Best Water Parks in San Diego for Kids
May 10, 2024

The temperatures are soaring, so get your kids ready to soak up the fun under the sun and make a big splash throughout the summer season at the best water parks in San Diego!

San Diego is popularly known for its sunny weather, white sandy beaches, and plenty of watering holes for a fun family getaway. As temperatures escalate, beaches start to fill as families seek relief from the scorching heat during the summer. If you want to avoid the big crowds and want more adventure, hop aboard the thrill rides or chill out on a lazy river in one of the best water parks in San Diego for kids!

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The best thing about water parks in San Diego is that they have raft rides, wave pools, lazy rivers, all sorts of slides, and all kinds of water attractions to float around with your kids. It provides a wet and wild adventure that can cool off the sweltering summer days. There are plenty of things to do with kids that will keep them smiling and diving into the ultimate watery wonderland. If your kids love the water, San Diego is the place to be!

Do you know where to find the best waterparks in San Diego for kids? Don’t worry! Here are a few places to cool off with the little ones who will be amused by exhilarating water attractions, especially during summer. You can discover different ways to play in the water. From thrilling water slides to playful spray zones and giant gushers, your kids will surely find a great spot to plunge and get delightfully drenched under the sun!

Best Water Parks and Splash Pads in San Diego for Kids

Best Water Parks and Splash Pads in San Diego for Kids

Alga Norte Aquatics Center

6565 Alicante Rd., Carlsbad, CA 92009
Phone Number: (760) 268-4777

Alga Norte Park’s Aquatics Center contains a competition pool, a 25-yard instructional pool (warm water), diving boards, and a splash pad for children. Like at the Y, there are lifeguards and free lifevests for littles. They have an Inflatable Zone — a giant set of plastic inflatable toys to slide and bounce on in the water.

This is a very community-oriented place that is all about families and kids. There is no selling, no enormous crowds, just water, sun, and good times. This waterpark also features two warm pools, perfect for programs, lessons, and special events.

Del Mar Highlands Town Center Jet Fountain

12925 El Camino Real, Del Mar, CA 92130
Phone Number: (858) 793-5757

Del Mar Highlands Town Center is thrilled to announce that their beloved pop jet fountain will soon be back in action! Get ready to cool off, play in the water during warmer months, and enjoy some much-needed fun in the sun. Little guppies can splash about this fountain on the lower level at Del Mar Highlands Town Center.

Grab a cup of coffee or delicious frozen yogurt and sit down at the nearby seating to enjoy the kid fun. Don’t worry—seating is outside of the splash zone. When you’re done, you can check out One Paseo across the street, with cute shops and good eats.


 1 Legoland Dr., Carlsbad, CA 92008
Phone Number: (877) 376-5346

Be ready for splashing wet fun at one of the best water parks in Los Angeles for kids – LEGOLAND Water Park. Ride the surf at the LEGO® wave pool, float along the Build-A-Raft lazy river, and climb and slide down the most awesome tube and body slides. Frolicking in the sun gets merrier with interactive play structures from Joker Soaker to DUPLO® Safari, which makes each day “splash-tacular”!  

Have a blast with friends on a tube that swings, sways, and slides down tunnels of splashing water. Teens and adults will be thrilled with the Pirate Reef and Splash Out for some high-speed water games. LEGOLAND also includes the Sea Life Aquarium, so families can enjoy a San Diego staycation and take in all the attractions individually over a weekend.

Mountain Hawk Park

1475 Lake Hawk Dr., Chula Vista, CA 91915
Phone Number: (619) 409-5979

Located on Lake Crest Drive in the Eastlake Vistas community of Eastlake, Chula Vista is the beautiful Mountain Hawk Park. The park sits on a hill offering an expansive view of lower Otay Lake. Mountain Hawk Park boasts 12 acres of open green grass, an amphitheater for rent, sports courts and fields, play equipment, a walking trail, and the only splash pad in the city.

This is a hidden gem that’s fun for younger kids. Your littles will have a blast with both a playground and splash pad (for free!). Also, plenty of hiking trails, a beautiful view, and a gazebo to host a picnic. A great find if you’re looking for something new!

Poway Community Swim Center

13094 Civic Center Dr., Poway, CA 92064
Phone Number: (858) 668-4680

The Swim Center includes a 50-meter by 25-yard pool with an attached diving well and shallow children’s area. The facility offers one- and three-meter diving boards, open swim areas, lap swimming lanes, and full locker rooms. The locker rooms now offer individual shower stalls and private changing areas.

The facility has a new entrance that opens onto the pool deck, and the facility now has two single-use/family restrooms. The pool is maintained between 80 and 84 degrees, providing comfortable swimming for various aquatic activities. It boasts geysers, overhead buckets, a water tunnel, and more!

Splash Pads in San Diego for Kids

Sesame Place San Diego

2052 Entertainment Cir., Chula Vista, CA 91911
Phone Number: (619) 661-7373

Sesame Place San Diego is one of the best water parks for kids based entirely on the award-winning show Sesame Street®. This 17-acre theme park is perfect for families with kids of all ages and is recognized as a Certified Autism Center. The new theme park features 7 Sesame Street-themed dry rides, an interactive musical play area, and 11 reimagined water attractions, including a 500,000-gallon wave pool – one of the largest in Southern California.

Get ready for the ALL-NEW Count’s Splash Castle opening this Summer! This brand-new water-play attraction on Sesame Island is bigger and better than ever. There are plenty of ways to splash, spray, and have fun within this interactive experience that features 111 play elements. This multi-level attraction has three tipping buckets plus four exciting water slides, soakers, flow pipes, hose and spray jets, shooters, curtains, tipping troughs, spinning and sliding buckets, and much more to explore.

Sweetwater Summit Splashpad

3218 Summit Meadow Rd., Bonita, CA 91902
Phone Number: (619) 472-7572

Visitors to this 500-acre regional park have quite a palette of activities. Whether your little splasher likes to get totally drenched by a bucket of water or just play in the spray zone, the Sweetwater Summit County Park’s splash pad is tons of fun. For just three bucks, kids can soak up the fun. There’s a campground, so if you plan ahead, you can make a night of s’more activities!

Sweetwater Summit County Park has play areas, a 13-station exercise course, rentable picnic areas, a community room, an outdoor amphitheater, and fishing at Sweetwater Reservoir. Hikers, cyclists, and equestrians will enjoy 15 miles of trails that meander up and down the hill, through open grasslands and along streamside vegetation boasting spectacular views of the reservoir and this unique urban oasis.

The Wave Waterpark

101 Wave Dr., Vista, CA 92083
Phone Number: (760) 940-9283

This genuinely enormous water park in Vista is a summertime splash heaven where you can spend all day—with sunscreen. There are water features for the very adventurous, like the four-slide slide tower, and those less adventurous who might like tubing Riptide Slide into the lazy river.

There’s even a special “mermaid program” for little ones who love mermaid magic, so be sure to ask about it. The Wave Park also has swimming lessons and a Junior Lifeguard program. As with many water parks, register for a cabana ahead of time to ensure you have your shaded area with a table.

Tierrasanta Community Pool

11238 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., San Diego, CA 92124
Phone Number: (858) 636-4837

Tierrasanta Pool is a charming mini-waterpark perfect for a last-minute trip to shed some excess energy from rambunctious kids without having to do too much prep and very little driving. This facility features a separate 2-foot deep children’s pool with a playground and water sprays. The tot spot has less than a foot of water, perfect for toddlers or nannies holding babies, and there is a slide and a water jungle gym, too.

There are also bigger slides that older kids can use if they pass a swim test. This facility is ideal for birthday parties, competitive swimming, water polo, and synchronized swimming. In addition, the water play is attached to an old-fashioned park, so kids can switch between the two to exhaust themselves entirely. Drive-thru restaurants are nearby if the kids get hungry and you don’t pack food.

Waterfront Park Downtown

1600 Pacific Highway, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone Number: (619) 232-7275

San Diego has its version of Central Park: The Waterfront Park, along the Embarcadero in Little Italy. It’s become a family-favorite destination for locals. The 12-acre park is just a stone’s throw from the bay and is decked out with many innovative ways to entertain kids, including a splash pad and slide–but the park’s main attraction is the main fountain, with its many jets.

The historic landscape and landmark County building form the park’s center, while an interactive splash fountain extends from the building into the garden, defining a large civic green. On warm days, kids enjoy having a splash while cooling off. The fountain floor is rough and grippy, so kids can run and play without moms worrying about them slipping.

Best Water Parks in San Diego for Kids

San Diego is jam-packed with places to go for adventurous water play days with the kids. There’s so much to see and do that it’s hard to know exactly where to start. With our list of the best water parks in San Diego for kids, you will find a spot that can provide splish-splashing fun and an alternative to a beach family day out. The only challenge you will encounter is budgeting your time.

San Diego offers many opportunities for kids to enjoy and have fun all year round! Check out our list of resources, or browse through our things to do in San Diego with kids. Still looking for more activities for kids in San Diego? No problem! Check out our comprehensive listing of places to go in the region and our highly recommended outdoor blog posts.

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