Beat the heat: 10 free or cheap pools, splash pads

From the North Shore to the South Shore, there are several free or low-cost options for families looking for a fun way to cool off with the kids. Pack your towel and head to municipal pools and splash pads around the area. We highlighted some spots you can slide into your summer plans.

Photo courtesy: NORD

NORD Pools

Cost: Free

The New Orleans Recreation and Development (NORD) Commission operates nearly two dozen neighborhood pools. This summer, all aquatics facilities, including outdoor pools, open to the public on Saturday, June 2, 2018. These free public swimming pools are open during the summer months to all ages; however, young children should be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Once open, some pools are scheduled to remain in operation for an extended season, with extended operating hours until Sept. 3. Additional summer program offerings include water aerobics, water safety instruction, swimming lessons are also offered during the summer months.

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Photo courtesy: Mandeville Trailhead via Facebook

Mandeville Trailhead Splash Fountain

Cost: Free

The North Shore offers several options for budget-friendly water fun this summer, including the Mandeville Trailhead Splash Fountain. Located at the Trailhead Park in Mandeville, this popular hot spot is perfect for cooling off on long summer days. Admission is free, and the water area opens from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., May through October.

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Photo courtesy: Ormond Spray Park

Ormond Spray Park

Cost: Free

Head to St. Charles Parish to take advantage of a free spray park in Destrehan. Ormond Spray Park opens starting in June for the 2018 summer season. The park offers free water fun for children 62 inches (5 foot, 2 inches) or under. Children age 12 and under must have adult supervision. Ormond Spray Park hours of operation are Tuesday through Sunday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. during the summer season. The spray park closes on Mondays for maintenance.

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Photo courtesy: Pixabay

Johnny Jacobs Playground Pool

Cost: $2

On the West Bank, the pool at Johnny Jacobs Playground in Marrero opens for the 2018 summer season from May 26 to Aug. 5. The pool is open for public swim sessions on Tuesday through Friday from 3:15 p.m. to 6 p.m. On Saturdays, Sundays and on July 4 the pool opens for public use from 9 a.m. to noon, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Coast Guard approved Toddler to Adult size life jackets are available for use. Proper swim attire required. Certified lifeguards on duty during all swim sessions. The cost is $2 per person per session. Swimming lessons and aqua fitness are also available for additional charges. Call 504-349-5000 for more information.

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Photo courtesy: Pixabay

Fontainebleau State Park Water Playground

Cost: $3

Get soaked in Mandeville at the water playground inside Fontainebleau State Park where admission is only $3 per person, which includes access to the entire park grounds. Open daily starting in April except on Monday.

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Photo courtesy: Thibodaux Parks and Recreation Department

Thibodaux Municipal Pool and Splash Pad Park

Cost: $3

Families in Lafourche Parish can cool off at the Thibodaux Municipal Pool and Splash Pad Park this summer. The Thibodaux Splash Pad brings more than 2,500 square feet of fun with 24 separate water features, including sprinklers and fountains, synchronized to perform a show-like experience. The pool and splash pad open from May 29 to July 29 for the 2018 summer season. General admission is $3 per person which allows access to the pool and splash pad park. Public swimming hours are Monday through Saturday from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Seasonal memberships are also available. Family membership covers the whole household for $150. Single memberships are $75 per person. Members also get extra swim time in addition to the public swim hours.

 

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Photo courtesy: Lafreniere Park via Facebook

Lafreniere Spray Park

Cost: $5

Lafreniere’s Spray Park in Metairie delivers water fun for children ages 10 and under. Water cannons and other water feature fill the 4,000 square-foot area. The spray park opens daily from May 25 to Aug. 9. There is a $5 per person for a 90-minute session. Hours are noon until 7 p.m. all week. Please provide exact cash only.

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Gator Run and Cool Zoo, Photo courtesy: Audubon Nature Institute

Cool Zoo at Audubon Zoo

Cost: $10 – $12

Audubon Zoo’s popular water attractions, Cool Zoo and Gator Run lazy river, open daily for the 2018 summer season beginning Saturday, May 26 and continuing through Sunday, August 12, before returning to weekends only from August 18 through Labor Day, September 4. Cool Zoo returns with all its favorite features: the alligator water slide, the spider monkey soaker, water-spitting snakes and shady spots for grown-ups. Rafts are included in the admission price for Gator Run. Anyone under 48 inches will need a life jacket supplied by Audubon Zoo. Regular admission to Cool Zoo, including Gator Run, is $10 for Audubon Nature Institute members and $12 for non-members, plus Audubon Zoo admission.

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Photo courtesy: Pixabay

UNO Aquatic Center

Cost: $10 day pass, $15 monthly membership

This facility inside the UNO Lakefront Arena opens year-round. UNO Aquatic Center features heated indoor and outdoor pools. The pool accommodates both fitness and recreational swimmers. Guests can purchase a day pass for $10 or a monthly membership for $15. The facility also offers swimming lessons.

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Photo courtesy: Bayou Segnette State Park via Facebook

Bayou Segnette Wave Pool

Cost: $13 – $16

Catch some waves on the West Bank at Bayou Segnette’s wave pool. The pool opens for the 2018 season from May 26 to Labor Day, Thursdays through Sundays. Guests must pay a $3 admission to enter the park, and admission to the wave pool is an additional $10 for kids 4 feet tall and under. Everyone else pays an additional $13. Pool hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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