Once the summer hits in Alberta, you can bet that our family will be spending most of our days at one of the splash pads or wading pools in Calgary. We love packing up a picnic, slathering on the sunscreen, and spending an afternoon or evening of free fun splashing and playing in the water.
City of Calgary splash pads and wading pools typically open in mid-June, so be sure to check their website to find out if the park nearest you is open for the season. All parks are open daily from 9 am to 9 pm and only close during lightning storms. Check out our list of spray parks and wading pools in and around Calgary and get ready to have a splish-splashin’ great summer!
Bowness Park – 8900 48 Avenue NW
Bowness Park is a beautiful park filled with mature trees, picnic areas, fire pits and BBQ stands, washrooms, a boathouse, train rides, a tea house, two playgrounds (including an accessible playground), pathways to explore, access to the Bow River, and a wading pool complete with in-ground spray fountains that kiddos can splash around in on the pool deck. Kids will have a blast playing in the gigantic wading pool, which doesn’t get any deeper than 0.6 metres, and families will love spending the day enjoying the beautiful surroundings of the park and exploring all of the great amenities it has to offer. Bowness Park is definitely the first park we’ll be visiting once splash pad season begins!
Canmore Park – 2020 Chicoutimi Drive NW
Also known as North Capitol Hill Park, Canmore Park has plenty to offer in addition to its spray park! Tennis courts, ball diamonds, public washrooms and water fountains, picnic tables, and pathways will keep your family busy all afternoon! The spray park is accessible to children of all abilities, and aquatic wheelchairs are available to use at no charge. Kiddos will have a great time playing in the water at the spray park and splashing in the wading pool nearby. The parking lot is located just off of 19th street and Chicoutimi Drive.
Eau Claire Plaza – 3 Street and Riverfront Avenue SW
If you’ve spent any time downtown in the summer months, you’ve probably heard the excited screams of children at Eau Claire Plaza echoing through the streets. The wading pool, spray park and playground bring kids of all ages together for fun in the sun, and the nearby Eau Claire Market and restaurants like JOEY, the Barley Mill, Good Earth, and more make it the perfect spot to play and grab a bite to eat afterwards.
Washrooms and water fountains are on site, and there is usually a fair amount of parking in the lot at the Eau Claire Market or on the streets nearby, although it is paid parking.
Prairie Winds Park – 223 Castleridge Boulevard NE
After receiving an 11.9 million dollar renovation which was completed in 2017, Prairie Winds Park has definitely become a destination that families from all over the city will want to visit! Amenities include basketball courts, a cricket pitch, fitness stations, an incredible playscape complete with a zip line, running bowl and concrete wave, picnic areas, a picnic shelter with a tandoori oven, soccer fields, tennis courts, and, of course, the lazy river, spray park, and one of the best wading pools in Calgary. Be sure to bring a floaty, like a pool noodle, kickboard or child-sized tube to take full advantage of the huge lazy river – walking through it is fun, but floating is better!
There are two parking lots available – one at the north end and a smaller one on the south side of the park.
Riley Park – 800 12 St NW
Located within walking distance from the popular neighbourhood of Kensington, Riley Park has tons of great things to offer, including a cricket pitch, picnic tables, an accessible playground, public washrooms and water fountains, a concession, the Senator Patrick Burns Memorial Rock Gardens, and a gigantic wading pool with an island in the middle. The depths vary throughout the wading pool, making it great for kids of all ages (under supervision, of course!) There is parking available on the street and in a nearby lot, but both require payment.
Rotary Park – 617 1 Street N.E.
A variety of spray tunnels, buckets, and fountains will provide an afternoon filled with splashing at Rotary Park, located in the community of Crescent Heights. The spray equipment runs on sensors, so don’t worry if you don’t see the water on when you arrive! The fun at Rotary Park really is meant for everyone, as aquatic wheelchairs are available to borrow on site. Nearby there are picnic tables, accessible playground areas, washrooms, water fountains, tennis courts, lawn bowling, and an off-leash area, so you can even bring your pup to join in the fun!
South Glenmore Park (Variety Spray Park) – 90 Avenue & 24 Street SW
South Glenmore Park is our family’s favourite place to visit when the weather gets hot. There’s plenty of parking available and there are public washrooms and water fountains available on site. Hiking and biking trails, tennis courts, and a polo field are nearby, and there is plenty of room for a picnic (there are shelters available, but they’re first come, first served). Our kids love the little river and running through the water as it sprays up from the ground and down from the structures above. Best of all, the waterpark and the nearby playground are fully accessible to kids with disabilities, and aquatic wheelchairs are available to sign out by simply approaching the attendant on site at the park, with no deposit required!
Valleyview Park – 28 Street and 30 Avenue SE
Picnic tables, benches, an artificial pond, pathways, playgrounds, beach volleyball courts, public washrooms, and water fountains are what you’ll find in addition to a fun little spray park at the new-ish Valleyview Park, located between the communities of Dover and Southview. Four colourful spray structures will keep your kids cool with streams of water from above, while water also bubbles and shoots up from the ground! The flat concrete makes this park totally wheelchair accessible, and parents of young kids love that the entire area is surrounded by a fence to keep little ones safely contained in the area of the spray park and playground. Parking lots are located off of 26th Street and 28th Street.
Outside of Calgary:
Chinook Winds Park, Airdrie
The town of Airdrie has a fantastic spray park filled with spray tunnels, water dumping towers, water cannons, a mini river, a musical piano sprayer, and more. There is even a small play structure in the middle of the spray park with slides that land in the water! Nearby, there’s a playground complete with climbing walls, poles, slides, a balance beam, swings, spinners, and just about anything any park-loving kid could hope for. In addition to the playground and spray park, there is a skate park, baseball diamonds, basketball courts, washrooms, and a concession available.
With so much to see and do, an afternoon at Airdrie’s Chinook Winds park is definitely worth the drive!
Discovery Canyon – River Bend Golf and Recreation Area
3800 River Bend Drive, Red Deer, AB
If you’re in search of a water park experience that’s totally one of a kind and you don’t mind taking a road trip to find it, you won’t want to miss out on Discovery Canyon, located near Red Deer. Discovery Canyon is the perfect place to spend the day, floating down the giant lazy river, lounging at the beach, climbing, swinging and sliding at the park, and grabbing a snack at the concession. Visitors to the park can either bring their own tube (which must be between 30” and 50” in diameter), or they can rent one (all renters must have photo ID). Perhaps the best thing about Discovery Canyon is that admission is totally free!
Tell us about your favourite spray parks or wading pools in Calgary! Have you been to Chinook Winds or Discovery Canyon? We’d love to hear all of your tips and advice for a great day of splashing in the comments!