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

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: 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 is open weekends only from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. until June 3. The water park will open daily for its normal 2019 schedule starting on June 4. During normal hours, the park will open from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday through Sunday. Ormond Spray Park will return to an weekends-only schedule beginning on Aug. 31 through Sept. 29. During this time, the park will remain open on weekends with normal hours.

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Photo courtesy: Mandeville Trailhead via Facebook

Mandeville Parks

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. East Lakefront Children’s Park also has an interactive water feature open to splash around. Admission is free, and the water areas from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., May through October.

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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 1. 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. 1. Additional summer program offerings include water aerobics, water safety instruction and swimming lessons.

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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 2019 summer season starting on May 27 though Aug. 4. The pool is open for public swim sessions on Monday through Friday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. On Saturdays and Sundays the pool opens for public use from 9 a.m. to noon, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Proper swim attire required. Admission is $2 per swimmer.

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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. Entry is free for children age 3 and under and seniors age 62 and older. The Water Playground is opens April 1 to October 31 on Tuesdays through Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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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 28 to July 28 for the 2019 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. The Splash Pad is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. General swimming and family membership passes will be available.

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Photo courtesy: Lafreniere Spray Pad

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 pad opens daily starting on May 24, weather permitting.  There is a $5 per person for a 90-minute session. Hours are noon until 7 p.m. all week. Make sure you bring exact cash only.

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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. The pool is open Monday through Saturday. Hours vary for each day.

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Photo courtesy: Bayou Segnette State Park via Facebook

Bayou Segnette Wave Pool

Cost: $10 – $13, plus park entry fee

Catch some waves on the West Bank at Bayou Segnette’s wave pool. The pool opens for the 2019 season from May 25 to the beginning of August, where it will run on a modified schedule. The wave pool hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and will be open Thursdays through Sundays following the first week. In addition to the $3 park entrance fee, the fee for the wave pool is $13 for individuals over 4 ft. and $10 for individuals under 4 ft.

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

Cool Zoo at Audubon Zoo

Cost: $10 – $12, plus zoo admission

While this option is a little more pricey, it is cheaper than travelling for a water park.  Audubon Zoo’s popular water attractions, Cool Zoo and Gator Run lazy river, open daily for the 2019 summer season starting on May 25. Starting August 10, the water park will returning to weekends-only through Labor Day, September 2, when the water park will close for the 2019 season.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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