, slides, climbing equipment, shaded benches for supervision, and AstroTurf throughout to help with the transition from splash pad to playground. The splash pad has fountains, creative play areas, squirt guns and a water tunnel. It’s also completely free for Aquarium pass holders and those who paid regular day admission to the Florida Aquarium. The surrounding area offers a café, a super cute beachy bar, bathrooms, several covered picnic tables and eating areas.
4. Anderson Park in Hyde Park Village, know by many as Kate Jackson Park: Fabulous number four—get ready to splash through the lion’s den! This cute splash zone has several lion statues that the kids love to play around while soaking up the sun. The playground is naturally shaded by large oak trees and includes swings, slides, climbing equipment, picnic tables, monkey bars, tunnels and bridges. You’ll find bathrooms close by and easy parking as well.
5. Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park: Rounding out the list at number five, this spacious playground is in the heart of Tampa, steps from the fountains of Curtis Hixon Park. Grab the bathing suits and splash after a slide, spin or stroll down Tampa’s Riverwalk. This great spot has climbing equipment, pretend play areas, slides, two merry go rounds, picnic tables, sit and spins, a seesaw and shaded benches. Also, according to Tampa Parks and Recreation, the surfacing is scheduled for replacement when the new shade structure gets installed this summer!
Ballast Point Park: 5300 Interbay Blvd
Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park: 601 Old Water St
Perry Harvey, Sr. Park: 1201 N Orange St