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, excitement is even higher this year thanks to new features at area splash parks and built-up excitement after many pools and splash pads were closed due to the pandemic last summer.

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.

Tanganyika Falls Splash Park at Tanganyika Wildlife Park

Tanganyika Falls 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 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.

Tanganyika’s splash park officially opened late in the summer of 2020, so for many, 2021 will be the first year to experience it. This year, the splash park is open this year from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day during park hours. 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.

Splash Aqua Park in Wichita

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.

Staring Memorial Day weekend through Aug. 11, the park is open daily (weather depending) for one-hour sessions from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. From Aug. 11 through Labor Day, the park moves to weekends only between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Admission starts 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.

To help swimmers have fun safely, the park is encouraging guests to complete ticket purchases and waivers online to reduce lines. Aqua Guides will be spraying sanitizer during shifts on all equipment and all life jackets will be sprayed with sanitizer after each use. Guests may bring in their own personal Coast Guard Approved life vest.

South YMCA Water Park

Greater Wichita YMCA

Four locations of the YMCA of Greater Wichita (Andover, North, Northwest and South) have outdoor waterparks offering group fitness classes, open swim and play on the pool features.

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 $18 per family that gives full access to classes and facilities. The waterparks will be open May 29 through Labor Day Weekend.

Even if the weather threatens to ruin your outdoor fun, all YMCAs in the Wichita area have indoor pools that are also included in your day pass.

Rock River Rapids - Kiddie Pool

Rock River Rapids

Rock River Rapids is a full-service waterpark 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. Plus, their new Green slide is completed and ready for anyone over 42” tall!

The park is open May 31 through August 10. Hours of operation and capacities may be adjusted for COVID protocol. Check their website or call prior to your visit for full details.

McAfee Pool in Wichita

Wichita City Pools

Wichita has six public pools throughout the city, which have all undergone recent renovations that include extra play areas and slides (except College Hill, which will be renovated in 2022). Wichita pools will open for the 2021 season on May 31 and the last day will be Labor Day, unless otherwise noted below. Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for children 17 and under, and $8 for a family rate (6 people; one must be an adult). Don't miss the Dog Days of Summer in September!

Buffalo Park Splash Pad

Splash Pads and Fountains at Wichita Parks

Wichita also has 10 interactive fountains that are open to the public and do not charge an admission fee. Four of them have been completely renovated and turned into splash pads and two are currently making upgrades. In addition to a variety of spray features, slides, climbing walls and more, there will be shaded areas and gathering spots as well.

The water playgrounds not undergoing renovations will reopen May 29 and will remain open through Sept. 30.

The Harrison and Planeview splash parks are closed for renovations.

After cooling off, enjoy many of the other attractions and things to do in the city.