The Best (& Cheapest) Places to Swim & Play in Northern Nevada! | Carson Tahoe Health

The Best (& Cheapest) Places to Swim & Play in Northern Nevada!

It’s a hot day and you need to get the kids out of the house, but going to the park sounds like going to a sauna.  Never fear – We’re here to help get you and your kids out to enjoy some water play!

Splash Around at a Local Water Park

1. North Valleys Water Splash Park (North Valleys Regional Park, 8085 Silver Lake Road in Stead) – This is a local aviation themed water splash park, with neat remodels of  military aircraft. It’s a unique water splash park with more than 20 different water features and over 60 spray heads! The park is open daily from 10 am – 5 pm through August 9th, 2014; it will be open on weekends only August 10th through September 1st from 10 am – 5 pm. Party Pavilions are available for $65 for 2 and a half hours, plus $3 per person. Pavilion rental times are 11:30am-2:00pm or 2:30pm-5:00pm. Please contact Park Reservations at (775) 823-6501 with questions or to make a reservation.  Concessions such as bottled waters, soda, and prepackaged snacks are available for purchase. Restroom facilities including family restroom on site.

• $3 per person, per day
• Ages 2 & under and seniors (62+) are free.
• 5-Visit Punch Pass’ available for $13.50, and 10-Visit Punch Pass available for $24

2. Wild Island Family Adventure Park (250 Wild Island Ct., Sparks) – Wild Island has heated pools, a Little Lagoon with a depth of 20 feet, a river for floating in inner tubes, an interactive water playhouse, various slides (easy to scary!), and a wave pool, among other things. They also have plenty of snack bars and shaded pavilions that you can rent for special occasions or large groups.  They’re open most days in the summer from 11am to 7pm. For more information, call (775) 359-2927.

3. Lazy 5 Regional Park – Melio Gaspari Water Play Park  (7100 Pyramid Way, Spanish Springs) – If you have toddler that can’t swim yet, this is the perfect place to take them! At Lazy 5, they have many different water features including a giant sun?ower, spilling buckets, and a water tower.  The recreation area includes park benches, picnic tables, and covered pavilions if you want to get out of the sun.  Summer hours are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. There’s a concession with bottled water, soft drinks, and prepackaged snacks. Lazy 5 Regional Park also has a library, playground, picnic areas, skate park, volleyball court, and shade structures. For more information, call (775) 823-6500. Pavilion Rental is $65.00 + $3/person (seats up to 32), 11:30 am-2 pm or 2:30 pm-5 pm.  For reservations call, (775) 823-6501.

• Adults: $3
• Kids under two and adults over 62: FREE
• A 5 Punch Pass is $13.50, and a 10 Punch Pass is $24


Cool off at a Fun “Fountain Park”

1. Victorian Square – This amazing fountain occupies a large plaza in front of the Century Theater on Victorian Square in Sparks. During the summer months, streams spray from numerous jets to create a watery maze that keeps kids running and laughing, trying to anticipate when the next burst of water will spring up. The fountain is big and suitable for all ages, including adults who aren’t shy about running around like kids. Come on down and get wet – there is no admission charge.

2. Yori Park (in southeast Reno) – The Yori Park water play area has waterfalls and jets shooting out of the ground. Using the water play features in this Reno city park is free and open to the public. The water flows everyday from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Yori Park is in the Linden-Grove neighborhood at Yori Avenue and Gallaway Lane. For more information, call (775) 334-2262.

3. Legends at Sparks Marina Fountains (1310 Scheels Drive, Sparks) – Although not a very big water feature, you can have the kids splash and play in the interactive fountains located in the middle of the outlet mall. Scheel’s with it’s large indoor Ferris wheel is in the mall, as well as several restaurants, a frozen yogurt shop, and the new IMAX theater!


Head to a Kid-Friendly Pool (bonus: most of these have diving boards & fun water slides!)

1. Idlewild Pool (1805 Idlewild Drive) – Outdoor pool with lap lanes, diving boards, an automatic pool lift, and training pool.  Swim times are Monday – Friday, 1-3:45 p.m.; Saturday 1-5 p.m.; and Sunday 1-4 p.m. The pool will be closed on September 5th-6th.  Call (775) 334-2267 for updated times.

2.  Northeast Community Center Pool (1301 Valley Road, Reno) – Indoor 25-yard pool featuring 4 lanes.  Public swim hours:  12:00 – 2:30 pm Saturdays only; lap swim: 7 – 10 am, 1 – 2:30 pm Monday – Friday; and 11:00 – 12:00 pm Saturday.  Closed Sundays.  The pool is available for private rental for $70 an hour.  For more information, call (775) 334-2262.

Admission –
Adults: $5
Youth: $3
Seniors: $2

3. Traner Pool (1700 Carville Dr., Reno) – Outdoor pool includes lap lanes, automatic pool lift, a double flume water slide and a water playground. Open in the summer months only, June 14th- July 13th, 2014. For public swim: 1 pm to 4 pm daily.

Admission –
Adults: $4
Youth: $2.50
Child/Seniors: $2

Additionally, the Traner Pool is available for private pool rental for $60 an hour. For more information, call (775) 334-2269.

4. Carson Valley Swim Center? (1600 Hwy 88, Minden) – Indoor swim facility features water toys, water slides, a rock wall, lap swimming, and diving boards. There is also an outdoor pool that’s open in the summer months. Public swim hours: Mon – Thurs: 9:00 am – 7:30pm; Fri: 9:00 am – 8:00 pm; Saturday & Sunday: 11:00am – 6:00pm.  For more information, call (775) 782-8840.

Admission –
Adults: $3.50
Seniors, Youth & Disabled: $1.75

5. Carson City Aquatic Facility (841 North Roop Street, Carson City) – Indoor facility includes a tot pool, therapy pool, and lap pool. For more information, call (775) 887-2242.

Admission –
Adults: $4.00
Seniors (55+): $3.00
Youth (4-17 yrs.): $3.00
Child (0-3 yrs.): Free with swimming adult

6. Sun Valley Norma G. Fink Pool Complex (115 W. 6th Ave, Sun Valley) – Pool area includes a three-tube water slide, a toddler pool, and a lap pool with plenty of shade structures.  Open June 13, 2014 – August 10, 2014 (Wednesday – Sunday, 12pm – 5pm.) Lap swim hours: Monday through Friday 7am – 9am. You can reserve a party picnic area, and you can also reserve the entire pool for private parties.  For more information, call (775) 673-0754.

Admission –
Adults: $4.50
Youth/Seniors: $3.50
Children 2 years of age and under: FREE

7. Deer Park Pool (1700 Prater Way, Sparks) – Deer park pool is a heated outdoor swimming facility featuring a zero depth entry (that means your kids can just walk into the water and then gradually descend. Nice option for small children and those afraid of water).  Next to the pool there are shaded picnic areas, a playground, and a basketball court.  The pool is open from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday and 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday on the following dates: June 16- Aug. 10, Aug. 16-17, Aug. 23-24 and Aug. 30-Sept. 1

Adult (18 yrs. – 54 yrs.) $6
Senior (55 yrs. & Older) $4
Youth (under 18 yrs.) $3.50

Family (up to 6 members) $15

An ‘Almost Free Friday’ promotion will be in place throughout the summer offering all ages a reduced rate of $1 per person to swim on Fridays.

8. Bowers Pool (4005 U.S. 395, Washoe Valley, pool – Open from June 8- August 10, 2014, 12pm – 5pm, 7 days of week) Pool area includes a diving board, baby pool, and lap lane. In addition to the pool, there is a large playground, picnic areas, lot of trees for shade and you can tour the historic Bowers Mansion. For more information, call (775) 849-0644.

Admission –
Adult: $5.00
Youth & Seniors: $4.00
Infants 2 & under: FREE


Enjoy a Whitewater Adventure!

1.Truckee River Whitewater Park (Wingfield Park, downtown Reno) – Downtown on the Truckee River has become quite a family destination on hot days.  Not only can you kayak and raft, you can float easily down on inner tubes or just let the kids splash in the water.  There are shallow areas and deeper areas available.  Water temperature ranges between 50 and 70 degrees, and it doesn’t freeze.  If you go, why not make a day of it?!  Inner tubes, bikes, rafts, and kayaks can be rented from Sierra Adventures located at 11 North Sierra St. (next door to the Century Theater.)  Guided trips are available for the more adventurous families. (Oh, and they also sell ice cream and waters if you need refreshments!). For more information, call (775) 334-2414.

2. The Whitewater Park at Rock Park (1515 S. Rock Blvd.,Sparks) – This area features kayaking, tubing, rafting, a playground, and shaded pavilions (which can also be rented for birthday parties). There are also areas of shallow water where younger children can play, and designated areas for handicap access to the river.  For more information, go to


Hit the Beach!

Since there are so many beaches to list for just the Tahoe area alone, I’ll just mention a couple. For a complete list of family friendly beaches in the Tahoe area, check the Parks & Beaches listings.

1. Kings Beach State Recreation Area (North Lake Tahoe) – This beach is less than an hour from Reno and is easy to access. There are lots of sandy areas available to set up your umbrella. For those looking for an active day trip, there are places nearby to rent jet skis, paddle boats, and inner tubes. Additionally, there are some restaurants on the beach where you can eat outdoors in a casual atmosphere (i.e. “kid-friendly”.)  For more information, go to

2. Sand Harbor Beach – A beautiful beach, but it can get a bit crowded, especially on weekends.  Be prepared to haul the beach gear a ways in the sand to set up camp (tip: place items on a plastic snow sled and pull – much easier than wheels!). There are rentals available, boating, crawdad hunting, a restaurant, and lots of restrooms.  In addition, Sand Harbor hosts the annual Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival. For more information, go to

3. Sparks Marina Park (300 Howard Dr, Sparks) – A 77 acre lake with sandy beaches, walking/biking paths and trees.  Recreational activities include windsurfing, sailing, swimming, scuba diving, fishing, and boating. There are also volleyball courts, a dog park, playgrounds, picnic areas, and showers available. A concession stand is open during the summer months.  Recreational swimming is permitted in the designated swim area at the north beach only (weather permitting) during the summer months. The 2014 schedule is as follows:

August 16-17 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
August 23-24 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
August 30 – September 1 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m

Where do you like to cool off in Northern Nevada? Tell us in the comments!