Water play in summer is great fun and is good for cooling down on hot days. Are you looking for places to take kids in and around Sheffield which have fountains, splash, paddling and water play? Here are 13 best places for water play so you can enjoy splashing around all summer!
Water features and fountains
Peace Gardens, Sheffield. City Centre, by the Sheffield Town Hall.
Free to enjoy and have fountain fun, Peace Gardens is an award winning space right in Sheffield City Centre. There are green areas to sit and enjoy the sun, picnic on and find shade, benches and water fountains. The big water steel balls outside Millennium galleries just next to the peace gardens area hit with kids, too! During the summer months, Sheffield on the seaside fair provides entertainment and family fun with a pop up beach, kiosks and character meet and greets. Open daily.
Clifton park, Rotherham.
Probably my favourite water play park, Clifton Park is free to visit and becomes really popular in the summer months. The water play area is split into sections with a baby area (a space with rock pools and miniachure water sprays) and main fountains for children of all ages. There is a kiosk selling drinks, ice creams, etc., and playgrounds, funfair, golf and tons of parkland. It’s soooo fun and loads to do, and fantastic for water play!
The X1 SteelLink from Sheffield stops outside Clifton park.
Clifton Park splash play is open from Easter Holidays. See here for more information.
Fox Valley retail shopping centre, Sheffield.
This new shopping centre in Stocksbridge has water fountains to play in which are in the main square, surrounded by many shops, cafes and restaurants. The water fountains are free to use and enjoy.
Bradford City Park, Bradford city centre.
This award winning mirror pool in the city centre entertains every child throughout the summer and is super impressive! It is the largest urban water feature in Europe with over 100 fountains and a spectacular “Bradford Blast” – a fountain over 30 metres. The city park is free to all and open daily, at dusk there are dancing lights.
Water play with sand.
Tropical Butterfly house, Sheffield. Normal ticket entry requires to use splash area.
Tropical butterfly house is a great place to visit all year round but at summer the water and sand play area is great fun. The wet play area has play equipment to climb, water sprays, tons of sand, buckets, spades and toys to keep kids entertained. This area is suitable for all ages and children like love to get messy with love this.
There is a play area next to the water and sand play. It is on a large green next to playgrounds and go kart area. All play areas, shows, animals and encounters are included in entry price. The X5 to Dinnington bus from Sheffield stops 15 minutes walk away from Tropical Butterfly House.
Magna Science Adventure Park, Rotherham. Tickets can be bought for the whole science park or just the Aqua-Tek and Sci-Tek.
Magna has a big water play park; Aqua-Tek. The area is full of water fun, sprays, toys, experiment equipment and fountains. There’s benches and picnic space all around, a kiosk and huge adventure playground areas (Sci-Tek). Although there is no sand in the actual Aqua-Tek water area, all adventure playground areas (one for toddlers, the other for older kids) have sand pits. You can spent a whole day here and a ticket for Magna comes with an annual pass so consider this to make your returns a free day out.
Bus x1 SteelLink from Sheffield stops outside Magna gates.
Chatsworth House, Peak District. Tickets for Farmyard and playgrounds (with natural water areas and wet sand play areas) start from £6.
The farmyard and playgrounds at Chatsworth House are open daily and are absolutely wonderful. It is a fantastic place for all the family to enjoy. The adventure playgrounds are a lot of fun for children of all ages with slides, trampolines, swings, rope park and climbing frames. Even adults find it fun, including me! The water and sand play areas are well equipped with playgrounds all around. For nature play and paddling, there is a stream to play in at this woodland adventure playground. Farmyard & playground only tickets start at £6.
Water play in the countryside
Padley Gorge, Peak District. Near Longshaw Estate
Just a stones throw away from Longshaw Estate (with car parks, walking trails and cafe) and Grindleford, Padley Gorge is set in beautiful Peak District surroundings. A rocky stream with boulders and bridges make this a perfect place for nature paddling with lots of space to sit and picnic.
There are trees all around for shade, children playing in the stream with buckets and spades, it is dog friendly and there is an ice cream van too. It is free to enjoy Padley Gorge.
Padley gorge can be accessed by buses 271 and 272 from Sheffield and is 1/2 mile nice walk from Longshaw Estate (still within Sheffield border). It can be reached by train to Grindleford from Sheffield.
The village of Low Bradfield, in the Peak District and north Sheffield is a beautiful place to visit for a sunny afternoon. The village is picturesque, small and makes a good place to stroll around with any age of children. The village is quiet, there is a secluded picnic area with rocky streams and ducks by Smithy Bridge (which is so picture perfect) and lots of paddling opportunities at Damflask Reservoir. To find a small footpath down the green bank onto the rocks at Damflask Reservoir, take the entrance to the reservoir around the corner from the Plough pub, follow the path for 10 minutes, keep checking over the bank to the reservoir to see when the water distance has increased and you’ll find a number of opportunities to take a short cut down the green bank onto the “beach”. Here you can have a secluded picnic, paddle, find ducks and play in the water.
Bakewell recreation ground park, Bakewell.
The children play area in Bakewell park includes a small water splash area which is open from 1st April (but check times on the website). There are fountains, climbing frames, swings and ice cream vans. The park is free to visit and Bakewell is a beautiful, historic town with lots to offer for all ages. Bakewell can be reached by public transport from Sheffield by bus.
Paddling pools and water play equipment
One of my favourite things about Splash! water play at Millhouses Park is that it is surrounded by lots of grass all landscaped and perfect for sun bathing but right next to the water play; you can easily watch your kids wthout them being too far away. The water play area has play equipment like Archimedes screw, hand pumps, paddling areas and small fountains.
There is a cafe, adventure playground, skate park, cafe and boating lake too. The park is free to visit. There is a car park and a pub by the park and many regular local buses stop outside.
Rivelin Valley Park, Sheffield
Enjoy paddling and splash play for free at Rivelin Valley Park. Originally home to a lido, there is still a shallow paddling pool for kids to splash in! This splash park includes interactive water play equipment like jet sprays, bucket drops and sprinklers. The park has a cafe, playground and walking trails. Splash play is open 11th July-4th September daily, but check the website as it sometimes opens early season for weekends and May Bank Holiday.
Cleethorpes paddling pool, Cleethorpes.
This large paddling pool is open from 27th May (but check their website) and has good space and facilities. There is a fountain, the paddling pool which is 6 inches deep, and sand pits which are part of a Cleethorpes play trail. The paddling pool is free to use.
I hope you enjoyed this post! Do you have any recommendations? Pop them in the comments below! Thanks for reading and have a fantastic summer playing in the water.
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