This month's Go-To Guide features some of our favorite splash pads and water-play parks that are free and open to the public.
This month's Go-To Guide features some of our favorite splash pads and water-play parks that are free and open to the public. If you know of others we should add, send suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Before you go: Be aware these facilities sometimes close for high winds and lightning, as well as maintenance and water testing.
Ballantrae Community Park (6350 Woerner Temple Road, Dublin 43016; 614-410-4550; dublinohiousa.gov/parks-open-space) Spray fountains are built into a hill topped by the well-known Dancing Hares sculpture. There are park-maintained restrooms next to the parking lot. Hours: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. May 17 to Sept. 5.
Barnett Community Recreation Center Sprayground (1184 Barnett Road [Linwood], Columbus 43227; 614-645-3065; columbus.gov) Hours: noon-7 p.m. daily.
Bicentennial Park in the Scioto Mile (233 Civic Center Drive [Downtown], Columbus 43215; 614-645-7995; sciotomile.com) The Scioto Mile Fountain features a 15,000-square-foot interactive splash pad with 1,079 spray nozzles, 1,100 fog nozzles and a fixture that shoots water 75 feet high. There are public restrooms. Hours: 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. daily, mid-April to mid-October. Special events may alter operating hours.
Blackburn Community Recreation Center Sprayground (263 Carpenter St. [Olde Towne East], Columbus 43205; 614-645-7670; columbus.gov) Hours: noon-7 p.m. daily.
Easton Town Center (use 3900 Easton Station, Columbus 43219 for navigation purposes; 614-337-2200; eastontowncenter.com) The South District's Town Square, just south of Brio Tuscan Grille, includes a very popular splash pad for ages 8 and younger. Hours: The same as Easton Town Center (10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Sunday), but it closes at 4:30 p.m. Wednesdays for the weekly Sounds on the Town Concert Series. Free towel service Saturdays (10 a.m.-4 p.m.) and Sundays (noon-4 p.m.) between June 5 and Aug. 28.
Hilliard's Station Park (4021 Main St., Hilliard; 614-876-5200; hilliardohio.gov/play/hilliard-station-park) This new park is situated at the start of the seven-mile Heritage Trail in Old Hilliard. The splash pad features fountains that are programmed at varying heights and intervals and can be choreographed to music. The park also has an indoor eating area, picnic area, seating area and a public restroom. Hours: 8 a.m.-10 p.m. daily as of mid-May.
Indian Mound Community Recreation Center Sprayground (3901 Parsons Ave. [South Side], Columbus 43207; 614-645-3065; columbus.gov) Hours: noon-7 p.m. daily.
North Bank Park in the Scioto Mile (311 W. Long St. [Arena District], Columbus 43215; 614-645-3300; sciotomile.com/parks/north-bank-park) This 9-acre park, with its signature glass pavilion, has an interactive spray fountain on the upper-level plaza. Parking is available in nearby lots and metered on-street spaces. The fountain does not have specific hours of operation because the pavilion is closed to the public during rental periods.
Partners Park (125 E. Sixth St., Marysville; 937-645-7350; marysvilleohio.org) This new park, which opened in 2015, is located in Uptown Marysville. In addition to a splash pad, the park has a gazebo, green space, pavilion and a public restroom. Hours: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. daily.
Polaris Fashion Place (use 8781 Lyra Drive, Columbus 43240 for navigation purposes; 614-846-1500; polarisfashionplace.com) The Polaris Lifestyle Center section of the development has a small and sheltered fountain/splash pad near Benihana (8781 Lyra Drive) and Cantina Laredo (8791 Lyra Drive), on the east side of the mall. Hours: same as the mall's hours of operation, which are 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Sunday.
Village Green Park (47 Hall St., Powell 43065; 614-885-9820; cityofpowell.us) Plenty of water-play toys are built into the splash pad, which is well-shaded by trees. There are picnic tables at the park and restrooms in City Hall nearby. Hours: 9 a.m.-9 p.m. daily.