Where Kids Can Splash Around Lansing: Outdoor Water Parks, Splash Pads, and Beaches

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year” and I’m not talking about Santa – nope – it’s outdoor water park, lake, beach and splash pad season! Each year, as soon as this time hits I geek-out turning into a kid overrun with excitement for water-play trips with the family. Anyone else play mermaid or tea party at the bottom of the pool as a kid?

Parent Bonus: Water-play fun has helped save me from some crazy-momma-meltdown-moments. If you’re not the swimming-type, you’ll still enjoy this list because these water-play options are a guaranteed refreshing relief from those sunny days pushing 100+ degrees. After a trip to these fun locations we’ll all be cool as a cucumber both inside and out.


splash pad lansing michigan kids water playgrounds
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17 Things To Do in Downtown Lansing
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Use Our Formula to Stay in Love With Summer

As a kid, I would constantly hear adults say “I hate summer!” and “It’s just sooooo hot!”

I didn’t understand it at all back then because I LOVED summer and everything about it. As an adult, I’ve realized what they were talking about. Hot, sticky, unbearable air makes summer no fun unless you know how to beat the heat.

Our formula for being able to say – without a doubt – “I LOVE summer!” is simple: ice cream, and air conditioning, and water-play!


Lansing Area

Where to Find Water-play In Lansing This Summer

Ready for a great summer!?

Pack the bathing suits, beach towels, and sand toys then head to these 15 places to cool off in water around the Lansing area + 14 locations close enough for a day trip and worth-the-drive:



Hawk Island

Splash Pad and Lake/Beach – FREE to play. Parking is $3 (Ingham county residents) and $5 for non-residents. Yearly parking passes available.

Dates: Memorial Day Weekend – Labor Day Weekend

Address: 1601 E. Cavanaugh Rd. Lansing MI, 48910

Hawk Island Beach Kids water playground

East Lansing Family Aquatic Center

Water Park – $ County resident discount applies.

Dates: June 1 – September 2

Address: 6400 Abbot Rd, East Lansing, MI 48823

Hunter Park Pool

Pool – FREE to swim and park. Bring your ID to check in plus a lock for their locker rooms. In most cases, personal items are not allowed on the deck. Pool staffed by the Lansing YMCA.

Dates: June 11 – September 2

Address: 1400 E Kalamazoo St, Lansing, MI 48912

Hunter Park Pool Lansing water playgrounds

Moores Park Pool

Pool – FREE to swim and park. Plan for a nice walk from the parking lot to the pool. Two great playgrounds along the paved river trail that runs through Moores Park.

Dates: June 11 – August 19

Address: 420 Moores River Dr, Lansing, MI 48910

Moores Park Pool Lansing Michigan Kid water playgrounds

MSU Outdoor Pool

Pool – $ family rates available. Open to the public.

Dates:  Check website for real-time daily hours as they are subject to change. Usually open mid-May – August.

Address: Chestnut Road between IM Sports-West and Munn Ice Arena on MSU’s campus.

Lake Lansing South

Beach – FREE to play and swim. Parking is $3 (Ingham County residents) and $5 for non-residents. Yearly parking passes available.

Dates: Memorial Day Weekend – Labor Day Weekend

Address: 1621 Pike St, Haslett, MI 48840

Lake lansing beach kids playground Lansing Michigan

Valhalla Park

Beach – FREE to swim and park.

Dates: Memorial Day Weekend – Labor Day Weekend

Address: 2287 Pine Tree Rd, Holt, MI 48842

Park Lake

Beach – FREE/public swim access. Wiswasser Playground is across the street.

Address: 6064-6274 Park Lake Rd, Bath Twp, MI 48808

Kids swimming lake in lansing michigan kids water playground

Birchfield Park

 Beach. FREE to swim. Parking is $3 (Ingham County residents) and $5 for non-residents. Yearly parking passes available.

Dates: Memorial Day Weekend – Labor Day Weekend

Address: 881 Grovenburg Rd, Holt, MI 48842

Jaycee Park

Splash Pad – FREE to play.

Dates:  Memorial Day – Labor Day Weekend

Address: 525 E River St, Grand Ledge, MI 48837


Nixon Water Park

Waterpark – $4 – $2 per person depending on time of day. Check website for times and exact fees.

Dates: June 17 – August 17

Address: 400 E. North St. Jackson, MI 49201

St. Johns City Park/Spray Park

Splash Pad – FREE to play.

Dates: June 1 – Labor Day Weekend

Address: 805 W Park St, St Johns, MI 48879


Sleepy Hollow State Park

Beach – FREE to swim. Free parking with Michigan registration recreational passport. $3 for parking without.

Dates: Beach is open year round. Buoys up from Memorial Day Weekend – Mid September

Address: 7835 E Price Rd, Laingsburg, MI 48848

Cascades Falls and Splash Pad

Splash Pad – Kids 3 and under FREE to play. Ages 3+ $2.

Dates: Memorial Day Weekend – Labor Day Weekend

Address: 1401 S Brown St, Jackson, MI 49203

Motz Park

Beach FREE to play.

Dates: Memorial Day – Labor Day

Address: 4630 N DeWitt Road, St. JohnsMI 48879

Water Play Worth-the-Drive

Queue up your favorite playlist on Spotify and head to these water destinations!

Our family travels a lot for both work and  adventure. We’ve almost got trip-taking down to a science. I pack up food for the family in my small cold-pack Trader Joe’s bag, fill up our water bottles, check or stock my ready-to-go beach tote (baby powder included for getting off sand), and grab a coffee on the way out for a dream day in the water.

maplewood splah pad

If thinking about the drive home is stopping you from taking these day trips – don’t worry – in most cases driving home is a breeze. After we’ve all had a great day in the sun and water, by the end of the trip my kids are so wonderfully exhausted that they either fall asleep, gaze out the window taking in the scenery, or continuing the bonding time with laughter and smiles.

Here is our list of great water play spots worth-the-drive within an hour and a half radius around Lansing:

GM Plaza – Renaissance Center Splash Pad

Splash Pad + Carousel and Beach/Sandpit a short walk down the shore.

Drive Time: 1 hour 29 min.

Address: 200 Renaissance Ctr, Detroit, 48243


Kensington Metropark (Splash ‘n’ Blast)

Water Park and beach – FREE to swim at the beach, $7 and under per person for the water park – Splash ‘n’ Blast.

Drive Time: 50 min. East 

Address: 4570 Huron River Pkwy, Milford, MI 48380

Cherry Park Splash Pad

Splash Pad and Playground – FREE  to play. Walking distance to East Grand Rapids coffee shops, ice cream shops, and more!

Drive Time: 45 min. West.

Address: 725 Cherry St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
cherry park splash pad grand rapids water playgrounds worth the drive

Jump Island Brighton  

Jump Island – $ Admissions and passes available. 

Drive Time: 45 min. East

Address: 6140 Bishop Lake Road Brighton MI 48116

Millenium Park

Beach and Splash Pad – $4 – $2 per person 

Drive Time: 55 min West

Address: 1415 Maynard Ave SW, Walker, MI 49534

millennium park grand rapids kids water playground

Independence Lake Park

Beach and Waterpark – $ Cost per person to enter. See website for full details.

Drive Time: 55 min East

Address 3200 Jennings Rd. Webster Township Whitmore Lake, MI 48189

Mt. Elliot Park

Splash Pad + Concessions.

Drive Time: 1 hour 29 min. East

Address: 110 Mt. Elliot Street Detroit, MI 48207


Frederik Meijer Gardens

Splash Pad and Wading Pool – $ Admissions to the gardens, see site for full details. 

Drive Time:  45 min. West 

Address: 1000 E Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525

Fredrick Meijer Gardens kids playing water playground grand rapids

Flash Flood 

Water Park – $ Admissions to the park, see site for full details. 

Drive Time: 45 min. South West

Address: 35 Hamblin Avenue Battle Creek, MI 49017

Maplewood Splash Pad and Playground

Splash Pad and Playground- FREE to play and park.

Drive Time: 1 hour West

Address: 8000 12th Avenue JenisonMI 49428 – Located on 12th Ave, North of Baldwin St.

maplewood splah pad

Wayne County Family Aquatic Center

Water park – $Admissions to the park, see site for full details. 

Drive Time: 1 h 29 min. East.

Address: 12600 Chandler Park Dr. Detroit, MI 48213

Lamar Park

Splash Pad – FREE to play.

Drive Time: 30-40 min. West

Address: 2561 Porter St, Wyoming, MI 49519 (near Portland)

lamar park splash pad kids water playground portland wyoming grand rapids

Turtle Cove Aquatic Center

Waterpark – $ Admissions to the park, see site for details. 

Drive Time: 46 min east

Address: 13000 High Ridge Drive Brighton, MI 48114-9058

Sessions Lake State Park  

Beach – FREE to Swim. 

Drive Time: 35 min North West

Address: 2880 West David Highway Ionia, MI, 48846

Where Kids can Swim and Splash in the Lansing Area!

Did I mention how much I love water parks and pools? Believe me when I say, I’d LOVE to hear from you if you have another epic water play spot that we don’t have listed. Will you share it with our community at Lansing Family Fun? We’ll be sure to get it on the list for other families to enjoy.

Have fun splashing with your family this summer, Lansing!