Stay Cool During Hot Mississippi Summer: Splash Pads and Water Fun in Jackson Area
“But it’s so hot in Mississippi! How are you going to survive the summer?!”
We heard that a lot when telling our friends we were moving to Jackson, MS. Now that we’re here, and it’s summer, I can confirm: it IS hot. I’m thankful for those comments because they helped me to have realistic expectations. And because I expected the heat to be unbearable, it actually isn’t so bad. It’s quite bearable. The locals quickly gave me some tips (the usual helpful tips for when you’re exposed to the sun anywhere on the planet – but here in Mississippi you really do need to take it seriously): seek shade, wear a hat, stay hydrated, find a pool if you can, take breaks from being outside for extended time. Easy.
But throw kids into the mix – and it’s a whole other level. Not so easy. They just have too much energy, don’t you agree? They can’t and won’t stay inside. And we don’t want them to either. That’s where we, parents and grandparents, need to think creatively. It has to be outside, it has to be cool, and it has to be fun (and free or almost free would be nice too!). Here is the best solution I found: SPLASH PADS!
Thankfully we have a wide variety to choose from! We haven’t been to all of them yet, but we’ve enjoyed the ones we did visit.
Splash Pads in Jackson Area
Splash Pad at the Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson (free)
Splash Pad at the Jackson Zoo (free with zoo admission)
Splash Pad at the Mississippi Children’s Museum, Jackson (free with museum admission)
Splash Pad at Berry Berry Good, Flowood (free)
Shiloh Splash Park, Brandon ($5 per person)
Splash Pad at Renaissance Mall, Ridgeland (free)
Clinton Community Nature Center Outdoor Play Area (free, but $2 per child donations appreciated)
Helpful tips for parents and grandparents
- It’s always a good idea to call before you go and make sure the facilities are open and available for use.
- Some facilities allow snacks and drinks. For example, after enjoying the Museum of Art Splash Pad you can have a lovely picnic in the shaded part of the park and go straight back to playing. But some facilities don’t allow bringing food in. Drinks are typically OK. It’s always a good idea to check.
- Most public Splash Pads don’t have a bathroom on site. So it’s a good idea to come prepared. Typically you’ll be able to find a bathroom nearby, within a few minutes of walking.
- With all that water and sunscreen, it does get slippery. It’s a good idea to have the kids wear water shoes with sturdy non-slippery soles. Otherwise being barefoot is the only other good option.
- Adults need to accompany their minors. You hold full responsibility for the health and safety of your water babies. So it’s a good idea to stay close and have a first aid kit, just in case.
- It’s always a good idea to have a bag with a change of clothes for the kids (I learned it the hard way). But in the summer it’s especially helpful for those days when you go to the Children’s museum, the Zoo or the Museum of Art, completely oblivious to the fact the kids cannot and will not stay away from the water, if they see it. And we wouldn’t want them to anyway. Have an emergency set of dry clothes for the kids in the car. A towel would be a lovely luxury to have too.
That’s it! Get wet. Stay cool. Have fun. Make memories this summer in Mississippi!