Best free NJ spraygrounds and splash pads this summer
For New Jersey families, there's not enough ways to emphasize how great it is to find spots for "free" summer fun. There are some great public spraygrounds, splash pads and splash parks in Jersey where you and the kids can beat the heat.
There are also a few that charge a fee. We'll get to those, too.
In any case, it's always good to check the park's page and maybe even call ahead before making a visit, as maintenance and repairs can unexpectedly put a damper on plans to make a splash.
Wheeler Spray Park (Union County)
address (for GPS) 248 W Stimpson Ave, Linden
Monday through Friday: noon – 6 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday, Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
This spray park in Linden just opened for summer 2019, with a sea serpent, pirate ship, two tube slides and a VW bus sprinkler, among its features.
Warinanco Park Sprayground (Union County)
Open daily, Memorial Day through Labor Day: 9 a.m. -9 p.m.
The Warinanco Park spray ground is located across from the Boat House. The bustling park tucked between Roselle, Elizabeth and Linden also has a lake with paddle boats, athletic fields, paved trails and a track.
Union County operates spraygrounds in the following parks:
Cedar Brook Park, Plainfield
Mattano Park, Elizabeth
Rizzuto Park, Union (across from Kean University)
At all of the above, there are seasonal hours: 9 a.m. — 9 p.m.
Elizabeth also has seven spray fountains and 2 spray parks run by the city's Department of Recreation. They are open daily from June through Sept., weather permitting, from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m.
Ponderosa Park (Union County)
1600 Cooper Rd, Scotch Plains
seasonal hours: 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Snyder Avenue Park splash pad (Union County)
240 Snyder Ave, Berkeley Heights
Here's a place for devoted Gang Green fans in the off-season, as the NFL's Jets donated a goalpost sprinkler to the sprayground in Berkeley Heights. There's also athletic fields and a playground.
Dorbrook Recreation Area Sprayground (Monmouth County)
353 County Route 537, Colts Neck
Weekday hours: 11 a.m. -7 p.m. Weekend hours: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Monmouth County upgraded the Sprayground in Colts Neck in the past couple of summers. Improvements include a cushioned surface and new water filtration system.
Manalapan Recreation Center Splash Pad (Monmouth County)
93 Tennent Ave, Manalapan Township
The Manalapan Recreation Center has a splash pad, open 11 a.m. - 7 p.m., Memorial Day through Labor Day, weather permitting. It's a large facility, alongside athletic fields, courts and playgrounds. The township offers the following directions, "Splash Pad is next to Field L (behind Field 9) on the expansion property."
Cross Farm Park (Monmouth County)
10 Longbridge Road and Route 520, Holmdel
Veterans Memorial Park (Monmouth County)
Lakeshore Drive/Ocean Blvd., Aberdeen (GPS address, Ocean Blvd &, Lakeshore Dr, Keyport)
In addition to a pirate ship themed spray park and playground, there's also a picnic grove with shade structures, multi-purpose field, 2 basketball courts, gazebo and Veteran’s Memorial Monument
Michael Lepp Park (Somerset County)
22 Park Avenue, Somerville
Summer operation, daily between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., weather permitting
John Long Park (Somerset County)
85 Mercer Street, Somerville
Summer operation, daily between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., weather permitting
Colonial Spray Park (Somerset County) *planned for late Aug. opening*
156 Mettlers Rd, Somerset
Local residents are hoping this facility will be worth the wait, after delays in 2018 and continued issues this summer pushed the 6,500-square-foot park's opening. Somerset County Park Commission said as of Aug. 15, test sampling results revealed "bacterial exceedances," and vowed another test is planned for the coming week.
Veterans Park Spray Park and Playground (Middlesex County)
61 Avenue K, Monroe Township, NJ 08831
This Middlesex County spray park is right next to a playground and some picnic tables.
John C. Bartlett, Jr. County Park at Berkeley Island (Ocean County)
399 Brennan Concourse, Berkeley Township
The park is open dawn to dusk daily, and the spray park operates for the summer season during the same hours.
Pine Lake Park & Playground (Ocean County)
This park in Manchester Township features a Splash Pad, playground, covered picnic areas and restrooms. The township website pinpoints it at the shoreline of Pine Lake, adjacent to Lake Drive.
Watsessing Park Spray Park (Essex County)
Glenwood Ave near Dodd St, East Orange
This sprayground in East Orange first opened in July 2017.
Pirate’s Cove at Turkey Brook Park (Morris County)
30 Flanders Road, Flanders (Mount Olive)
Seasonally open 10 a.m. - 7 p.m., weather permitting
Pirate’s Cove features interactive water features that are motion-activated, to help conserve water. Towering above, a huge splash bucket dumps water every few minutes.
Van Saun Park splash pad (Bergen County)
216 Forest Ave, Paramus
The splash pad at Harmony Playground is just one attraction at this massive recreation area in Paramus. For the playground, the park entrance from Continental Avenue seems most direct. The entire Bergen County park spans nearly 150 acres with playgrounds and picnic spots, plus Bergen County Zoo, a small train ride and a carousel (those will cost you to use).
Polifly Park Splash Pad (Bergen County)
59 Polifly Rd, Hackensack
Hours of operation 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., seasonal and weather permitting
Hackensack has this splash pad (with a 'dumping' water bucket) alongside a playground, picnic area and bathrooms.
Borough Park Spray Park (Bergen County)
500 Boulevard, Elmwood Park
This spot also offers a playground, baseball & soccer fields and a basketball court.
James J Braddock North Hudson County Park splash pad (Hudson County)
9003 Bergenline Ave, North Bergen
This Hudson County park is another massive rec area where you could splash for a while and spend the day. It also includes a castle themed-playground, picnic areas, nature trails, athletic fields, bocce courts and a dog run.
Newport Green Park (Hudson County)
14th St, Jersey City
Newport Green serves as a sun-and-sand oasis amid the concrete bustle of Jersey City. Aside from the sprayground, there's lounge chairs along the waterfront. The park also includes a seasonal carousel and outdoor ping pong.
Berry Lane Park (Hudson County)
1000 Garfield Ave, Jersey City
Fasola Park Splash Pad (Gloucester County)
12 Sycamore Ln, Deptford Township
This splash pad is at Charles Fasola Park alongside a playground, athletic fields, tennis courts, a pavilion and a lake with a fountain.
You'll need cash to cool off at these:
There are also NJ spraygrounds and splash parks that charge admission. Fees range from a few bucks to a bit more!
Asbury Splash Park on the Asbury Park boardwalk (Monmouth County)- Splash Park Mon-Thurs rates: Child $10, Adult $5, Family Pass $24
Weekend (Fri-Sun) rates: Child $12, Adult $6, Family Pass $28
Bridgeton City Splash Park (Cumberland County)- $3 a person, per 2 hour session. It's next to the Cohanzick Zoo.
Splash Pad at Michael J. Tighe Park in Freehold (Monmouth County) Open to the public only summer weekends, unless otherwise noted, Sat & Sun 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
$4 Children 12 & under, $3 Adults.
Waterworks Aquatic Complex in West Windsor (Middlesex County) Almost 20 bucks per adult/child, varying by day and age.
Randolph Park Beach (Morris County) This spot is open to paying non-residents on weekdays this year. Weekend and holiday admission is for members and Randolph residents.
More from New Jersey 101.5: