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Splash Around

Spend the final days of summer in the water

There’s nothing that says summer more than spending the day in the water. Whether you’re on a float trip, want to cool off in a creek after a long hike or just need to spend the afternoon at the local splash pad, those peak, hot days of summer demand cooling off in the water. Sure, you could hide away all day in your climate-controlled house, but that’s what winter is for. Summer is for getting outside, and if you have to get outside, might as well give yourself a chance to cool off. Here are our favorite aquatic places in the area to take a dip.

Splash Pads & Water Parks

Rising Star Park

1009 2nd Street, Platte City

Brand new as of last year, this Platte City park has both a splash pad, playground, and a creek that your kids will love to play in. 

Oceans of Fun

4545 Worlds of Fun Avenue, Kansas City

Is it truly a Kansas City summer without a trip to Oceans of Fun? Don’t forget — kids 5 and under are free! The season pass is definitely a good bang for your buck if you go more than once to either park.

Tiffany Springs Aquatic Center

9400 N Congress Avenue, Kansas City

Whether you’re team lazy river or water slide, there’s something for everyone! They also have toddler times during weekday mornings for little ones for just $5. 

Gladstone Municipal Pool

7011 N Holmes Street, Gladstone

This zero-entry pool is perfect for little ones but has a water slide and water buckets to entertain older kids, too. 

Liberty City Park

970 S 291 Highway, Liberty

This brand-new renovation features a standard playground and also a splash pad with a big ol’ bucket your kids will love to stand under.

Ruth Moore

401 N Grover Street, Liberty

This is a smaller splash pad in Liberty that is better for toddlers but has plenty of shade to keep you cooler for longer play.

Dagg Park

701 E 21st Avenue, North Kansas City

This playground/splash pad combo has plenty of shade and is also fenced in, so you can stress a bit less with littles running around. 

Lions Park & Splash Pad

106 S Jefferson Street, Kearney

This new splash pad in Kearney has a similar design to Liberty’s City Park and also will keep your kids entertained – and soaked — for a while!

Smithville Splash Pad & Playground

19535 Corbyn Lane, Smithville

This small splash pad is fenced in and great for locals looking for some quick entertainment during long summer days.

Zona Rosa Central Park

7210 NW 86th Terrace, Kansas City, MO

This astro turf park and splash pad in the middle of Zona Rosa is a great stop between errands — as long as you brought your kids a change of clothes! The park is small but will keep your kids entertained for a while, and they have Friday morning coffee meet-ups for families during the summer, too. 

Line Creek Pool

5940 NW Waukomis Drive, Kansas City

This zero-entry pool is small but inexpensive, with just a $4 entry (kids 2 and under are free). 

Gorman Pool 

1101 NE 47th Street, Kansas City

This 50-meter lap pool is also a $4 entry, and you can even rent it out for birthday parties!

Riverside Municipal Center

4498 NW High Drive, Riverside

This zero-entry pool is $3 to enter and your older kids can practice their jumps on the diving board.

Excelsior Springs Community Center

500 Tiger Drive, Excelsior Springs

This community center has an indoor pool and recently, an outdoor pool, so you can swim all year round. 

Creeks & Lakes

Line Creek

6060 NW Waukomis Drive, Kansas City

Whether you want to cool down after a bike ride or just take your kids to splash around, the entrance to the creek is just a short walk from the parking lot, and the shallow waters and wildlife will keep them entertained for the afternoon. 

Watkins Mill State Park

26600 Park Road North, Lawson

While a bit of a drive, Watkins Mill is a great camping spot. Kids can play in a creek with access a short walk from the parking lot, or you can take them to swim in the lake with its sandy beach. You can also boat and fish. 

Martha Lafite Thompson Nature Sanctuary

407 N La Frenz Road, Liberty

Your kids will love exploring wildlife at this nature sanctuary in Liberty. While it’s a bit of a walk to the creek, your kids will easily want to spend the afternoon looking for frogs and bugs in the water under the old train bridge. 

Prairie Creek Greenway

16610 NW 130th Street, Platte City

This paved path in Platte City is perfect for biking, and not far into the trail is a creek with waterfalls that is a great spot for tired little travelers to play.

Smithville Lake

17201 Paradesian, Smithville

While a great place to boat and fish, you can also take your kids to the sand beach to splash around.

Lake Olathe

221 S Beaver Shelter Lane, Olathe, KS

While not in the Northland, Lake Olathe is worth a trip. It has a waterfall, pond and creek for kids to play in, as well as a splash pad and sand pit. Plus, older kids will love the actual lake, with its inflatable obstacle course. There’s great boating, fishing and biking in this large park, too.

Parkville Nature Sanctuary

100 E 12 Street, Parkville

This path is great to introduce kids to hiking and while it’s not my favorite creek for little ones, the waterfall is an impressive spot to stop and have a picnic.

Angel Falls Trail

900 Ida Street, Lansing, KS

This trail in Lansing is paved and great for biking, and it has a fun creek to play in under a bridge filled with tadpoles, frogs, and crawdads.

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