In Memphis, summer is H-O-T. And when the Children’s Museum of Memphis (CMOM, as we call it around here) opened the H2Oh! Splash Park in 2013, parents of young kids rejoiced. The garden-themed splash area is huge – around 8,000 square feet – and includes about three dozen sprayers in the form of flowers, leaves, animals, geysers, water tunnels and more.
The H2Oh! Splash Park at the Children's Museum of Memphis is open Memorial through Labor Day, or longer, if the temperature stays warm enough — Photo courtesy of Children's Museum of Memphis
Since the CMOM is primarily an education attraction disguised as loads of fun, the splash park has plenty of ways for the kids to learn. Water and sun safety, how plants grow and even photosynthesis are part of the fun; music is also central, thanks to a water organ – shaped like a whale – that plays like a piano.
There’s an entire family of turtles – four beautifully carved green granite sculptures for climbing and playing that represent a mom, dad, a small child and a baby. (Dad weighs in at 2.5 tons, by the way.) Like a garden, the splash park is colorful and inviting, with oversized petals on brightly hued flowers, colorful exterior walls that serve as the backdrop to the splash area and brilliant green grass lawns on either side.
The great thing about this particular splash park is that your own lawn chairs, blankets and picnic lunches are welcome; picnic tables are available as well, on a first-come, first-served basis. And if you don’t feel like dragging lunch with you, there’s a concession stand in the splash park area with snacks, drinks, Italian ices and more for purchase.
Be sure to remember towels, sun screen, bathing suits and swim diapers; those diapers are required for children ages three and under.
More than 40 sprayers in all sorts of shapes delight the kids - and cool them off — Photo courtesy of Children's Museum of Memphis
The park is open daily Memorial Day through Labor Day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. based on weather conditions and the number of guests in the park. The park may stay open longer this season, depending on whether the warm weather lasts past Labor Day weekend or not. And trust us, it usually lasts well past this time.
Admission to the spray park is separate from the admission fee to the museum. The price is $12 per person, and there's also a combo ticket for the museum and the splash park for non-members.
The park will be closed occasionally for private parties, so be sure to call ahead or visit the CMOM’s Facebook page to confirm the park is open for play.