When the temperatures heat up this summer in Wichita, there are plenty of options for keeping cool while getting out and having fun in the sun. Plus, there are lots of new features at area splash parks and pools across the city.
When visiting Wichita in the summer, use this list of Wichita water and splash parks, swimming pools and spray-grounds as your guide for where to cool off.
Water and Splash Parks
Rock River Rapids
Rock River Rapids is a full-service water park just south of Wichita in Derby that features six water slides, a lap pool as well as an area with diving boards, a 600-foot lazy river, a zero-depth pool, play structures, aqua climbing walls and a treehouse-themed spray-ground. Additionally, an all-new slide was added recently. It’s a fast and windy body slide that riders 42” and over can ride. All other slides require riders be at least 48" tall.
This park opens at 12:30 p.m. daily and also features special programming such as Tot Time for kids 5 years old and younger and movie nights.
Tanganyika Splash Park
Tanganyika Wildlife Park is known for immersive experiences that deepen your connection to rare and endangered animals, but this unique park also features a modern, 5,000 square foot splash park – complete with animal-themed aquatic features including three slides, water buckets, climbing structures, waterfalls, a giant spraying giraffe and other animal-themed sprayers.
For those looking to stay dry, there are also areas for lounging in the shade, yard games like cornhole and the Thirsty Sloth Bar, serving adult beverages from beer on tap to margaritas. Restrooms, changing rooms and showers are also on site. The splash park is located within the wildlife park so you can visit the park’s animals and then cool off before heading home.
Access to the water park is included in admission, but season pass holders and non-season pass holders need to make online reservations for admission to the park. Choose from an all-day pass or an afternoon pass. Cabanalows, semi-private spaces available for get-togethers, are also available and can be booked online.
Each waterpark is different and can include slides, wave pools, lazy rivers, spray grounds, body slides, climbing walls and more. The YMCA is membership based; if you’re visiting from out of town you can purchase a day pass for $10 per person or $25 per family that gives full access to classes and facilities. The waterparks are open through Labor Day weekend and may be closed due to weather or when temperatures are below 80 degrees.
Splash Aqua Park
Splash Aqua Park is a high-energy, unique way to cool off in Wichita. This fun water park experience brings a series of inflatable slides, runways, jumping pillows, trampolines, bouncers, swings, jumps, ladders and even stand-up paddleboards to a 27-acre lake.
The park is currently open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. One-hour sessions, weather depending, start at $15/hour. All guests must be at least 5 years old, sign a waiver and go through a safety course before entering the park. Guests are encouraged to complete ticket purchases and waivers online and may bring in their own personal Coast Guard Approved life vest.
Wichita has six public pools throughout the city, which have all undergone recent renovations. Wichita pools opened for the 2022 season on Memorial Day and will close on Aug. 14. Admission is $3 and $15 for a family rate (8 people; one must be an adult).
- Aley, 1800 S. Seneca
- College Hill, 304 S. Circle Dr.
- Harvest, 9500 W. Provincial
- McAfee, 8300 E. 15th St.
- Minisa, 1350 N. Jeanette
- Orchard, 1062 N. Clara
Splash Pads and Fountains
Wichita also has 10-plus interactive fountains that are open to the public (no pets) and do not charge an admission fee. In addition to a variety of recent upgrades, spray features, slides, climbing walls and more, there will be shaded areas and gathering spots as well.
The city’s water playgrounds opened for the 2022 season in May and will remain open through October, weather depending.
- Boston, 6700 E. Boston
- Buffalo Park, 10201 Hardtner
- Edgemoor, 5813 E. 9th St. N
- Evergreen, 2700 N. Woodland
- Fairmount Park, 1647 N. Yale
- Lincoln, 1323 S. Topeka
- Linwood South, 1901 S. Kansas
- Oaklawn Community Center Park, 2937 E. Oaklawn Drive
- Old Town Plaza, 301 N. Mead
- Osage Park, 2121 W. 31st St. S.
- Riverside Central Park, 720 Nims
- The Harrison splash parks are closed for renovations.
There are additional splash pads at New Market Square Plaza (at 21st St North & Maize Road), Old Town Square at 334 N. Mead and at various surrounding area parks.
Another option for cooling off – minus the water – is to visit Strataca in nearby Hutchinson, Kansas. This unique attraction takes visitors 650 feet underground within a working salt mine. Plus, you can find lots of other attractions where it’s nice and cool inside.