Which RVA Splash Pad is Right for You?


During the dog days of summer, there are few activities that can beat RVA splash pads.

Image from Henrico County Website

Kids can run, jump, and stay cool. Parents can sit back and relax. There’s none of the stress or expensive membership fees of a pool, but all of the water play fun.

Richmond has some great splash pads, from free ones at public parks to spots included with admission to places like Lewis Ginter. If you need help deciding which splash pad is right for you and your family, we’ve got you covered with this handy guide.

If you want to ensure your kids will be totally exhausted and ready for a good night’s sleep:

Children’s Museum of Richmond Downtown:

The Vibe: Cool city splash pad adjacent to two indoor museums (CMorR and the Science Museum) that will occupy kids for hours of fun. It would be easy to incorporate this splash pad into a full day of family fun.
Changing rooms/bathrooms: Inside the Children’s Museum.
Shade: Minimal.
Dry activities: Where to start? Between the Children’s Museum or the Science Museum next door, there’s plenty to do nearby.
Cost: Included with admission to CMorR: $9 daily pass; Children under 1 free. Family Annual Membership Pass, $140
Hours: Mon-Sun (9am-5pm)
Location: 2626 West Broad St. Richmond, VA 23220

If you’re looking for an outing that will appeal to adults as much as kids:

Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens Water Play:

The Vibe: An idyllic splash pad oasis in the middle of one of RVA’s loveliest gardens. This is by far the coolest and shadiest of all the local splash pads, with ample shade trees, lots of benches, and beautiful garden surroundings.
Changing rooms/bathrooms: Near the splash pad at the edge of the children’s garden.
Shade: Ample.
Dry activities: With admission, you’ll have access to the many acres of carefully tended gardens at Lewis Ginter, as well as the fantastic children’s garden, with a huge sand area, lots of kid-friendly outdoor play spaces, and a lakeside tree house.
Cost: (Included with Garden Admission): 0-2 Free, 3-12 $8, Adults $13
Hours: Weekends through September 30 (9am – 4 :45pm) Weekdays through Sept 7 (9am – 4:45pm) Sept 10 – Sept 28 (1:00pm – 4:45pm); Extended Hours for Flowers after 5, Thursdays, June – August; (5pm – 8pm).
Location: 800 Lakeside Avenue. Richmond, Virginia 23228

If you want some fun, quick, low-stress water play in an easy access setting:

Short Pump Park:

The Vibe: Suburban fun in a recently constructed setting. There’s almost always a crowd here, and lots to do nearby, from a dog park to trails to restaurants and shops at the shopping center across the street.
Changing rooms/bathrooms: Located next to the parking lot. Clean, spacious, and convenient.
Shade: Minimal.
Dry activities: There’s a large playground next to the splash pad as well as picnic shelters, walking trails, a dog park, and a restored 1902 schoolhouse.
Cost: Free
Hours: Mon-Sun (9am-7pm), through the end of September
Location: 3329 Pump Road, Henrico, VA 23233

If you want to squeeze in a little shopping before or after your kids splash and play:

Stony Point Fashion Park Splash Pad:

The vibe: Shopping adjacent water play. This is a great incentive to get your kids to behave while you do some shopping. There are also great lunch options if you want to make a picnic out of it.
Changing rooms/bathrooms: There are public mall bathrooms, but no specific changing areas for the fountain.
Shade: You can almost always find a shady bench nearby, and the newly renovated seating is swanky and comfortable.
Dry activities: In addition to the mall shops, there’s also a newly renovated kid play area nearby.
Cost: Free
Hours: Monday-Saturday (10am – 9pm) Sunday (12pm – 6pm)
Location: 9200 Stony Point Pkwy, Richmond, VA 23235

If you want a splash pad with enough features to appeal to older kids and little ones alike:

Twin Hickory Splash Pad:

The Vibe: Public park location with a convivial atmosphere. There’s a community of regulars who know to go early and stake out the picnic tables under the shade canopy. The splash pad (or sprayground) is big and well maintained, with multiple water features and a large stone seating area for parents.
Changing rooms/bathrooms: Located next to the parking lot. The facilities are clean, spacious, and convenient.
Shade: Minimal except for a central cluster of picnic tables under a canopy. Bring shoes because the synthetic flooring gets hot.
Dry activities: There’s a great playground for older kids and a few pieces of swings small equipment for young children.
Cost: Free
Hours: Mon-Sun (9am-7pm), through the end of September
Location: 5011 Twin Hickory Rd, Glen Allen, VA 23059