Cool off this summer at an assortment of public pools, splash pads, spray grounds, water parks, lazy rivers, and more. This robust roundup includes information for the aforementioned by county — that means there are multiple locations to beat the heat in the water — plus a few one-offs like daycations. We’re not making up words here; a daycation is available at 15 luxe hotels around metro Atlanta. It allows visitors to swim, chill poolside, get a massage, soak up the sun, work (if you absolutely need to) and so much more with a pass for the day.

Historic Fourth Ward Park Splash Pad in Atlanta (Credit: John Spink / AJC)

We added places with water parks to the list because it’s a quintessential summer activity. Rounding out the list are a few indoor pools and aquatic centers which are good for rainy days, or for registering for water-based class like parents and tots or aqua aerobics.

Many locations will open Memorial Day weekend but be sure to check each listing. Lastly, some sites like the splash pads throughout Fulton County are free for everyone while others in different counties require a nominal cost. Plan to have a great time this summer — whether that means a pool party, catching sunrays or tumbling down a water slide.

Garden Hills Pool. Take a dip in the pool, languidly lounge on sunchairs or sit at one of the tables under an umbrella to read, eat, chat with friends and more. The cool thing is Garden Hills Pool makes it financial accessible for everyone — now through July 31 visitors can enjoy free pool time daily during select hours. Outside of the aforementioned, the daily entry fee is $5. Additionally, there is a pool deck party area with picnic tables that can be reserved for a true pool party. Opens at 10 a.m. daily. 335 Pinetree Drive NE, Atlanta. 404-848-7220,

Spivey Splash Water Park. Cool down in Clayton County at this water park which features a lazy river ride, splash pad, kiddie pool, slide tower and Flowrider, which is a surf simulated ride and more. When it’s time to sit in the shade after a long day of play, rent a cabana or umbrella with chairs, available for use throughout your entire day’s visit. Children ages 2 and younger receive free admission; all others $15-$20. To kickstart the Memorial Day weekend, the park will open at 10 a.m. May 27. 2300 Ga. 138 SE, Jonesboro. 770-603-4000,

Athens-Clarke County offers a variety of water activities including pools, a vortex slide, splash pad and more. (Courtesy of Athens-Clarke County Leisure Services)

Athens-Clarke County. For folks who find themselves heading northeast this summer, plan pitstops for fun in sun at several family-friendly pools with interesting activities throughout the county. Heard Park Pools has a vortex slide. Lay Park Pool has a rock-climbing wall. Rocksprings Park Pool features a splash pad. Athens is home to the Walker Park Splash Pad. All pools and splash pads will be open May 27-July 30 except for Mondays, when each facility is closed for maintenance. The budget-friendly cost is $1 per visit. Locations vary.

Cobb County. There are several outdoor pools throughout the county along with a water park. For instance, Seven Springs Water Park in Powder Springs features water slides, a lazy river and splash pad for the littles. South Cobb Aquatic Center in Austell has an indoor pool, water slide, swim lessons for children 6 months to 5 years old and aquatic fitness for adults. Central Aquatic Center in Marietta offers lap swimming, aqua aerobics, swimming lessons for babies, children and adults, poolside diving boards and more. Prices, opening times and schedules vary. For the full list of pools and aquatic centers, visit

DeKalb County. Here, local residents and visitors will find seven places for water activities. This includes theExchange Splash Pad in Decatur, the Tobie Grant Pool in Scottdale and a pool in Lithonia. Beyond pools, people can engage in swim lessons, water aerobics for folks ages 50 and older. Prices vary. Swim season begins May 28. For more details, visit

Fulton County. Splash pads abound, allowing kids to have good old-fashioned fun while beating Atlanta’s summer heat. These water play areas will have kids jumping for joy as they cool off and splash around unabashedly (like we probably did back in the day) with water pouring out of colorful mushroom-looking sculptures, water cannons and more. Splash pads are available at seven locations including Rodney Cook Sr. Park in the Vine City area, Historic Fourth Ward, Piedmont Park at Legacy Fountain and The Reverend James Orange Park in the Oakland City neighborhood of southwest Atlanta. Best of all, visits to these parks and splash pads are free now through Oct. 1. Locations vary. For the full list of parks and splash pads, visit

Gwinnett County. Georgia’s second most populous county is home to nine public aquatic centers — five of which are open year-round. Bogan Park Aquatic Center in Buford, Bethesda Park Aquatic Center and Collins Hill Park Aquatic Center in Lawrenceville, Mountain Park Aquatic Center in Stone Mountain, and West Gwinnett Park Aquatic Center in Berkeley Lake all have indoor and outdoor facilities with swim lessons, aquatic exercise classes and leisure pools. Best Friend Park Pool in Norcross, Dacula Park Pool in Dacula, Lenora Park Pool in Snellville and Rhodes Jordan Park Pool in Lawrenceville are seasonal, opening Memorial Day. Admission ranges from $3.25-$5.50 for residents and $6.25-$10.50 for nonresidents. Visit

Roswell’s Adult Aquatics Center is open year-round. (Courtesy City of Roswell)

City of Roswell. Cooling off is fun at two local spray grounds with water spraying from all different directions. Expect kids to get soaking wet while you enjoy the sound of their carefree laughter. For outdoor swimming, visit the Roswell Area Park. The Roswell Adult Aquatics Center is open for adults ages 25 and older. Prices vary. The spray grounds and park will open May 26; the aquatic center is open year-round. Additional details can be found at

W Atlanta Downtown. Purchase a daycation or weekend pass, soak up summer vibes and languidly lounge on this hotel’s Wet Deck which features beautiful skyline views from the 16th floor, chaise lounges, a bar and partially covered zero-edge pool, ensuring visitors catch some sun rays. Bring a book, favorite tunes or invite friends for a day of resort-like co-working on weekdays, then stay and play the evening away. Passes have a variety of options, including standard and poolside chair massages. Prices vary; passes may be purchased at The W Atlanta Downtown hotel is located at 45 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd. NW, Atlanta. 404-582-5800,

ResortPass. Okay, okay, the W Atlanta Downtown hotel is featured in the previous blurb but here’s the big secret: there’s a total of 15 properties available for the daycation passes. Swimming pools with adjacent seating can be found at the InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta, Omni Hotel at The Battery Atlanta, Moxy Atlanta Midtown, Atlanta Evergreen Lakeside Resort in Stone Mountain and others. Prices vary. For the complete list and services, visit

This story comes to Rough Draft Atlanta through a content partnership with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Carolyn Desalu is a contributing writer to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.