A guide to free public spraygrounds in Charlotte

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This piece was originally published June 25, 2015 and was updated June 12, 2017

If, like me, you enjoy summer water activities but have a paralyzing fear of drowning, have I got a safe but wet alternative to swimming for you.

Spraygrounds. Playground + spray fountain = sprayground, a cool oasis located in a desert of suffocating urban heat.

When I was little, the sprayground at our local park defined summer and it was little more than one spray nozzle in the middle of a giant concrete slab.

There are plenty of spraygrounds all over Charlotte and they’re way more elaborate than the one I grew up playing in. Here are eight…

Romare Bearden Park

Location: 300 S. Church Street
Parking: Standard urban paid parking; try parallel metered spots around the perimeter of the park or any deck Uptown
The deal: Splash waterfalls, a misting cool zone and killer views of the city

Romare Bearden sprayground

The Green

Location: 424 S. Tryon
Parking: Underground deck accessible from Tryon
The deal: Central choreographed fountains and three big fish that spit on you

The Green sprayground

First Ward Park

Location: 301 E. 7th Street
Parking: Ample paid street parking around the perimeter of the park; nearby parking decks
The deal: Fountains and sprinklers just across the street from ImaginOn and 7th Street Public Market

Veteran’s Park

Location: 2136 Central Ave
Parking: Large free parking lot
The deal: One big covered area with lots of fountains and sprayers

Veterans Park sprayground

Little Sugar Creek Greenway

Location: Elizabeth Park on the Greenway at 4th & Kings
Parking: Free lots at 4th & Kings and Elizabeth & Kings
The deal: Had no idea this was here until I walked by and it turned on

Little Sugar Creek Greenway

Latta Park

Location: 601 E. Park Ave
Parking: Several free angled spots on the street
The deal: Kind of like my childhood sprayground but with more fountains

Latta Park sprayground

Cordelia Park

Location: 2100 N. Davidson St
Parking: Big lot up the hill
The deal: Adjacent pool charges $1 access all summer but the sprayground is free

Cordelia sprayground

Birkdale Village

Location: 16805 Birkdale Commons Pkwy, Huntersville NC
Parking: Anywhere in the decks or on the street in the shopping center
The deal: Located right in the middle of all the shops and restaurants

Birkdale Village sprayground

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Katie Levans Loveluck
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Co-Founder and Creative Director