Guide to Splash Pads, Pools & Water Fun Around Columbia

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Let’s face it, they don’t call Columbia “Famously Hot” for nothing. Temperatures easily reach three digits long before the official start of summer. The best advice to beat the heat is to either find an indoor play area, or hit one of the local splash pads, spray pools, mist pads, swimming pools, or water parks. And luckily, there is no shortage of them here in the capital city. Check out our list of where you can find some water play in and around the Columbia area, and don’t forget the sunscreen!

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Splash Pads, Spray Pools, Mist Pads, Swimming Pools & Water Parks

Richland County

The recreational swim season for the City of Columbia’s outdoor pools and splash pads/spray pools will begin Saturday, May 29, 2021, the Columbia Parks & Recreation Department announced.

Thirteen of Columbia’s city parks have splash pads or spray pools, all with free admission (think playground with splash pad/spray pool next to it). Just be aware many of them don’t officially turn on the water until Memorial Day or later. We’ve also included local swimming pools open to the public, as well as larger splash pads and water parks that have an admission cost to join in on the fun. Regardless of what venue you check out, there are plenty of options for staying cool this summer!


Drew Park – 2101 Walker Solomon Way, Columbia, 29204 (downtown, behind Drew Wellness Center)

One of the largest splash pad/spray pool in the city with multiple water sprays for kids to enjoy! Open Monday through Saturday from noon to 8 p.m.; Closed on Sundays.


Edisto Discovery Park – 1914 Wiley St., Columbia, 29205 (Rosewood, near City Roots)

Features a concrete splash pad, outdoor basketball court, playground, and fossil dig area. Open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to noon and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Closed on Saturdays and Sundays.


Elmwood/Roy Lynch Park – 900 Abbeville St., Columbia, 29201 (beside Logan Elementary, downtown Columbia off Elmwood)

Enclosed park with water spray, playground, swings, picnic shelters, and concrete area with water spray for kids to enjoy (newly renovated in 2016!). The spray pad is user-operated and available during the park’s operating hours from sunrise to sunset. 

roy lynch park - Columbia sc moms blog
Cooling off at Roy Lynch Park – and there is a playground for toddlers and kids too, as well as a zipline!

Emily Douglas Park – 2500 Wheat St., Columbia, 29205 (Shandon)

Shady park with spray pool operated during summer months, playground areas, and swings. Open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to noon and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Closed on Saturdays and Sundays.


Greenview Park and Aquatics Center – 6700 David Street, Columbia, 29203

The recreational swim season for the City of Columbia’s outdoor pools and splash pads/spray pools will begin Saturday, May 29, 2021, the Columbia Parks & Recreation Department announced.

Greenview Pool will open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on opening day (May 29) and from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, May 30.

It is open for recreational swimming on the following holidays: Memorial Day (May 31), Independence Day (July 4), and Labor Day (Sept. 6) from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The recreational swim season will remain open until Monday, Sept. 6 (Labor Day).

Includes swimming pool, water play area for children and toddlers (including water slide). Regular hours for recreational swimming are as follows:

  • Monday closed for maintenance
  • Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Sundays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. 

To accommodate all guests, visitors must observe a two hour time limit in the pool and water play areas when the maximum capacity is reached. Guests will be given a color-coded wristband before entering the pool area. $3 (ages 12 and under), $4 (ages 13 and over) or season tickets are $80 (ages 12 and under), $120 (ages 13 and over).

Elaborate waterslide is manned by a lifeguard, includes height requirements, and is tons of fun! Children must be able to swim on their own, as “swimmies” are not permitted.
The children’s area is shallow enough for the littlest swimmer, and has age appropriate equipment for younger children. The frog’s tongue you see in the background is a slide!

Heathwood Park – 800 Abelia Road, Columbia, 29205 (Heathwood neighborhood, off Garners Ferry Rd/Devine St. close to Beltline Blvd.)

Features a spray pool operating in the summer months, playground equipment for children of all ages, swings, digging toys, climbing structures, sand digging toys, small spin-around ride-ones, and springy seesaws. There is also a picnic shelter along with basketball and tennis courts. Spray pool open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to noon and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

Heathwood park - columbia sc moms blog
Kids love the spray pool at Heathwood Park!

Lorick Park – 1600 Lorick Ave., Columbia, 29203 (near Columbia College)

Includes a water spray, neighborhood center, basketball courts, a baseball diamond, and picnic shelters. Open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Closed on Sundays.


Maxcy Gregg Pool – 1655 Park Circle, Columbia 29201

The recreational swim season for the City of Columbia’s outdoor pools and splash pads/spray pools will begin Saturday, May 29, 2021, the Columbia Parks & Recreation Department announced.

Maxy Gregg Pool will open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on opening day (May 29) and from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, May 30.

It is open for recreational swimming on the following holidays: Memorial Day (May 31), Independence Day (July 4), and Labor Day (Sept. 6) from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The recreational swim season will remain open until Monday, Sept. 6 (Labor Day).

Regular hours for recreational swimming are as follows:   

  • Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Fridays closed for maintenance
  • Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Sundays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. 

To accommodate all guests, visitors must observe a two hour time limit in the pool and water play areas when the maximum capacity is reached. Guests will be given a color-coded wristband before entering the pool area. $3 (ages 12 and under), $4 (ages 13 and over) or season tickets are $80 (ages 12 and under), $120 (ages 13 and over).


Mays Park – 4100 Trenholm Road, Columbia, 29206

Spray pool is unmanned and will be turned on and off by on-call recreation personnel upon request. Citizens are asked to call the Parks and Recreation Department at 803-545-3100 on Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. to request the spray pools for a weekday or weekend event.


Melrose Park – 1500 Fairview Road, Columbia, 29205 (Melrose Heights, near Trenholm Rd. and Gervais St.)

Enclosed park with spray pool and playground equipment. Open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to noon and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Closed on Saturdays and Sundays.


Pacific Park – 200 Wayne Street, Columbia, 29201

Spray pool is unmanned and will be turned on and off by on-call recreation personnel upon request. Citizens are asked to call the Parks and Recreation Department at 803-545-3100 on Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. to request the spray pools for a weekday or weekend event.


Palmetto Falls – 6511 Marion Ave., Columbia, 29207 (at Fort Jackson)

As of publication on May 27, 2021, Palmetto Falls is currently closed for the season

Park includes a 10,000 sq. ft. family pool, two water slides, a 600 sq. foot splashdown pool, a 2,500 sq. foot kiddy pool, a lazy river stretching 800 linear feet, and a snack bar – talk about enjoyment! Take the Forest Drive Gate, then left on Marion St. Driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance are required to enter the gate.


Pinehurst Park – 2315 Pinehurst Rd., Columbia, 29204 (near Providence Hospital)

Includes spray pool, playground area, baseball diamond, and a community center. Open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Closed on Sundays.


Quinine Hill Park – North Beltline Boulevard and Forest Drive, Columbia, 29204 (behind Walgreen’s)

At this “mist pad,” push the button on the back of the water fountain pole for a nice misting for a few minutes. Mist available upon demand, aka whenever you want to push it!


Sesquicentennial State Park – 9564 Two Notch Rd., Columbia, 29223

This splash pad offers 2,800 square feet of water fun for kids that includes squirting and pulsing water. Admission to the park: $6 adults; $3.25 SC seniors (age 65 & older); $3 children ages 6-15; ages 5 and under, free. Open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily (extended hours during Daylight Saving Time). 


Sims Park – 3500 Duncan St., Columbia, 29205 (Shandon)

Contains a spray pool, neighborhood center, play area, picnic shelter, and basketball court. Open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to noon and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

sims park - columbia sc moms blog
One great thing about a lot of the older neighborhoods in Shandon and Forest Acres is they were built with playgrounds and water areas to cool off (like this one at Sims Park).

St. Anna’s Park – 1315 Liberty Hill Ave., Columbia, 29204 (near Providence Hospital)
 
Features a spray pool, playground, and two outdoor basketball courts, as well as a picnic shelter and large grassy field. Open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to noon and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
 

Waterfall Junction at Riverbanks Zoo – 1300 Botanical Parkway, West Columbia, 29169 (just off SC Highway 378 at I-20 and I-26)

Flora, fauna and fun intersect at Waterfall Junction where big kids and little sprouts can explore nature throughout the year or retreat to a cool escape during warmer months. Frolic around and under a 25-foot cascading waterfall and splash zones, unearth a life-size replica of T-Rex, play in giant tree houses, pop in and out of rabbit holes, and more.

Entry to Waterfall Junction is included with general park admission. Children ages 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult, and kids under 4 must be fully potty trained or wear proper swim diapers to use any water features. Water shoes are recommended for all ages. Park is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

waterfall junction - Columbia SC Moms Blog
Waterfall Junction at Riverbanks Zoo is always a popular choice for families!

Lexington County

Lexington County has six splash pads, spray pools, or mist fountains for your kids to enjoy! Some offer free admission (typically the spray pools and mist fountains) while the splash pads offer more activities and include a cost to participate.


Columbiana Station Splash Pad– 1220 Bower Parkway, Columbia, 29212

Right beside the British Bulldog Pub off Bower Parkway is a small splash pad and playground – perfect for those looking to avoid the crowds and still beat the heat. Take note that the playground is pretty small, and probably better suited for younger kids. However, if your child likes water randomly shooting out the ground, this is the place for you! Bonus: British Bulldog Pub has tables right beside the splash pad, so you can easily order food or something to drink while your kids enjoy the water fun. Splash pad is free, and operates from sunrise to sunset.


Corley Park – 210 Corley St., Lexington, 29072

Open 11 a.m. through 8 p.m. daily from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend. FREE. Includes spray pool and playground.


Felton C. Benton Park Splash Pad – 2915 Platt Springs Rd., Springdale, 29170

At the Felton C. Benton Park, children can spend the dog days of summer staying cool in the always popular splash pool. “At the corner of Platt Springs and Lee is where you’ll find me!” has been a popular saying amongst the children of Springdale for nearly three decades. This park has been providing quality recreation for all the children of Springdale since soon after the incorporation of the town in 1955.

Just a note if you have an especially little or shy one: This splash pad is a favorite with local daycares, so there may be older children there. FREE.


Melvin Park – 370 A Eptings Camp Rd., Chapin, 29036

Melvin Park Splash is officially open! Melvin Park Splash, located at Melvin Park in Chapin, is a zero-depth water spray grounds for children. Their schedule is as follows:

Apr. 24–Sept. 26 (during school)

  • Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Sundays from noon to 5:00 p.m.

Jun. 21–Aug. 20 (school’s out)

  • Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Sundays from noon to 5:00 p.m.

Wristbands are $3 per person or you can purchase a 15-visit Splash Pass for $40. 


NorthWest YMCA – 1501 Kennerly Rd., Irmo, 29063

Outdoor splash pad with play equipment. Schedule is as follows:

June 5-June 20

  • Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Sundays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

June 24-August 15

  • Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
  • Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Sundays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Free to members and adults. Non-member children pay $5; check-in at the front desk.


Willie B. Caractor Park – 804 Hendrix St., Lexington, 29072 (behind Lexington Medical Center).

This park is not usually crowded. Includes mist fountain, playground, hopscotch court, rope climber, and picnic shelter. FREE. 


Saluda Shoals – 5605 Bush River Rd., Columbia, 29212

Saluda Splash is a zero-depth water spray ground for children. Large splash pad with lots of activities to keep kids entertained, and right beside a large playground. This is a large park maintained by the Irmo Chapin Recreation Commission, near the Lake Murray Dam on the Irmo side. Schedule is as follows:

Apr. 24–Sept. 26 (during school)

  • Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Sundays from noon to 5:00 p.m.

Jun. 22–Aug. 20 (school’s out)

  • Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Sundays from noon to 5 p.m
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. 
Having a blast at Saluda Shoals Splash Pad

What are your favorite local splash pads, spray pools, mist pads and/or water parks?

2 COMMENTS

  1. Hi! The interactive map is frozen, zee maps says it’s been opened more than 100 times and to message the site owner who made it

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