*Special Edition*: Hamilton Suburban Splash Pad Review

Yes, you read that correctly! I am including a suburban splash pad review on my downtown Hamilton blog! Why? Well, Hamilton is comprised of both downtown, suburbia and a fair bit of country so I thought it would be lovely to check out what splash pads are like outside the core. Plus, my mom lives on the mountain and the splash pad near her needed reviewing, right? Exactly! So with that, here are 5 sort-of random splash pad reviews in suburban Hamilton!

1. William Schwenger Park

This splash pad is closest to my parents’ house and lies in a park just behind St. Thomas More high school. As there is no lot, the closest place to park to the splash pad is on a street near the Garth/Rymal intersection. This park definitely looks newer and has a lot of green space with a walking trail and soccer fields. The playground looks newer as well, which is what is next to the splash pad. Honestly, I was impressed with this one! Lots of trees to cool down under and there is even a small, permanent, outdoor pavilion you can sit under for additional shade.

Most sprays come from the ground so this picture doesn’t quite do it justice!

The splash pad is bigger than some others with multiple, fun spray types which was nice. For instance, there is a frog head that pours water out of its mouth! For older and more daring kids, there is a triangular-type bucket that fills up and then dumps below for extra splash. I loved the variety at this site. As someone with a one year old, there were a number of gentle fountain type sprays that still made the splash pad fun but not too scary. It’s a crowd-pleaser. Points docked for the button (sprays go on at different times so not a lot of control) and so you run around as they go on/off. Also, no parking available which is surprising as it is the ‘burbs.

Overall: Lots of shade options, great for babies and older kids alike when it comes to the spray types. A hidden gem.

  • Location: 3/5
  • Shade: 5/5
  • Usability: 3/5
  • Fun factor: 4/5
  • Splash factor: 5/5

2. Dundas Driving Park

On a nice, sunny day the family and I decided to have a weeknight picnic dinner at the Dundas Driving Park splash pad. I had big expectations of this one as I heard it was next to a wading pool- how neat! While a wading pool is a definite plus in terms of location, this is primarily a splash pad review. So how did it do?

Small, but location is key!

Well, to be honest….a bit disappointing. As big and green as the park is with lots of grass, trees, benches, parking and a big playground nearby, the splash pad itself plays second fiddle to the bigger draw…..the wading pool. The best part about it was the button itself which was a super creative beach ball! Loved that. However, the sprays comprised of a few fountains and some misters that ran along the red wave lines. It is simple and sweet. Ultimately, the park as a whole and the availability of a wading pool is the bigger draw here so just a heads up.

Overall: It’s a great park with lots of amenities but the splash pad is more of an after-thought. Shout out to the cool, beach ball button though!

  • Location: 5/5
  • Shade: 4/5
  • Usability: 4/5
  • Fun factor: 2/5
  • Splash factor: 1/5

3. Williams Connell Park

Tired of the usual rings and fountains at the ol’ splash pad? Well look no further than Williams Connell Park!

Where to even begin?!

This massive park located just on West 5th between Stone Church and Rymal Rd. showcases the latest in splash pad innovation. The bright colours of this large, spacious splash pad is nature-themed with a large butterfly, various flowers, a dragonfly and large stones that all spout water in various forms. Even the buttons are on large leaves!

This splash pad very much encourages interaction in that the flowers spin and rocks are meant to be climbed on. While the park is newer and lacks older, larger trees for shade, it does offer a large steel awning structure with concrete benches below and lots of grass to sit on. Definitely on a must-do list for Hamilton splash pads! Plenty of parking and a very cool, nature-themed discovery playground next to it. Points docked for shade and location in it being a bit in a no-mans land in the ‘burbs.

Overall: Big, amazing, unique sprays that please all ages. If you want a different kind of splash pad with a cool, adjacent playground, come here! Just bring additional shade.

  • Location: 4/5
  • Shade: 2/5
  • Usability: 5/5
  • Fun factor: 6/5
  • Splash factor: 5/5

4. Village Green Park

What can I say? My mom and Briar had a BLAST. We will be back!

Man, oh man. I had high expectations for this particular splash pad. Why? Well, 1. It is in a large, suburban area (Ancaster), which is bursting with young families, and 2. It is a more affluent part of Hamilton and therefore, I expected a fancier splash pad to match the fancier surroundings. What can I say? It totally delivered! Nestled behind the Ancaster public library that is in the old downtown just off Wilson St., this splash pad is in a quiet, shady area that offers lots of benches, seating and plenty of parking.

The splash pad itself? Where to start?! Well, there are a ton of sprays of all kinds: gentle fountains, a turtle with smaller sprays, the giant leaves that spray on either side of the “Village Green” sign, and get this: not 1 but 3 whole BUCKETS of water to douse the little ones below. There is a giant, twisted, straw-like sprayer that can rotate, a pressure-fountain top that even has a little tornado as it fills up and two buttons to start them all which was a first for me. What is there not to enjoy? This is the biggest splash pad I’ve seen so far on the tour and the one with the most shade AND seating easily within reach. A little playground lies next to it for a dry activity option.

Overall: If you love splash pads, you need to get to this one.

  • Location: 5/5
  • Shade: 5/5
  • Usability: 5/5
  • Fun factor: 5/5
  • Splash factor: 6/5 *I mean, 3 buckets!!!!

5. Waterdown Memorial Park

This park was a must-see on my suburban list since I had high-expectations. I wanted to see what the rapidly-growing bedroom community of Waterdown offers to its plethora of young kiddos and their families. While it is the only splash pad for this area, it is a decent size and offers a variety of colourful sprays.

This splash pad is one of a few amenities within the park (which also includes: a large, new playground, baseball diamond and skate park) while also surrounded by a giant parking lot as well as trees just a little yonder. So a bit of shade is available and it is easily accessible by car. At this splash pad, there is a large flower that shoots water from above, smaller, gentler fountains as well as rings that can spray you like a car wash. Beyond that, there is a pole that sprays water outwards. So, a good variety of sprays that are also pretty responsive to the touch-pole starter (just hard to know which will turn on, when). Points deducted for: not a ton of shade next to the splash pad and although it is splashy, there isn’t a bucket that dumps water and only has 2 spray rings whereas Pier 4 had 4 of them.

Overall: Great variety of colourful sprays to please all ages and while not a ton of shade, there is a TON of parking and amenities.

  • Location: 5/5
  • Shade: 3/5
  • Usability: 4/5
  • Fun factor: 5/5
  • Splash factor: 4/5

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