30+ Places For Your Family to Cool Off, Splash Around, and Swim Near Columbia, SC

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Looking for a place to splash, swim, or cool off in Columbia, SC? Beat the heat this summer in “famously hot” Columbia, SC with some swimming at a Columbia, SC splash pad, public pool, or swimming hole! With temperatures quickly approaching the mid-90’s and only getting hotter, it’s almost impossible to not be around water for much longer.

Whether you’re looking for splash pads, public pools, lake and river access, or water parks we’ve got it all! Below you will find an extensive list of outdoor places in and around Columbia to cool off with your family this summer, and the good news is, the majority of them are FREE!  

Where to splash and swim: Columbia, SC

Water safety is so important! Please always be cautious and aware of your children while in and around water. Some of the places listed may not have on-duty lifeguards. Swim at your own risk and be sure to always check for dangers, wear lifejackets when appropriate, and stay alert.    

Heading toward Upstate, SC? We have another list of places to cool off, swim and splash near Greenville, SC.
And, new! Check out these places to splash and swim near Charlotte, NC!

Kids playing at a splashpad in Columbia, SC
Sesqui State Park Splash Pad

Splash Pads and Spray Pools In or Near Columbia, SC  

There are several parks in Columbia that include not only play structures but water play areas as well. I can’t think of a better summer combo than that! 

Corley Street Park 

Address: 204 Corley Street, Lexington, SC 29072
Hours: Open Memorial Day Weekend until Labor Day Weekend from 11 am – 8 pm
Cost: Free
Description: Features a small playground, restrooms, and spray pool. 

Drew Park Splash Pad and Fountain

Address: 2101 Walker Solomon Way, Columbia, SC 
Hours: Monday – Saturday from 12 pm – 8 pm
Cost: Free
Description: This park is complete with a spray pad, water fountain, playground, walking track, and gazebo. 

Edisto Discovery Park

Address: 1914 Wiley Street, Columbia, SC 29205
Hours: Monday – Friday from 10 am – 12 pm and 4 pm – 6 pm 
Cost: Free
Description: Along with a splash pad, at this park you will also find a basketball court, playground, and community center.  

Elmwood Roy Lynch Park

Address: 900 Abbeville Street, Columbia, SC 29201
Hours: Daily from 6 am – 9 pm 
Cost: Free
Description: Here you will find a large splash pad, picnic shelter, beautiful butterfly garden, pergola, zipline, and two unique nature-themed playgrounds. Read all about Elmwood Roy Lynch Park in our review!

Splashpad at Elmwood Roy Lynch Park

Emily Douglas Park

Address: 2500 Wheat Street, Columbia, SC 29205
Hours: Daily from 6 am – 9 pm
Cost: Free
Description: This park offers not only a splash pad, but a fenced-in dog park, 2 jungle gyms, swings, and a decent amount of shade.

Felton C. Benton/Springdale Park 

Address: 2915 Platt Springs Road, Springdale, SC 29170
Hours: Monday – Friday from 10 am – 1 pm
Cost: Free 
Description: Complete with restrooms, a splash pad, picnic area, and playsets along with swings

Heathwood Park

Address: 800 Abelia Road, Columbia, SC 29205
Hours: Daily 6 am – 9 pm
Cost: Free
Description: This park can be found within the Heathwood Neighborhood and features a picnic shelter, tennis courts, basketball court, ball fields, swings, seesaws, a jungle gym, restrooms, and water spray area.  

Hyatt Park

Address: 950 Jackson Avenue, Columbia, SC 
Hours: Daily from 7 am – 9 pm
Cost: Free
Description: Along with the splash pad, this park offers a playground, walking trails, sculpture garden, and boardwalk.  

Lorick Park

Address: 1600 Lorick Avenue, Columbia, SC 29203
Hours: Daily from 6 am – 10 pm
Cost: Free
Description: Here you will find a splash pad, playground, baseball and basketball courts, picnic shelters, and more! 

Mays Park

Address: 1521 Deans Lane, Columbia, SC 29205
Hours: Sunday, Tuesday – Thursday from 7 am – 9 pm; Monday, Friday, and Saturday from 7:30 am – 9 pm; water spray area must be scheduled
Cost: Free
Description: The water spray area will only be turned on by request. To have water activated, please call the Park & Rec Department on weekdays between 8:30 am – 5 pm. You can schedule water activation for weekdays and/or weekend use. At Mays Park you will find a lot of shade, water spray area, playground, tennis courts, and picnic tables. 

Melrose Park

Address: 1500 Fairview Drive, Columbia, SC 29205
Hours: Daily from 6 am – 10 pm
Cost: Free 
Description: This park offers a beautiful and shady landscape, a water spray area, swings, picnic tables, and playscape. 

Pacific Park

Address: 200 Wayne Street, Columbia, SC 29201
Hours: Park open daily from 7 am – 9 pm, water spray area must be scheduled
Cost: Free
Description: The water spray area will only be turned on by request. To have water activated, please call the Park & Rec Department on weekdays between 8:30 am – 5 pm. You can schedule water activation for weekdays and/or weekend use. This park features a splash pad, street parking, a basketball court, playground, and a baseball field. 

Pinehurst Park

Address: 2300 Pinehurst Road, Columbia, SC 29204
Hours: Sunday 2 pm – 7 pm, Monday – Thursday 2 am – 9 pm, Friday 2 pm – 8 pm, Saturday 10 am – 6 pm
Cost: Free
Description: Complete with a spray pool, small play area, and community center with restrooms and a water fountain. 

Saluda Splash at Saluda Shoals

Address: 5605 Bush River Road, Columbia, SC 29212 
Hours: 

  • April 27 – May 26: Saturdays and Sundays 10 am – 6 pm; Memorial Day (Monday, May 27) 9:00 am – 6 pm
  • June 1 – August 9: Monday – Friday 9 am – 2 pm; Saturday and Sunday 10 am – 6 pm; Thursday, July 4th 9 am – 6 pm
  • August 10 – September 15: Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am – 6 pm; Monday, September 4th (Labor Day) 9 am – 6 pm

Here’s our Kidding Around Review of Saluda Shoals Park

Cost: $5 parking fee plus $4/person wristband for the splash pad, but you can purchase a 15-visit splash pad pass for $55 
Description: Here you will find a large splash pad with a variety of water spraying equipment to keep your kiddos busy for a while. After playing at the splash pad, head over to either of the two playgrounds within Saluda Shoals, go hiking, ride a bike, or even explore the Saluda River. There is so much fun to be had! 

Saluda Shoals Splash Pad
Saluda Shoals Splash Pad

Sims Park 

Address: 3500 Duncan Street, Columbia, SC 
Hours: Sunday from 7 am – 10 pm; Monday – Saturday 7 am – 9 pm
Cost: Free
Description: Offers a spray pool, large playground, basketball court, picnic area, and a good amount of shade. 

Splash pad at Sesqui State Park 

Address: 9564 Two Notch Road, Columbia, SC 29223
Hours: 8 am – sunset 
Cost: Free with park admission
Description: There are so many options for fun to be had at Sesqui! The splash pad is a good size and has several different spraying features that are sure to entertain your children for a while. You can also find a playground across the parking lot from the splash pad, kayak rentals, walking trails, camping, and more. 

See why we love Sesqui in our Kidding Around Review of Sesquicentennial State Park.

Splashpad at Sesqui
Splash pad at Sesqui

St. Anna’s Park

Address: 1315 Liberty Hill Avenue, Columbia, SC
Hours: Park is open daily from 7 am – 9 pm, splash pad hours not specified 
Cost: Free
Description: Offers a splash pad, basketball court, playground, picnic tables, and large field for open-ended fun. 

Waterfall Junction at Riverbanks Zoo

Address: 1300 Botanical Parkway, West Columbia, SC 29169
Hours: Daily from 9 am – 5 pm, water features turn off 15 min before closing 
Cost: Included in annual zoo membership or admission to the zoo/botanical gardens – $21.99 for children, $24.99 for adults, 2 and under free
Description: In the heat of the summer this is a popular place to be! Within this 3-acre set-up, you will find playhouses, a treehouse, a large field with toys and games, a waterfall, and 2 splash pads. 

Want to know more? We love Waterfall Junction! Here’s our full review of Waterfall Junction at Riverbanks.

Waterfall Junction
Waterfall Junction

Willie B. Caractor Park

Address: 804 Hendrix Street, Lexington, SC 29072
Hours: Daily from 7 am – 9 pm
Cost: Free
Description: Here you will find a misting fountain, playground, rope climber, hopscotch court, and picnic area. 

See more places to cool off! Back to the top.

Public Pools for Swiming Near Columbia, SC   

Are you wondering, “Where are the public pools near me?” Life is cool by the pool, and we have a list to help you find a great one!

Some of these pools offer swim lessons for an additional fee. You can call ahead to schedule or even ask once you’re there.

Try these public pools near Columbia, SC.

Eastover Park Pool

Address:1031 Main Street, Eastover, SC 29044
Hours: Open May 24 -25 and June 1 – 2; 2024 regular hours start June 5. Wednesday – Saturday 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Cost: Free
Description: Swim lessons are available here (for a fee) as well as a small playground. 
Eastover Park Pool

Greenview Pool and Aquatic Center 

Address: 6700 David Street, Columbia, SC 29203
Hours: May 25 – September 2; Tuesday – Friday open 1 pm – 6 pm, Saturday open 10 am – 6 pm, Sunday open 2 pm – 6 pm (Check website for holiday hours.)
Cost: $3 for 12 and under, $4 for 13 and older, Option for season pass 
Description: At this multi-sport complex you will find an outdoor pool with splash pad and slides, several ball fields, tennis courts, walking trails, a playground, and more! 
Greenview Pool

Hopkins Park Pool

Address: 150 Hopkins Park Road, Hopkins, SC 29044
Hours: Temporarily Closed for safety concerns. Scheduled to reopen in September 2024
Cost: Free
Description: This pool is set up like a lap pool but offers unlimited family-friendly fun!   
Hopkins Park Pool

Maxcy Gregg Pool

Address: 1655 Park Circle, Columbia, SC 29201
Hours: Open May 25 – September 2; Monday – Thursday from 1 pm – 6 pm, Saturday from 10 am – 6 pm, Sunday from 2 pm – 6 pm (Check website for holiday hours.)
Cost: $3 for 12 and under, $4 for ages 13 and up, Option for a season pass 
Description: The pool has recently been renovated and is a well-designed lap pool with removal starting blocks making public/family-swim easy! 
Maxcy Gregg Pool

Quail Valley Swim & Racquet Club

Address: 254 Hunters Blind Drive, Columbia, SC 29212
Hours:

  • Opening Day: May 18
  • Monday – Friday: 12 pm – 8 pm; Saturday – Sunday: 11 am – 8 pm

Cost: Must become a pool member but not required to live in the neighborhood; Full facility memberships are $583 ($555 by check) 
Description: Once a member, you will have access to this olympic sized swimming pool that features 2 diving boards and ranges from 3 ft – 12 ft deep. Your membership will also include access to the tennis courts, gas grills, picnic tables, and the clubhouse. 
Quail Valley Swim

St. Andrews Park Pool

Address: 920 Beatty Road, Columbia, SC 29210
Hours: Open May 24 -25 and June 1 – 2; 2024 regular hours start June 4. Tuesday – Saturday 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Cost: Free
Description: Here you will find a pool, playground, tennis courts, and soccer and baseball fields. 
St. Andrews Park Pool

Trenholm Park Pool

Address: 3900 Covenant Road, Columbia, SC 29204
Hours: Open May 24 -25 and June 1 – 2; 2024 regular hours start June 4. Tuesday – Saturday 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Cost: Free
Description: This is a large recreational facility that offers a swimming pool, pool house, playground, tennis courts, baseball and softball field, covered picnic shelters, and indoor gym.
Trenholm Park Pool

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Natural Swimming Spots and Swimming Holes Near Columbia

Take advantage of all the natural bodies of water surrounding Columbia like lakes, streams, and river access points for swimming.

Dreher Island State Park

Address: 3677 State Park Road, Prosperity, SC 29127
Hours: Daily from dawn to dusk 
Cost: Kids age 5 and under are free, $1/person from ages 6-15, $3/adult age 15 and older
Description: While there are no dedicated swim areas at Dreher Island, you are allowed to swim anywhere along the lake shoreline except at bridges and boat ramps. In addition to swimming, you can also kayak, camp, golf, boat, hike, and more at this state park. 
Dreher Island State Park

14-Mile Creek Trail

Address: 1104 North Lake Drive, Lexington, SC 29072 
Hours: 7 am – sunset 
Cost: Free
Description: Calling all nature lovers! This trail is for you! With a creek running throughout the majority of the shady trail, it is the perfect place to escape city life and dip your toes in the water. This activity would be best suited for older children and adults. The trail is not stroller friendly and has no restrooms or water fountains. 

Guignard Park 

Address: 964 Axtell Drive, Cayce, SC 29033
Hours: Daily from 8 am – 8 pm
Cost: Free
Description: Here you will find a stream running through the park to splash around in and keep cool, as well as a playground, picnic tables, and a hiking trail.  

Lake Murray Public Park 

Address: 1832-1834 N Lake Drive, Lexington, SC 29072
Hours: Open April – September Weekdays from 11 am – 8 pm and Weekends from 10 am – 8 pm
Cost: Parking is $5/car, CASH ONLY 
Description: This public park offers countless picnic tables and shelters, public grills, a beach, a roped-off swimming area, and on-site security. You can also walk the Lake Murray Dam from here!  

Here’s our Kidding Around Review of Swimming at Lake Murray with all the details.

Lake Murray Public Park

Lake Wateree State Park

Address: 881 State Park Road, Winnsboro, SC 29180
Hours: Daily from sunrise to sunset
Cost: Kids age 5 and under are free, $1/person ages 6-15, $3/adult age 15 and older
Description: This state park features a swim at your own risk swimming area with a beach, a modern playground, nature trails, biking, bird watching, paddling, boating, fishing, geocaching, and more! 

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Water Parks Close to Columbia, SC 

Palmetto Falls Water Park

Located at Fort Jackson, this water park is open to civilians.
Address: 6511 Strom Thurmond Boulevard, Bldg 6511, Fort Jackson, SC
Hours: Opening weekend May 25 – 27, 2024; Hours – TBA
Cost: $17 for civilians, $13 for DoD ID Cardholders (season passes available)
Description: Lazy river, large family pool, two water slides, kiddie pool, and splashdown pool.
Palmetto Falls Water Park

Unfortunately, there are no larger public water parks in Columbia; however, here are a few we found within a 45 min – 1.5 hour car ride:  

Carolina Harbor at Carowinds

Address: 14523 Carowinds Boulevard, Charlotte, NC 28273
Hours:

  • May 25 – May 27; June 1 – 2: 11 am – 6 pm
  • June 7 – July 28: Open daily from 11 am – 6 pm 
  • July 29 – August 17: Sunday – Thursday from 11 am – 5 pm; Friday and Saturday 11 am – 6 pm
  • August 24 – September 2: Saturdays and Sundays (plus Labor Day) 11 am – 5 pm
  • September 7 & 8: 12 pm – 5 pm

Cost: Under 3 is free, 3 years and older tickets starting from $45/person to include both Carowinds and Carolina Harbor, military and senior citizens can get discount with valid ID, Option for season passes 
Description: This is a huge waterpark with so many options for staying cool! Here you will find a 3-acre kids area, several water slides, a wave pool, large play structures, and the southeast’s longest mat-racing slide! The amusement park side of Carowinds is also included in tickets. This place is sure to create lasting summer memories for you and your family! 
Carolina Harbor at Carowinds

Neptune Island Waterpark 

Address: 1109 14th Street, Hartsville, SC 29550
Hours:

  • May 19: 12 pm – 6 pm
  • May 25 – July 31: Monday – Saturday from 10 am – 7 pm, Sunday 12 pm – 6 pm
  • August 3 – September 1: Saturday from 10 am – 7 pm, Sunday from 12 pm – 6 pm 
  • September 2 (Memorial Day) – 10:00 am – 7 pm (Last day of 2024 season)

Cost: $20.99 for under 48” tall; $19.99 for seniors, military, first responders with valid ID; $23.99 for over 48” tall, Option for season passes 
Description: This awesome water park features a lazy river, wave pool, splash pad, several slides, and more! 
Neptune Island Waterpark

Orangeburg County Aquatic Park

Address: 2550 St. Matthews Road NE, Orangeburg, SC 29118
Hours:

  • June 1 – August 10: Thursdays and Saturdays from 11 am – 7 pm

Cost: Free for Columbia and Orangeburg County YMCA members, $5 for 47″ and under, $10 for 48″ and above
Description: The aquatic center is located at the Orangeburg YMCA and features a lazy river, water slides, a pool, children’s play center, and a toddler pool. 
Orangeburg County Aquatic Park

Santee Water Park

Address: 1761 Bass Drive, Santee SC 29142
Hours:

  • May 25 – May 27: 11:00 am – 7 pm
  • June 2 – August 11: Sundays and Fridays from 11:00 am – 7:00 pm

Cost: Free for Columbia and Orangeburg County YMCA members, $5 for 47″ and under, $10 for 48″ and above
Description: This aquatic center features water slides, a pool, children’s play center, a toddler pool, and more. 

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Enjoy your summer and don’t forget the sunscreen! 

Summer Guide to Columbia,, SC

Fill your summer with fun!

Columbia’s Ultimate Summer Guide

Kayla Simmons
About the Author
Kayla grew up right outside of Charleston, SC and is a proud graduate of the University of South Carolina. She has lived in Columbia for a combination of 5 years. Kayla has a background working with special needs children, but now enjoys nothing more than being a stay-at-home mom of two. She enjoys keeping her kids busy by finding unique play spaces and events, involving them in hands-on activities and watching them learn about the world through play. In her free time she enjoys reading, exercise and spending quality time with her family and friends.

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