The temperature is hot outside! A great way for the kids to cool off this summer is visiting one of the many local splashpads and water parks in Boston.
I’ve compiled a list of local water parks in Boston Northshore below, along with a few parks that I have yet to visit. Bookmark this page and check back. I’ll continue to update this page as my daughters and I explore the Northshore and learn about each place!
Free Admission Water Parks in the Boston Northshore
Sometimes you just want to jump in the car and head to the local park without worrying about the costs or whether tickets are available. The following parks are perfect if you’re looking for cheap, free fun for the kids.
Don Ball Park (Derry, NH)
I recently discovered Don Ball Park and it is at the top of my list for favorites! It’s not often I see a park with staff watching over the kids. They set up and provided a craft table, too. My girls loved the splash pad and the playground equipment. I sat under a shaded pavilion with a nice breeze coming through and a bird eye’s view of the entire park. As a result, I could easily see my kids wherever they went. It was perfect.
There was plenty of free parking on the scorching hot Monday that we went. No drive by street traffic. Real restrooms are available, not just port-a-potties, though they have them. Don Ball Park even has a concession stand with cheap food, ice cream and drinks in case you get hungry. Don Ball gets my vote for #1 park! The only thing that could make it better is if they had showers for us to rinse off after all the water fun… but you know, I’m really happy to find this place!
Address: 14 Humphrey Rd, Derry, NH 03038
Cost: Free admission, free parking
Amesbury Town Park (Amesbury, MA)
I love taking my girls to the Amesbury Town Park. The city does a great job keeping it clean and there isn’t much lacking here! It has play structures for little ones (age 2-5) and older kids (age 5-12). In the summer months, you’ll hear the sounds of kids squealing with excitement as they run through the of jets of water in the splash pad area. It’s a small water play area but it’s enough to keep kids cool. The park also has a basketball court, baseball field and a separate fenced-in skateboard park. We love packing up a lunch and sitting under the covered picnic tables. There is also a nice walking path through the forest near a small pond, and restroom facilities with sinks. We can easily spend an afternoon at this park.
My only gripe is the parking situation. The reason? It’s free to park but there are only 2 lots with parking for about about 14 cars. Unless you’re one of those lucky 14, you’ll have to park on the side of the street which can be dangerous when unloading young children. However, this park is still very much worth a visit!
Address: 140 Friend St, Amesbury, MA 01913
Cost: Free admission. Free parking.
Swasey Field Park (Haverhill, MA)
I took my daughter to Swasey Field Park in Haverhill when it first opened in 2014. She absolutely loved playing in the splash pad. This park gets points for having a rubber floor material; not the usual hard cement. This makes slips and falls less painful. It’s those small things that this mom appreciates! There is also playground featuring swings, slides, monkey bars, and two climbing structures- one for older kids and one for toddlers.
There are a couple of drawbacks of this park that I want to point out:
Drawback #1: Lack of shade. There are a few picnic tables available for sitting, and at times the park staff will put up umbrellas into them for shade but otherwise there are not many ways to take cover from the sun. I wish there were large trees closer to take cover under. Shade is a wonderful thing on a hot, sunny day!
Drawback #2: Restrooms. There is only a single environmentally-friendly portable toilet. Since there’s only one portable toilet, you guessed it: there are no sinks for washing hands so plan for that.
Address: 81 Blaisdell Street, Haverhill MA
Cost: Free admission. Free parking.
Bradley Palmer State Park (Topsfield, MA)
This place is fun for toddlers when it’s open. My daughter spent hours in the shallow wading pool which has a large mushroom that water cascades down from. Lifeguards make sure rules are followed. They asked everyone to step out of the pool for 15 minutes to test the water when we were there. Good to know they’re on top of things! There’s also a small climbing play structure appropriate for kids ages 3-5 years old. Restrooms were available. Bring a lawn chair or towels with you. It might be best to get here early. Once the pool reaches maximum capacity, you have to wait until space opens up.
I didn’t get a chance to check out the trails or other activities you can do there, such as hiking, canoeing and kayaking, horseback riding and fishing. I might need to make another visit soon!
Address: 40 Asbury St, Topsfield, MA 01983
Cost: Admission is free. Parking is $5 parking per car for Massachusetts residents. $20 per car for non-residents.
The Inn St Fountain (Newburyport, MA)
If you’re shopping and dining in downtown Newburyport, this place is a convenient and nice break for the kids. The water fountain is the smallest water play area on this list. We were here on a hot 90 degree weather day and the fountain looked very inviting. There is a kids play gym just a few feet away. Sometimes the kids just need to run and burn off energy. This centrally located park offers that.
Address: 24 Inn St, Newburyport, MA 01950
Cost: Free admission. Street or paid parking lots are available nearby.
Hall Memorial Pool (Stoneham, MA)
I used to live in Stoneham before having kids- before I sought out local splash pads or playgrounds. The town still feels like home to me. I now get to learn about Stoneham from a new perspective thanks to my daughters.
This location offers an outdoor pool, splash pad, wading pool and kids playground. Basically, it’s everything you really need for a hot summer day! The entry fee is very affordable so I added it to the list of free water parks in Boston. You do have to call a day in advance to reserve a 2 hour spot.
Address: 4 N Border Rd, Stoneham, MA 02180
Cost: $3 for the pool and splash pad.
Fee-Based Waters Parks in the Boston Northshore
The following parks on my list require paid tickets or membership. Be sure to read the notes at the bottom of my comments for each park.
Ipswich Family YMCA (Ipswich, MA)
What a surprise to learn about this place. I’ve been a member of my local YMCA and have been to many YMCA gym locations but I didn’t know the Ipswich location is home to a water park. What an added bonus!
If you visit this place often, it’d be worthwhile looking into a membership plan. The youth membership fee is $10 per person per month, so ask about it. If not, the fee can add up quickly if you drop in as a guest: $15 for 0-3 years, $20 for 4-17 years and $25 for 18 and up. By joining as a member, you also have access to the other local branches in the area: Haverhill, Plaistow, Salem, Beverly, Cape Ann, and Lynch/van Otterloo.
Address: 110 County Rd Ipswich, MA 01938
Cost: Membership fees or guest drop in fees. Free parking.
Coco Key Water Park (Danvers, MA)
We enjoyed our time at the CoCo Key water park. My daughter was initially scared of water slides and let me tell you, this place has plenty of them. By the end of our day here, she had overcome her fear. This indoor water park is inside the DoubleTree hotel so after a long day of playing in water, you can walk up to your room and crash for the night. You’re not allowed to bring in your own food but they do have a food stand inside the park. If you’re looking for water parks in Boston, this one is only 30 minutes north.
Address: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, 50 Ferncroft Rd, Danvers, MA 01923
Cost: Admission is $22 per person regardless of age. Free parking.
Canobie Lake Park (Salem, NH)
My list of local water parks in Boston wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention Canobie Lake Park. This place isn’t just a water park; it’s a full amusement park packed with roller coasters, carnival rides and shows. There is a lot to see and do here so plan for an entire day. The water park has a lazy river with waves, water slides and a lagoon area for children.
Address: 85 N Policy St, Salem, NH 03079
Cost: General admission: $29-$49 per person depending on day and time. Free for 0-3 years. $32 under 48″ or 60+ years of age.
Bradford Swim Club (Haverhill, MA)
I really love this place. My 2 year old and I easily spent 4 hours here one warm June afternoon. You do have to be a member of the club or know a member to get access. I was able to drop in as a paying guest during one of their public toddler times. It was well worth the $10 admission fee. I hope they offer more public events in the future so it could be more accessible to everyone. Be sure to ask about it.
There are 2 different kiddie wading pools, a large pool with lap swimming, a water play structure and….. there are plenty of lawn chairs
Address: 328 Salem St, Haverhill, MA 01835
Cost: Members or guest of members only. Admission Fee $. Free parking
Water Country (Portsmouth, NH)
If you’re willing to drive an hour north of Boston, you’ll have a blast at this family destination. This place claims to be New Hampshire’s best water park. I’ve been here a couple times with my husband and daughter. It’s always a blast! Kids love it, adults love it. Oh yes, it’s not just for kids here. There are adrenaline pumping, fast water slides here that send riders shooting down a steep slope. But no worries, there’s plenty else to do here, including a big lazy river and wave pool if that’s more your style. If you’re into water parks, put this one on your list.
Address: 2300 Lafayette Rd, Portsmouth, NH 03801
Cost: $29-$39 per person. Parking is $10 if you pay at the park, $5 in advance online or $25 for the paved lot closer to the park entrance.
More Boston Northshore Water Parks…
There you have my list of water parks in the Boston Northshore. Was this helpful? Let me know in the comments below. I’ll mention a few more parks below that I haven’t gotten around to visiting yet. Message me if I’m missing any great locations and I’ll add it on. Be sure to bookmark this page because I’ll be updating as I visit more places!