2023 Guide to RVA's Splash Parks
Updated: May 18
Looking for the best splash parks in Richmond? I've got you covered! I've visited all our RVA splash parks, and I've rounded up everything I learned and everything I wish I knew before visiting them with kids. These tips and tricks will help you find the Richmond splash park that works best for your family!
With two brand new splash parks opening this summer, Richmond now has six, free splash parks and 2 with paid admission. These splash parks are typically open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Depending on weather, they will sometimes open early or extend their season in the fall.
Henrico County Parks and Recreation announced May 20, 2023 as the opening day for all splash parks around the county, but this is always dependent on weather. Stony Point Fashion Park opened their splash park on April 15, but as of publishing this on April 21, it's been closed for maintenance issues. Be on the look out for updates!
Here's what you need to know about our free, local Richmond splash parks:
1. Dorey Park: Henrico County's newest splash park is set to open with the rest of the splash parks on May 20, weather depending. The splash park is located in the very front of the park next to Dorey Park Recreation Center, so park in the first lot. This splash park is almost completely fenced in, but there isn't a gate. It has large nature-themed spray structures around the perimeter, and smaller spouts in the middle. Just outside the gate is a a covered picnic shelter.
Heads Up: This splash park has no shade in the fenced in area, and you need to walk to Recreation Center to access bathrooms. It's open 9 to 4:30 daily.
*Check here for my review of Dorey Park.
2. Dunncroft Castle Point Park: This is my children's favorite splash park because it has so many unique water features. There's a frog structure to run through, a spinning water spout and lots of lower pressure spouts (perfect for our smallest friends).
I love this park for a lot of reasons! The splash park is completely fenced in and separate from the playground. The playground is great for children 0-5 because of the soft flooring and the ramps (full sun). My kids love running around the ramps. The bathrooms are also very close to the splash park, so it's easy to get to with little kids. This splash park has the most shaded seating - there are two sun shades that provide full shade. One has a bench under it, too. A lot of visitors do bring lawn chairs to set up inside the fenced area.
Heads Up: This is a very popular splash park. Usually, the parks clear out between 11:45-2, but at our last visit, this park had a steady crowd.
Nearby: This park is located in Glen Allen in front of Hungary Springs Middle School. Crumbl Cookie is 5 minutes away, and Starbucks with a drive thru is 5 minutes away.
3. Eastern Henrico Recreation Center: The splash park has so many fun water features! Almost the entire ground has something to run through or splash in. I really like that this splash park has a fence around it too (no gate). While the water area has full sun, there are some shaded areas throughout the day due to the sun's location.
The layout of this play space is really great with little kids because the bathrooms, playground and splash park are next to each other. The picnic shelter has full shade and a full view of the playground. The playground has a large sun shade that prevents the equipment from getting too hot on summer days. It also has soft flooring - huge plus with new walkers and little kids!
Heads Up: If you visit this playground while the splash park is on, your kids will probably run straight for the water. There are no barriers between the splash park and the playground.
Nearby: Eastern Henrico Recreation Center's playground & splash pad are at the recreation center. You may visit this indoor center from 8am-4:30pm on weekdays.
Nearby: This park is located in Henrico's East End by Harvie Elementary School. It is across the street from Henrico's Fairfield Library. This library is almost brand new, and the children's section is so pretty. Visit for a story time & then visit the splash park!
Story times meet at Fairfield Area Library throughout the week:
Mondays: Baby Songs and Stories (6-24 months) are at 10
Tuesdays: Read, Play, Grow (3-5 years old) is at 10:30 & Family Fun (all ages) is at 6:30pm
Wednesdays: Music, Rhymes & Wiggle Time (2-3 years old) is at 10
Thursday: Sensory (all ages) is at 10
Saturday: Family Fun (all ages) is at 10
Sunday: Family Fun (all ages) is at 2
Click here for the full schedule.
4. Short Pump Park: This splash park has multiple water spouts, and a little pool even forms near them. My kids love running through the fountains or laying in the shallow pools. These water spouts do have a strong force, so it can be a little intimidating for smaller kids. By the splash park, there are a couple picnic tables in partial shade, and there are benches in full sun. The bathrooms and picnic shelter are pretty close by - it's just a couple of steps.
Heads Up: If you visit this park while the splash park is on, your kids will probably run straight for the water. There are no barriers between the splash park and other areas of the park.
Nearby: This park is in the heart of Short Pump, so it's also near Short Pump Town Center & the movie theater. Chick-Fil-A is across the street, Starbucks with a drive-thru is 2 minutes away, and Gelati Celesti ice cream is 5 minutes away.
5. Stony Point Fashion Park: Located in the City of Richmond close to Bon Air and the near West End, this open air mall has a water feature next to the children's play area that's open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. I really love all the seating around the water feature, and the extra play space that's close by too! While the rules say it's for children 42" and smaller, I've never seen anyone asked to leave who was following all of the other rules (aka not acting too wild or wearing adult swimwear). The bathrooms are not that close to the play area, so we usually change in our car or make the long walk.
Heads Up: If you visit this mall while the water feature is on, your kids will probably run straight for the water. There are no barriers between the splash park and other areas of the children's play area or the mall.
Nearby: At the mall, there is a turf play area with a tunnel, balance beam and area to move around. There is also another turf area with seating and giant connect four games. There is plenty of seating for picnics, or you could grab a meal or gelato from Nino's Italian Delight (next to the splash park).
*For more details on Stony Point Fashion Park, check out this review.
6. Twin Hickory Park: This splash park is a lot of fun because of the unique water features like a turtle and a frog that shoot water and a giant tree! I also love how the playground, picnic tables and splash park are all close together & there is a fence around most of the play area (no gate though). This makes it easy with multiple children: one can play on the playground or the splash park while you push your baby in the swing (all areas are viewable!). This splash pad has a ledge around part of the splash park that is perfect for seating, and there are picnic tables under a sun shade too.
We also love playing here because of the sand volleyball courts. We love to bring sand toys to play with in the sand, and then cool off at the splash park.
Heads Up: The biggest downside to this park is that the bathrooms are not next to the play area. You have to walk to the other side of the parking lot.
Nearby: This park is located in Twin Hickory next to Deep Run High School. Starbucks with a drive thru is 3 minutes away, and Vampire Penguin shaved ice is 3 minutes away.
This park is next to Twin Hickory Library (walkable with a stroller), so it's really easy to visit for story time or another children's program & then play at the splash park.
Story times at Twin Hickory Library meet throughout the week:
Mondays: Read, Play, Grow (3-5 years old) is at 9:30am & Baby Songs & Stories at 10:30am
Tuesdays: Read, Play, Grow (3-5 years old) is at 9:30am & Baby Songs & Stories at 10:30am
Wednesdays: Music, Rhymes & Wiggle Time (2-3 years old) is at 9:30am & Family Fun (all ages) is at 7pm
Thursday: Read, Play, Grow (3-5 years old) is at 9:30am & Music, Rhymes & Wiggle Time (2-3 years old) is at 9:30 am
Saturday: Baby Songs and Stories (6-24 months) is at 9:30am & Family Fun (all ages) is at 10:30am
Click here for the full schedule.
Here's what you need to know about RVA's paid splash parks:
1. Children's Museum of Richmond: Located in the City of Richmond, CMoR has a splash park in it's front play space. Daily admission includes visiting the splash park, so you could enjoy the museum, the outdoor play space and the splash park in one visit. This splash park is completely fenced in, and it's connected with the outdoor play space with a playground. While most of the splash park is in the sun, there are areas of shade near the building.
Admission Cost: Adults cost $9, children cost $9, and children under 1 are free.
Hours: Tuesday through Sunday from 9:30am-5pm
Heads Up: If you visit CMoR between Memorial Day and Labor Day while the splash park is on, your kiddo is definitely going to want to play in the water!
2. Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden: After being closed for 2 years, water play at Lewis Ginter is set to reopen this summer! The splash park has been completely renovated, and construction crews are still working on it. Daily admission includes the splash park, and members get to visit for free.
Admission Cost: Adults cost $17, youth (3-12) cost $8, children under 3 are free. Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is a part of Museums for All - families with SNAP, WIC EBT or the FRESH EBT app receive admission for $1 per adult and children under 17 are free.
Hours: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday from 9am-5pm, and Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday from 9am-9pm (May 3-October 28 only)
Heads Up: I'm not sure what to expect with the crowd this summer. Lewis Ginter's splash park has been closed for the past 2 years, but prior to that it was very popular. Many summer camps and daycares visited during the day between 10ish-2ish, so the splash park was very crowed. We enjoyed the water play the most from opening until 10:30 and later in the afternoon.
Splash Park Tips & Tricks:
1. Wear sunscreen, SPF clothing & water shoes, and bring hats, snacks and water. All of these parks have full sun, and the pavement gets hot (all concrete). Also, water play always makes kiddos very hungry!
2. While some splash parks have seating nearby, I've found it helpful to bring lawn chairs and picnic blankets if we plan on staying the morning (or afternoon) at the park.
3. Water diapers are required for all children who aren't potty trained.
4. While my kids can have fun at the park without toys, I love to pack cups or buckets for them to play with. It helps their play last longer!
5. Splash parks are pretty crowded between 9:30-12. On our recent visits, we've had the splash parks to ourselves when we visited before 9:30 AM, between12-2, and after 4.
6. These splash parks are open to the public and free to visit. You don't need to be a Henrico County resident to enjoy them, and you don't need a reservation. Just show up!
Looking for more ways to cool off this summer? Check out these easy beach trips. All 5 beaches are less than 2 hours from Richmond!
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