Columbus, OH Splash Parks

Ballantrae Splash Park

The heat and humidity in Central Ohio during the summer months is just plain brutal. Seriously, it seems as if some days the air can be cut with a spoon. Luckily, a few splash parks have sprung up around town that help take the edge off cranky hot kiddies! Splash parks are free, fun, and less hassle than the pool. Water squirts out of the ground or from water poles at various levels and the kids basically just splash, play, run, roll, and get wet. Bathing suits are required for littles because they will get soaking wet, but mamas or papas can just wear shorts and dodge the water.

Ballantrae in Dublin: 6350 Woerner Temple Rd. Dublin, OH 43016

  • A total blast. You walk up and there is a big hill with a huge sculpture of dancing hares at the top. On the other side of the hill is the splash park with waterfalls and tons of in ground water squirters. The kids love it.
  • There are a few covered picnic tables, but bring a blanket and claim a spot so you can hang out for a snack or to dry off.
  • You are in full sun, so bring plenty of sunscreen, a hat, and your shades.

Village Green Park in Powell: 47 Hall Street Powell, OH 43065

  • Fun in the sun. This park has water poles that fill buckets with water and dump out at random times to drench your little ones. They also have water-free jungle gyms and play areas.
  • Some spots are a bit shaded and there are a few picnic tables. Bring a blanket or some lawn chairs if you plan to hang out for a few hours.
  • Rita’s Ice-Custard Happiness is at 50 S. Liberty Street, which is around the corner of the splash park in Old Powell…it could be a nice treat after hanging out on a hot day.
  • BTW – a train track runs along the backside of the park and can be loud when it passes by. This is a forewarning to be prepared for those of you who have children scared of loud noises.

Homestead Park in Hilliard: 4675 Cosgray Rd. Hilliard, OH 43026

Homestead Park

  • There really aren’t fountains that spray water, rather water-type fun. They have squirt gun-type things for the bigger kids, a “panning for gold” water bench that gives the children the ability to play in the water or add more water to the trough, and a large water-friendly play area. The farm theme is just darn cute, and there is even a cow to “milk.”
  • Lots of areas to picnic, including covered picnic bench areas and soft shaded-grassy areas.
  • If it is crowded parking can be a bit scarce and you may have a bit of a hike. Bathrooms are at the main building, which isn’t too far from the splash area.
  • Lots of other jungle gyms and play areas, pathways for a stroll, and a pond if the kids like to go creeking (just be sure to put the wildlife back in the water).

Easton Town Center splash areas: 160 Easton Town Center Columbus, OH 43219

  • The two splash areas I have experienced are: 1.) In front of California Pizza Kitchen; 2.) in the square in front of Cheesecake Factory…like how my references are the food joints….
  • Not as conducive to just hanging out as a park, but they are just as enjoyable for the little ones. There are benches adults can hang out on while they watch their littles splash around.

Polaris Fashion Center small splash area beside the Barnes and Noble: 1560 Polaris Parkway Columbus, OH 43240

  • Small splash area similar to the circular fountains at Easton.
  • Benches, some shade, and bathrooms nearby.

Scioto Mile splash park at Bicentennial Park is awesome! 233 Civic Center Drive Columbus, OH 43215

  • Rows of shooting water at various levels so bigs and littles are satisfied.
  • Times geyser and fog rolls in – very cool!
  • Full sun, concrete and lawn areas to sit, metered parking, bathroom nearby.

 

    If you plan to go splash around, please remember a few things:

    1. Parking is reasonably close, but not when you have bags full of towels, food, and extra diapers and dry clothes. If your child cannot walk alone, plan to put him/her in an umbrella stroller so you have free arms to haul your stuff.
    2. Don’t forget to reapply sunscreen if they are playing for a while in the water. Even though they aren’t submerged, the sun is just as brutal as at the pool.
    3. Bring a snack or plan to picnic lunch. Water is exhausting for littles.
    4. I’ve seen kids playing with water toys in the water – even plain old empty water bottles.
    5. If you want to put your child in shoes, make sure they don’t slip on a wet surface. Water shoes, river sandals, or bare feet. Let’s prevent slipping and falling on our faces, shall we? Babies can just sit in the water, but watch closely because bigger kids sometimes run and act crazy.
    6. Many of them offer little shade.
    7. Bathrooms are nearby.

    About cBus Mom

    cBus Mom offers suggestions and reviews of kid-friendly activities in Central Ohio. I am a Columbus, Ohio mom and I like to get out and explore with my kids.

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    4 Responses to Columbus, OH Splash Parks

    1. Chris Jonard August 11, 2010 at 11:09 AM #

      I have been to all the parks mentioned…and I have to say that even though it is a long drive for me, my favorite is the “Bunny Park.” My co-leader for GS camp is a Dublin city employee–as is her husband. He actually worked on the water display at the “Bunny Park.” I made sure to tell her that this was my favorite fountain park–minus the no shade thing. That is brutal!!
      We live by the Polaris Mall, and my kids find their fountains kind of boring. They will play for 3 minutes, then start to run on the ramp–which makes me nervous because it is right by a road.
      We were just at Easton Monday and there are a few things I love about that place too—FREE use of towels, if you forget yours and FREE juice boxes for your kids. Wonderful service there! Plus they have a miniature train that is off to the side, so kids love watching that as well. And, the Zoo comes (so I’ve been told) once a week (maybe more??). We got to see a three-banded armadillo and red fox.
      Homestead Park is a hike and a half for us, but we have been there once this summer. It is nice–there is shade!!) and a cool playground for the kids.
      Those are just my thoughts–hope you don’t mind my sharing.

    2. Steve August 12, 2010 at 7:53 AM #

      Just took my child to Ballentrae yesterday – it certainly helps us forget about how awfully humid it is when water is splashing all about. Ballentrae is really nice – and despite it being free, I have yet to see it so crowded that it becomes unappealling.

    3. Kristen Pietro May 24, 2012 at 10:29 PM #

      I noticed this post is very old and wanted to add another splash pad to your list. I haven’t been there yet, but Worthington just built one outside their pools. You don’t have to be a pool member to play at it, but it does cost $1 to use. I’m excited to check these all out this summer! Your notes about each one is very helpful as well!

    4. cBus Mom June 15, 2012 at 7:42 AM #

      Yes, Worthington Splash Pad is open during the spring and summer to patrons for $1. During the summer, however, you have to pay for a pool day or membership to use it. Check it out: http://www.worthingtonpools.com/splashpad.

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