New Jersey families are back out in search spots for "free" summer fun.

There are some public spray grounds, splash pads and splash parks around the state where you and the kids can beat the heat.

There are also a few that charge a fee. We'll get to those, too.

It's always good to check the park's website and maybe even call ahead before a visit — as maintenance and repairs can unexpectedly put a damper on plans.

Cottrell Farm park (Old Bridge Township)
Cottrell Farm park (Old Bridge Township)

Cottrell Farm Park (Middlesex County)

3910 Old Bridge Matawan Rd, Old Bridge, NJ 08857
Seasonal hours:10 a.m. - 7 p.m.
A spray park and a playground have opened for their first summer season. As of its ribbon-cutting on June 20, the spray park would be open daily, weather permitting.

Lake Papaianni Park Splash Park (Edison Mayor Sam Joshi via Facebook)
Lake Papaianni Park (Edison Mayor Sam Joshi via Facebook)

Papaianni Park, Splash Park (Middlesex County)

100 Municipal Blvd, Edison, NJ 08817

Seasonal hours: 8:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Edison’s first splash park has opened for the bulk of summer 2024. Registration online with township recreation is required before using the park.

The splash pad is in the shape of a light bulb and includes a 20 foot replica of the Edison light tower, globes and classic film cameras as water guns.

Best free NJ spraygrounds splash pads Ponderosa Park
Ponderosa Park in Scotch Plains (courtesy of Allison Imbimbo)

Ponderosa Park (Union County)

1600 Cooper Rd, Scotch Plains, NJ 07076
Seasonal hours: 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
The playground at Ponderosa is open year-round, but the water turns on Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend. No cost and no reservations are needed.

Colonial Spray Park (Somerset County)

156 Mettlers Road, Somerset, NJ 08873
Typically, once open for the season, daily hours are noon to 8 p.m. until Labor Day. After that the spray park will likely be open weekends, through late September.
No children are allowed in the Spray Park without adult supervision at all times.

This 6,500-square-foot park is behind the Morgan Pellowski Playground, close to the Putting Course and Paddle Boats.

Veterans Park Spray Park and Playground (Middlesex County)

61 Avenue K, Monroe Township, NJ 08831
For summer, the spray park typically is open to the public daily, usually from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. There are some dates, due to summer camp usage, where the hours are limited. It's right next to a playground and some picnic tables.

Rahway Splash Park (Google Maps)
Rahway Splash Park (Google Maps)

Brennan Field Spray Park (Union County)

790 Holly Pl, Rahway, NJ 07065
The Rahway Spray Park opens June 24 - Aug. 29, weather pending.
Registration opened May 1 and is done in-person at the Rahway Recreation Center. For help setting a registration appointment, call 732-669-3600.

Snyder Avenue Park splash pad (Union County)

240 Snyder Ave, Berkeley Heights, NJ 07922

Here's a place for devoted Gang Green fans in the off-season, as the NFL's Jets donated a goalpost sprinkler to the spray ground in Berkeley Heights. There's also athletic fields and a playground.

Warinanco Park Spray ground (Union County)

Open daily, Memorial Day through Labor Day, open from "dawn until dusk"
The Warinanco Park spray ground is located across from the Boat House. The bustling park tucked between Roselle, Elizabeth and Linden also has a lake with paddle boats, athletic fields, paved trails and a track.

Union County also operates spray grounds in the following parks:

Cedar Brook Park, Plainfield

Mattano Park, Elizabeth

Rizzuto Park, Union (across from Kean University, at the intersection of Morris Avenue and Trotters Lane)

The City of Elizabeth also has seven spray fountains and 2 spray parks run by its own Department of Recreation. They are open daily from June through Sept., weather permitting, from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m.

Manalapan Recreation Center Splash Pad (Monmouth County)

93 Tennent Ave, Manalapan Township
The Manalapan Recreation Center has a splash pad, open 11 a.m. - 7 p.m., Memorial Day through Labor Day, weather permitting.

It's a large facility, alongside athletic fields, courts and playgrounds, according to the town's website "Splash Pad is next to Field L (behind Field 9) on the expansion property."

Cross Farm Park Splash Pad (Monmouth County)

10 Longbridge Rd, Holmdel, NJ 07733
Look for the small, baseball-themed splash pad for a quick cool-off alongside the playground.

Veterans Memorial Park spray park (Erin Vogt, Townsquare Media)
Veterans Memorial Park spray park (Erin Vogt, Townsquare Media)

Veterans Memorial Park (Monmouth County)

Lakeshore Drive/Ocean Blvd., Aberdeen (GPS address, Ocean Blvd &, Lakeshore Dr, Keyport)
In addition to a pirate ship themed spray park and playground, there's also a picnic grove with a few shade structures, multi-purpose field, 2 basketball courts, gazebo and Veteran’s Memorial Monument

Michael Lepp Park (Somerset County)

22 Park Avenue, Somerville
Summer operation, daily between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., weather permitting

John Long Park (Somerset County)

85 Mercer Street, Somerville
Summer operation, daily between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m., weather permitting

John C. Bartlett, Jr. County Park at Berkeley Island (Ocean County)

399 Brennan Concourse, Berkeley Township
The spray park operates for the summer from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m., while the park is open 6 a.m. until 10 p.m.

Pine Lake Park & Playground (Ocean County)

This park in Manchester Township features a Splash Pad, playground, covered picnic areas and restrooms. The township website pinpoints it at the shoreline of Pine Lake, adjacent to Lake Drive. Beach Badges are required from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Watsessing Park Spray Park (Essex County)

Bloomfield Avenue and Conger Street, Bloomfield
Splash park is open daily in the summer, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., weather permitting.

Van Saun Park splash pad (Bergen County)

216 Forest Ave, Paramus
The splash pad at Harmony Playground is just one attraction at this massive recreation area in Paramus. For the playground, the park entrance from Continental Avenue seems most direct. The entire Bergen County park spans nearly 150 acres with playgrounds and picnic spots, plus Bergen County Zoo, a small train ride and a carousel (those will cost you to use).

Polifly Park Splash Pad (Bergen County)

59 Polifly Rd, Hackensack
Hours of operation 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., seasonal and weather permitting, through Labor Day.
Hackensack has this splash pad (with a 'dumping' water bucket) alongside a playground, picnic area and bathrooms.

Elmwood Park Borough Park Spray Park (Bergen County)

500 Boulevard, Elmwood Park
This spot also offers a playground, baseball & soccer fields and a basketball court.

James J Braddock North Hudson County Park splash pad (Hudson County)

9003 Bergenline Ave, North Bergen
This Hudson County park is another massive rec area where you could splash for a while and spend the day. It also includes a castle themed-playground, picnic areas, nature trails, athletic fields, bocce courts and a dog run.

Newport Green Park (Hudson County)

14th St, Jersey City
Newport Green serves as a sun-and-sand oasis amid the concrete bustle of Jersey City. Aside from the sprayground, there's lounge chairs along the waterfront. The park also includes a seasonal carousel and outdoor ping pong.

Berry Lane Park (Hudson County)

1000 Garfield Ave, Jersey City

Fasola Park Splash Pad (Gloucester County)

12 Sycamore Ln, Deptford Township
This splash pad is at Charles Fasola Park alongside a playground, athletic fields, tennis courts, a pavilion and a lake with a fountain.

Pirate’s Cove at Turkey Brook Park (Morris County)

30 Flanders Road, Flanders (Mount Olive)
Summer season hours are daily, 10 a.m. - 7 p.m., weather permitting. There are several dates where hours will be impacted by local activities - so check their Facebook page, first.

Pirate’s Cove features interactive water features that are motion-activated, to help conserve water. Towering above, a huge splash bucket dumps water every few minutes.

Best free NJ spraygrounds and splash pads this summer Dorbrook child
Best free NJ spraygrounds and splash pads this summer (Erin Vogt, Townsquare Media)

Dorbrook Recreation Area Sprayground (Monmouth County)

353 County Route 537, Colts Neck
Weather cancellation number: 732-842-4000, ext. 6

Monmouth County's Sprayground in Colts Neck now operates on reservations, made for free online before your visit. No walk-up admission is offered. For detailed instructions, click here.

These NJ spraygrounds and splash parks charge admission:

Linden spray park ( NJ sprayground splash parks 2019
Wheeler spray park in Linden (

Wheeler Spray Park (Union County)

Address, for GPS: 248 W Stimpson Avenue, Linden

Once open for the season, the spray park is typically  open 11 a.m. until 6 p.m., weather permitting, with paid admission. All visitors 12 and younger must be accompanied by an adult (18 or older).
Kids 12 & younger (Union County residents) – $2
Kids 12 & younger (non-Union County residents) - $4
Adults 18 & older (Union County residents) $3
Adults 18 & older (non-Union County residents) $6
This spray park in Linden first opened in summer 2019, with a sea serpent, pirate ship, two tube slides and a VW bus sprinkler among its features.

Asbury Splash Park on the Asbury Park boardwalk (Monmouth County)

On the Asbury Boardwalk, 950 Ocean Avenue, Asbury Park, NJ 07712
Opening Memorial Day Weekend, May 25.
Saturdays and Sundays, open 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Admission rates are as follows:
Children (15 years and younger): $15
Adults: $7
Family (2 Children + 2 Adults): $40

Bridgeton City Splash Park (Cumberland County)

The splash park is open on weekends only, until the school year ends, and then it is open 7 days a week, (weather permitting) from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., with additional hours added for July and August.

$4 a person, per 2 hour session (of which there are three a day). It's next to the Cohanzick Zoo. Swimwear required.

Waterworks Aquatic Complex in West Windsor (Middlesex County) 

Almost 20 bucks per adult/child, varying by day and age.

Closed to the public since 2022

Splash Pad at Michael J. Tighe Park in Freehold (Monmouth County)

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Beautiful sunflower fields to visit in NJ 2022

Among reasons why the “Garden State” remains a fitting nickname for New Jersey — late summer means the arrival of sunflower season.

There are at least six fields, spanning the state. Some are in bloom as of early August, while others are planned to peak from late August to late September.

Calling or emailing before heading out is always advisable if weather appears to be an issue. 

Gallery Credit: Erin Vogt

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