Splash Pads of the East Valley

Who has the best splash pad in Chandler? Mesa? Queen Creek?

Before I moved to Arizona I had never heard of a splash pad. Now they are a part of almost my daily life. They are the perfect solution for those hot summer days in the desert, when the toddlers are antsy and you just can not watch Frozen one more time. I have a swim bag packed and ready at all times that I can throw in the minivan and head to the nearest splash pad in a tantrum’s notice. I love that I can get the kids out in the sun while keeping them cool, and not have to worry about keeping my older toddler from drowning my younger one. Here are some of the best places for safe water fun for your kids, little and big.

Founder’s Park

22407 S Ellsworth Rd, Queen Creek, AZ
(Ellsworth Road and Ocotillo)

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For those of you living in the deep south of Queen Creek, don’t worry, you haven’t been left out! While getting anywhere north of the 202 is almost a day trip for you brave souls, it’s nice to know that there is a splash pad convenient for you. This pad is a spacious and brand new creation that has elements ranging from a huge dumping water tower to vertical spouts, to a more gentle water curtain. Basically, just a fun place to go get wet! Shade is being added at the end of June 2015, which will be a huge bennefit to parents. Best of all, this splash pad is fenced in with the latch on the outside of the gate, so little ones can not let themselves out!

Tempe Marketplace

2000 E Rio Salado Pkwy, Tempe, AZ
(Rio Salado and McClintock, off the 101)

This splash pad is ideal for the very little ones, babies to about 4 years old. It is a smaller area with spouts that bubble straight up in varying strengths. My 3 year old likes to run around with a bucket and catch the water, while my 19 month old likes to plop herself down at one of the smaller spouts and bat at it with her hands and feet. For the moms, this is my absolute favorite, because it is located right outside of a Barnes and Noble, which has a café inside, which has caffeine. Lots of it. I usually park right in front of B&N, get my gigantic iced beverage with a few extra espresso shots, then get the munchkins situated outside for at least 30 minutes of water fun. There is also covered seating and a mister system to sit under. For those less caffeine inclined, a juice bar is also about three steps from the splash pad.

Desert Breeze Park

660 North Desert Breeze Blvd E, Chandler, AZ
(Chandler and Rural)

Older kids will get a bigger kick out of this splash pad, as well as the little ones. Surrounded by stadium-like seating for parents, kids can sit on the backs of three stone seals and one elephant that shoot water from their snouts toward the center. The padding is cushy and soft, and often I’ve seen older kids (and occasionally a goofy parent) using the middle as a slip and slide. This park also has a fabulous playground right next to the splash pad where the kids can run around and dry off before heading back to the car. A restroom is also just off to the side, which makes a quick change pretty easy.

Chuparosa Park

2400 S Dobson Rd, Chandler, AZ 85286
(Dobson and Germann)

Another splash pad attached to a playground, Chuparosa park is ideal for letting the big and little kids run off that energy. This park has a shaded pavilion right next to the splash pad, and several benches bordering the water area with some tree shade cover. A convenient park restroom is also located right by the benches. This pad has three fun elements. The first is kind of like a huge shower that dumps gallons of water on brave adventurers. The second is a rainbow colored tunnel that sprays water at you from all sides! Run right through the middle for a sudden cool down. The third is a much tamer water spout, where the smallest of guests usually find their domain. Another convenience here is the parking lot. It is a very short walk to the splash pad, so you don’t get overheated trying to get there, and you can keep your kids in sight while running back to the car for forgotten towels.

Chandler Fashion Square

3111 W Chandler Blvd #2416, Chandler, AZ
(Chandler and the 101)

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This is a new splash pad, making it’s debut just last summer. Some fun things about this splash pad are that it sits right in between a California Pizza Kitchen and a Cold Stone Creamery. Can’t go wrong there. One thing I do not like about this splash pad is the ground is just concrete, so it’s a bit slippery. But water shoes or crocs for the littles take care of that.

What’s the best splash pad? Tell us in the comments!

One of the best features of all these splash pads is that they are all free! So the next time you find yourself ready to pull out your hair (or at least try to stop your kids from pulling out your hair) just “let it go” and head to a splash pad.

Here’s a quick list of the other splash pads in the area:

  • Espee Park – 450 E Knox Rd, Chandler, AZ
  • Santan Village Mall – 2218 E. Williams Field Road, Gilbert, AZ
  • Water Tower Park – 45 W. Page, downtown Gilbert
  • EastMark Great Park – 10100 E. Ray Road, Mesa, AZ
  • Goldfish Sunsplash – 155 W. Hampton Ave, Mesa, AZ
  • Rhodes Aquatic Center – 1860 S. Longmore, Mesa, AZ (Not free. Youth: $1.25, Adults: $2.50)
  • Riverview Park (aka. Cubs Park) – 2100 W. Eighth St, Mesa, AZ
  • Beach Park – Tempe Town Lake
  • Esquer Park – 2407 E. McArthur Drive, Tempe, AZ
  • Hudson Park – 1430 S. Cedar St, Tempe, AZ
  • Jaycee Park – 817 W. Fifth St., Tempe, AZ

Liz is a NJ transplant who lives in Chandler with her husband, and three daughters.

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