Salt Lake City area swimming pools, water parks, and splash pads are your ticket to cool summer fun. Many are free or low cost and they are scattered across the Salt Lake area. You'll find everything from a water feature that squirts jets of water to major amusement parks with rides, water slides, and wave pools.
The water park at Cherry Hill in Kaysville, about 20 minutes from Salt Lake City, features a pirate ship, a Cardiac Canyon River Run, a lazy river, water slides with fog and lighting effects, and two swimming pools. The greater park also has mini golf, batting cages, a ball crawl, climbing wall, camping, and outdoor pavilions for parties.
Cherry Hill, which started as a campground only, has 140 campsites nestled among lots of shade trees. You can tent or RV camp right at the water park.
The "Engage" fountain at the City Creek Center, a mixed-use development in downtown Salt Lake City near Temple Square, doubles as a fun splash pad when the weather heats up. Kids can enjoy the fountain fully clothed and with shoes on (no bathing suits).
The center, with an open-air shopping mall and a simulated creek running through it, features stores such as Nordstrom and Tiffany.
The fountain puts on shows at the top of the hour and at night, longer shows at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. include three choreographed songs.
If you want to see another fountain at night, this one with magical fire accents, head over to the Transcend fountain in Richards Court (just outside Nordstrom).
Two Classic Fun Centers, one in Sandy and one in Layton, feature water slides and giant water inflatables. The centers also offer roller skating and a chance to play an exciting game of laser tag, along with other activities for kids of all ages.
Let's go surfing! Cowabunga Bay water park in Draper offers water slides, Cowabunga Beach where you can play in 2,500 square feet of water, a surf pipe, and bungee trampoline area.
Cowabunga River is the park's surfer-style version of an endless lazy river where you'll float past spraying surfboards and happen upon a classic 67-foot VW Bug that showers you with a cooling spray.
The Daybreak community's SoDa Row in South Jordan features shops, boutiques, upscale eateries, and a fun little splash pad.
The area, with new homes and apartments, features a seasonal farmers market and fun events such the Daybreak Triathalon.
Foxboro Park in North Salt Lake has a popular splash pad. It's a large open area with water squirting out at all angles thrilling the kids who run through the gauntlet of sprays.
In the middle of The Gateway shopping and entertainment district is the Olympic Plaza commemorating the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games and featuring the Olympic Wall of Honor and Olympic Snowflake Fountain. The fountain consists of dozens of water jets that squirt various sized streams with elaborately timed precision, sometimes choreographed to music. During the summer, the fountain also attracts hordes of squealing, giggling children.
The Rosecrest Park in Herriman City offers a fun splash pad, picnic pavilions, and a playground. Another Herriman splash pad is located at Umbria Park and the J.L. Sorenson Recreation center (fee charged for entry) offers a leisure pool that's fun for kids with a huge play structure, slides, giant dumping bucket, a bubble fountain that's bound to make kids giggle, and the Lilly Pad Crossing where you hop from pad to pad. They also have an outdoor splash pad and professional-level lap pools with a diving board.
Lagoon-A-Beach, in Farmington, is included with admission to Lagoon Amusement Park and offers six acres of surging slides, crystal waterfalls, bubbling fountains, and relaxed swimming.
For excitement, ride a jet stream of water 65 feet down through twisting, turning, tubes and then plummet nearly 70 feet on falling water before you splash to a stop. You can ride an inner tube on their simulated rushing river to top off a day of cool excitement.
At Salt Lake City's Hogle Zoo, you'll find a place to cool off in a maritime setting.
There's a twisty tube slide, a shipwreck where kids can be pirates for a day and steer the ship, and a tidepool where you can search for starfish and other tidal life. Be prepared, though. The blowhole goes off every 90 seconds and you'll get wet. When you visit the zoo, bring some towels.
The Seven Canyons Fountains, made to look like actual streams sourced in the mountains and running down to the valley, are located in the middle of Liberty Park providing a great area for children to cool off in the summer. When you visit, look for the separate splash pad too.
Mountview Park is the newest park in one of Utah's newest cities, Cottonwood Heights, and features a very popular splash pad. The park also has picnic pavilions and tennis courts to keep you busy.
Murray City's three pools are located in Murray Park. The Park Center features an indoor lap pool as well as a leisure pool, and the outdoor Aquatics Center features a giant 4-story water slide, 3-meter diving boards, zero depth entry pool, water toy features, and plenty of deck and grass space to relax on a summer day.
If you're just looking for a splash pad in a park setting, Willow Pond Park in Murray offers a fishing pond, picnic pavilions and gazebos, basketball and volleyball courts, and a splash pad for the little ones.
Riverton, Utah has 30 parks, extensive trail systems and, places to cool off in the water in summer.
Riverton's Old Farm Park features a fishing area, skate park, playground, and farm-themed splash pad. Riverton's Western Springs Park also features a water playground along with regular playgrounds, trails you can hike and ball fields.
Seven Peaks Water Park, with locations in Salt Lake City and Provo, offers family summertime fun with extreme waterslides, a wave pools, kids' slides, and swimming areas and lazy river rides. Some of Seven Peaks' big, fast and steep thrill slides are not for the faint of heart!
Both Seven Peaks locations include pavilions and facilities for parties and reunions.
With 31 jets, the Valley Fair Mall, in West Valley City has an interactive fountain reaching heights of over 30 feet. In addition, the fountain has LED lights in each water stream that combine with music to create a choreographed show on the colorful splash pad.