Splish, Splash, Splosh

Water Fun in Wilmington

Living by the water has its perks, especially during the hot summer months. Cool the kids off at public pools and splash pads, or hit the waterpark for a day of fun in the sun. Walk (no running by the pool, kids) to these super fun water attractions and splash away all summer long.

Dive in, chill out

Public Pools

Dive into these public pools.

Earl Jackson Pool at Northside Park
Legion Stadium Pool
Robert Strange Park Pool
Make a splash

Splash Pads & Play Fountains

Bring on the waterworks (the good kind) at these splash parks.

Earl Jackson Splash Pad
Harbor Way Gardens Interactive Children’s Fountain
Longleaf Park Splash Pad
Waterfront Park Splash Pad
Water slide into Summer


Can we just float in the lazy river, please?

Jungle Rapids Family Fun Park


Earl Jackson Pool

Located in Northside Park, the Earl Jackson Pool and Splash Pad is open to the public and is managed by NSEA Swim Foundation. Soak in the sunshine poolside during the summer months, then in the fall the dome goes up for year-round swimming fun. The pool is heated, so the water is comfortable no matter the time of year.

750 Bess Street, Wilmington, NC 28401
Hours: 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Admission: Ages 1 – 17, $1.00 | Ages 18+, $3.00

Legion Stadium Pool

The Legion Stadium Pool is open for the summer, June through early September. The pool is managed by the YMCA of Southeastern North Carolina. Show your YMCA membership card for free admission.

2131 Carolina Beach Road, Wilmington, NC 28412
Hours: 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Family Swim
Admission: Ages 0 – 17 $1.00 | Ages 18+, $3.00

Robert Strange Park Pool

The William E. Murphy Pool located at Robert Strange Park is open for the summer, early June through early September. One great thing about this pool is that the shallow section is pretty big and is roped off by the swimming lanes. So, as long as your kiddo is at least 3.5 feet (or, 3.5 on tippy toes), you can feel safe allowing them to play in this area. In the deep end of the pool, there is also a small slide. Kids who are able to swim by themselves will enjoy sliding into the 9-foot deep end. The pool is managed by the YMCA of Southeastern North Carolina. Show your YMCA membership card for free admission.

401 South 10th Street, Wilmington, NC 28401
Hours: 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Family Swim
Admission: Ages 0 – 17, $1.00 | Ages 18+, $3.00 | YMCA members, free

Splash Pads & Play Fountains

Earl Jackson Splash Pad

Located in Northside Park, visit the Earl Jackson Splash Pad. See above about the public pool, also located in Northside Park.

750 Bess Street, Wilmington, NC 28401
Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Admission: Free

Children’s Interactive Fountain

Harbor Way Gardens is nestled on the west side of the Wrightsville Beach Municipal Complex, near the recycling services. The gardens include a Children’s Interactive Fountain. It’s not huge, but it’s a good place to sit in the shade and watch your kiddos cool off in the fountain. There is a playground nearby, a little free library, a pollinator garden, a labyrinth and more for the kids and you to explore.

321 Causeway Dr, Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480
Hours: Dawn – Dusk
Admission: Free

Long Leaf Park Splash Pad

The ultimate free splash pad in the area, I think. There are all kinds of contraptions that dump and shoot out water. I’d recommend bringing water shoes if you have them, but it’s not required. A loaner water wheelchair is available for those in need, contact the parks and gardens office at (910) 798-7620. Bonus is this park has a large playground, a ninja-warrior-style obstacle course and tons of space to walk, bike, run or otherwise wear your kids out before naptime.

314 Pine Grove Drive, Wilmington, NC 28409
Hours: Open daily May – September 9 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Admission: Free

Riverfront Park Water Feature

If you’re in Downtown Wilmington, this park has a water feature to splash in. It’s not large, but big enough to kick off your shoes and play in on a hot day. The park also has a small play area, public restrooms and urban gardens to explore.

10 Cowan Street, Wilmington, NC, 28401
Hours: Monday – Sunday, 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.  April through October
Admission: Free


Jungle Rapids Family Fun Park

Plan to spend the day, this water park is large. There are areas of the park for every age kid, including a kiddie splash area just for children ages 8 and under. The park does require kiddos under 48″ to wear life jackets. There is a lazy river and wave pool, too. No outside snacks or drinks are allowed in the park, but guests can utilize the picnic area near the parking lot, or purchase food and drinks at various snack bars inside. The park also has go carts, goofy golf and arcade and more, each priced separately. So, even in the off season, there is something to do at Jungle Rapids.

5320 Oleander Drive, Wilmington, NC 28403
Hours: 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. 
Admission: 0-2, free | Various prices from $26.00

Pool photo by Porapak Apichodilok

Splash pad image by Chris Bessler from Pixabay