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It’s no secret: Kids love to splash around in the water. And let’s face it, adults are drawn to lakes, rivers and fountains, too. Of course if you have a pool (or a friend with a pool, or a neighbor with a pool…) the urge for some splashy summer fun may be readily available. No pool? No worries! There are plenty of opportunities for summer splashing around the city and suburbs, from big bodies of natural water to spraygrounds.

Check out the water spots below, some free and some with an admission charge. The warm weather is here, get splashing!

Please note that pools, splash pads and wading pools that are affiliated with Milwaukee County Parks open in mid-June. For more information, call the 24-hour pool hotline at (414) 257-7230 or visit countyparks.com.

That big lake

We live right near Lake Michigan. Bradford Beach, 2400 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive, in Milwaukee offers indoor plumbing, a concession stand, changing rooms and lifeguards. Bradford is a county beach with a lifeguard staff from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, so it’s a safer bet if you are swimming with little ones. 

Other Milwaukee County parks with beaches include:

  • Atwater Beach, 3920 N. Murray Ave., Shorewood
  • Bay View Park, 3120 S Lake Drive, Milwaukee
  • Bender, 4503 E. Ryan Road, Oak Creek
  • Tietjen (Doctors Park), 1870 E. Fox Lane, Fox Point
  • Grant, 100 S. Hawthorne Ave., South Milwaukee
  • Klode Park, 5900 N. Lake Drive, Whitefish Bay
  • McKinley, 1750 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive, Milwaukee
  • South Shore, 2900 S. Superior St., Milwaukee

When venturing to any of these beaches, be sure to check lake condition and water quality reports. Milwaukee County Parks offers real-time data, including beach closings, at milwcountybeaches.org.

Family Aquatic Centers

At some point, the kids are going to start talking about water slides. That’s right, they are looking for something more along the lines of an aquatic center. Each location is a different mix of fountains, spray jets, slides and pools. All centers offer membership passes in addition to daily rates.

1. Cool Waters, 2028 S. 124th St., Greenfield Park, West Allis

(414) 257-8098, countyparks.com

This center features a giant tube and body waterslides, children’s waterslides, interactive water toys, sand volleyball courts, a playground, a zero-depth pool and a cafe.

Hours: Open Monday-Thursday from 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Friday-Sunday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (Weekday hours begin Monday, June 12)

Admission: Rates vary depending on age and day. $4.50-$7.25.

2. David F. Schulz Aquatic Center in Lincoln Park, 1301 W. Hampton Ave., Milwaukee

(414) 257-8098, countyparks.com

For younger children, there is a zero-depth pool with interactive water features, including spray jets, water troughs and The Bucket Dump. Older swimmers can play basketball in the leisure pool, swim in the big pools with two diving boards or use lap lanes, a tube slide and a body slide.

Hours: Open swim is Monday-Thursday from 12 p.m.-8 p.m.; Friday-Sunday from 12 p.m.-6 p.m. Children 7 and younger can swim with a caregiver during Tot Time on Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. (Weekday hours start Monday, June 12)

Admission: Rates vary depending on age and day. $3.50-$7.25.

3. TOSA Pool at Hoyt Park, 1800 N. Swan Blvd., Wauwatosa

(414) 302-9160, friendsofhoytpark.org

The TOSA Pool features a zero-depth area, diving boards, tot water play set, giant slide, sand play area and concessions along the Oak Leaf Trail.

Hours: Children ages 6 and under and a caregiver can swim from 9-11 a.m. Monday-Friday for Parent/Tot time. Open daytime swim Monday-Thursday from 12-4:30; Friday from 12-6 p.m.; Evening swim Tuesday and Thursday from 6-8 p.m.; Saturday swim from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday from 11 a.m.-8 p.m.

Admission: Free for children 2 and younger; Parent/Tot is $5; Evening swim is $5; Daytime swim is $8.

4. Wiberg Aquatic Center Pool at Wirth Park, 2585 Pilgrim Rd., Brookfield (Opens June 3)

(262) 787-3901, ci.brookfield.wi.us

This facility features a flume slide, zero-depth pool, diving boards, sand play area, geysers, playground and concession stand.

Hours: The zero-depth pool can be used weekdays from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; The full facility is open weekdays from 1-4:30 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. and weekends from 1-8 p.m.

Admission: Free for children 2 and younger; Morning zero-depth access is $2.75-$4.75; Daily swim fees are $3.50-$6.50. Prices vary for residents and non-residents.

Outdoor Pools

If you are a family keen on swimming laps and doing flip turns, a pool with both play and swim options might be a better fit. Pelican Cove in Kosciuszko Park and the swim areas at McCarty Park and Sheridan Park have water park features. Admission at the pools below is $2-$4 per person, depending on the age of the pool-goers and time of day. The pools are scheduled to open June 17.

  • Grobschmidt, 2600 16th Ave., Milwaukee
  • Hales Corners, 5765 S. New Berlin Rd., Hales Corners
  • Holler, 5151 S. 6th St., Milwaukee
  • Jackson, 3500 W. Forest Home Ave., Milwaukee
  • McCarty, 2567 S. 79th St., Milwaukee
  • Pelican Cove, 2201 S. 7th St., Milwaukee
  • Sheridan, 4800 S. Lake Drive, Cudahy
  • Washington, 1859 N. 40th St., Milwaukee
  • Wilson, 4001 S. 20th St., Milwaukee

Splash Pads and Wading Pools

Playing in the yard with a hose and buckets of water is classic summer fun. Yet some days, your family may be craving a more elaborate sprinkler set-up. There are spraygrounds throughout the city and suburbs offering a break from the heat and plenty of water fun.

Splash Pads, which open June 10, are subject to weather conditions. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the exception of Moody, which is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Washington, which has the same hours as the big pool.

Admission to the Splash Pads is free.

They're located at the following parks:

  • Carver, 911 W. Brown St.
  • Clarke Square, 2330 W. Vieau Place
  • Dineen, 6901 W. Vienna Ave.
  • Gordon, 1321 E. Locust St.
  • Lindbergh, 3629 N. 16th St.
  • Madison, 9890 W. Glendale Ave.
  • Moody, 2201 W. Auer Ave.
  • Washington, 1859 N. 40th St., which is open pool hours.

Other locations include:

  • Bayshore Town Center Splash Pad, 5800 N. Bayshore Dr., Glendale
  • Kinderberg Park, Buckthorn Dr., Germantown
  • Hart Park, 7300 W. Chestnut St., Wauwatosa
  • Lake Country Rotary Splash Park, Nixon Park, Hartland

Milwaukee County Parks Wading Pools (open June 10 unless noted)

  • Alcott, 3751 S. 97th St. - open June 17
  • Algonguin, 7850 N. 51st St. - open June 17
  • Columbus, 7301 W. Courtland Ave.
  • Cooper, 8701 W. Chambers St.
  • Greene, 4235 S. Lipton Ave. - open June 17
  • Hales Corners, 5765 S. New Berlin Rd.
  • Holler, 5151 S. 6th St.
  • Humboldt, 3000 S. Howell Ave. - open June 17
  • Jacobus, 6501 W. Hillside Lane
  • Kops, 3321 N. 86th St. - open June 17
  • LaFollette, 9418 W. Washington St. - open June 17
  • Lindsay, 4360 N. 87th St. - open June 17
  • Lyons, 3301 S. 55th St. - open June 17
  • McCarty, 2567 S. 79th St.
  • Mitchell, S. 22nd St. and W. Pierce St. - open June 17
  • Pulaski-Cudahy, 5400 S. Swift Ave. - open June 17
  • Rainbow, 700 S. 119 St.
  • Rose, 3045 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.
  • Saveland, 3700 S. 2nd St. - open June 17
  • Sheridan, 4800 S. Lake Dr.
  • Sherman, 3000 N. Sherman Blvd.
  • Smith, 5462 N. 33rd St.
  • Tiefenthaler, 2501 W. Galena St.
  • Tippecanoe, 1411 E. Warnimont Ave. - open June 17
  • Wahl, 4750 N. 48th St. – open June 17
  • Walker Square, 1031 S. 9th St.
  • Washington, 1859 N. 40th St.
  • Wedgewood, 7201 W. Wedgewood Dr. - open June 17
  • West Milwaukee, 5000 W. Burnham St.
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