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8 Free or Cheap Places to Cool Off in Central Texas

By Jessa McClure onJune 10, 2020

It’s summer…and if you can’t be indoors, hovering near an A/C vent, then you are probably looking for some relief from the heat. If you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on a big trip to a water park (which may or may not be open, let’s be honest), then try out some of these FREE or inexpensive locations right here in Central Texas.

1. Waco Area Splash Pads

Price:    FREE

We might have only had sprinklers and a hose when we were kids, but now our children can enjoy these free mini water parks right in their own neighborhoods. Here’s a list of all of the Waco-area splash pads.

Cameron Park (2200 Cameron Park Dr.)

Chapel Park – Hewitt, TX (9420 Chapel Rd.)

Dewey Park (925 North 9th St.)

Kendrick Park (4011 Bagby)

Mountainview Park (2325 Mountainview)

Oscar DuConge (1707 JJ Flewellen)

2. Playdium Pool – West, TX

18 Cottonwood Rd, West, TX 76691

Price:    Swimmers 1 and under – FREE

 

              12 and under - $11

              13 and older - $14

              Family passes available; Buy three passes and get a fourth free

This large pool in the heart of Central Texas is the largest spring-fed pool in Texas. It boasts a waterfall, a small child area and birthday party packages.

3. Olsen Park – Clifton, TX

403 W 3rd St, Clifton, TX 76634

Price:    Swimmers - $5

              Seniors - $2

              Family passes available

This Olympic-sized pool is the only pool in Bosque County and offers patrons laned swimming, a deeper section for more experienced swimmers, a diving board and a concession stand.


4. Tonkawa Falls – Crawford, TX

8540 E. 5th St., Crawford, TX 76638

Price:    Free to swimmers

Water flows from Tonk Creek over the Tonkawa Falls into a swimming area perfect for every age. Patrons can slide down the falls, wade in its cool waters or sit under shade trees and walk through caves.


5. Gatesville City Pool

300 S. 8th St., Gatesville, TX 76528

Price: $3/person

Opens: June. 13

The Gatesville City Pool offers families a clean, well-maintained pool that is perfect for a day of water fun. They also take reservations for events and parties if you want to rent out the whole pool.


6. Temple Splash Pads

Price: FREE

Find some relief from the heat at these kid-friendly splash pads that often include picnic tables, playgrounds, and areas to celebrate birthday parties.

Ferguson Park Splash Pad (1203 E. Adams)

Jaycee Park Splash Pad (2302 W. Avenue Z)

Miller Park Splash Pad (1919 N. 1st Street)

West Temple Park Splash Pad (121 S. Montpark Road)

7. Clark & Walker Pools – Temple, TX

Clark (1808 Curtis B. Elliot Drive)

Walker (2603 N. 3rd Street)

Price: $1/per child; $2/per adult

These outdoor city pools are great for a day in the sun with your family. They offer a shallow, walk-in area for younger guests, water slides and birthday party packages. All patrons must reserve a time to swim to comply with post-COVID health guidelines.

8. Sirena Park along Salado Creek

Just south of the bridge across Salado Creek, on the southbound side of S. Main St.

Price: FREE

Let your kids wade in the cool waters of Salado Creek and enjoy the magic and folklore of Sirena the Native American mermaid. Her likeness was created into a monument that sits in the middle of the creek next to a magic catfish. Back To Top

About the Author

Jessa McClure

Jessa McClure

Jessa is the Editor-in-Chief of Hooray for Family and the mom of three energetic children. She has a BA in Mass Communication/Journalism from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and is a long-time resident of Central Texas. When she isn't writing and editing, she enjoys playing board games with her kids, teaching Sunday school and channeling her creativity into craft projects. 

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