Our Favorite Waterparks and Pools to Cool Off At in Central Ohio

City Guide, Family Friendly, For Kids, Things to Do


Written by Step Out Columbus

Published on May 8, 2024
Photo courtesy of Zoombezi Bay on Facebook

If you’ve ever found yourself sweating buckets under the merciless Ohio sun, let us at Step Out Columbus guide you to your ultimate oasis.

We’re diving headfirst (metaphorically, of course, because we’re not trying to get a concussion like I did when I was 8 years old in Myrtle Beach) into the wonderful world of pools and waterparks in Central Ohio.

So grab your swimsuit, the not-so-summer bod that you have been working so hard on all winter (thanks DoorDash), and get ready to cool off poolside, Step Out Columbus style.

Disclaimer: Some of these pools may only offer entry to residents of the city in which they are located. Be sure to check their policies prior to going.

The Groveport Aquatic Center | Open Memorial Day Weekend – Labor Day

7370 Groveport Rd, Groveport, OH 43125

A beacon of chlorinated bliss since its grand opening back in the spring of 2003, this gem has earned its stripes, nabbing the title of “Best Outdoor Municipal Pool” more times than we can count. It’s really the go-to spot for some serious splashin’ fun on the east side of Columbus. And boy, does it deliver – free Wi-Fi (for underwater selfies, maybe?), vending machines for mid-swim snack cravings, two giant water slides that’ll have you screaming louder than a seagull with a your stolen turkey sandwich… plus, there’s a zero-depth leisure pool for the loungers, diving boards for the daredevils, and even a lazy river for those who prefer their aquatic adventures on the, well, lazier side.

Photo courtesy of Mindy Tope Charles on Facebook

The Big Splash | Open Memorial Day Weekend – Labor Day

2831 Southwest Blvd. Grove City, OH 43123

No one likes little splashes (except people reading books poolside), so we say splash into summer like you mean it at The Big Splash. Dive into the fun with a large zero-depth entrance (but please don’t dive into the zero-depth area), complete with climbing walls for those who enjoy a bit of a challenge. There are also two colossal body slides that’ll have you feeling like a kid again (or maybe a bit queasy, depending on fear of heights and motion sickness tolerance). And when it’s time to dry off and work on that tan, there’s plenty of green space and lounge chairs for soaking up that glorious sunshine.

Photo courtesy of Marlene Puno Jw on Facebook

Reed Road Water Park | Open Memorial Day Weekend – Labor Day Weekend

2000 Hastings Ln, Upper Arlington, OH 43221

Open from Memorial Day to Labor Day (because who wants to swim in the snow, right?), Reed Road offers everything you need for fun during the summer. Whether you’re a seasoned swimmer or you doggy paddle like a pro, there’s something for you here. If you’re feeling brave (or maybe just a little reckless), the towering water slides are ready and waiting to turn you into a human torpedo. If you aren’t ready for the big leagues yet, there are kids water slides that will get you ready for the real thing. Plus, for those trying to perfect the butterfly stroke, there is a lap pool available, as well as a lazy river for when you finally give up.

Photo courtesy of Reed Road Water Park and the City of Upper Arlington

Highlands Park Aquatic Center | Open Memorial Day Weekend – Labor Day Weekend

245 S. Spring Rd., Westerville, Ohio 43081

Get ready to belly flop your way to a sunburn at Highlands Park Aquatic Center in Westerville. This summer hotspot is where relaxation meets ridiculousness, with its laid-back vibe and awesome water features. From speedy slides that’ll have you screaming (or, if you’re like me, squealing) to a toddler pool with a simulated-rock slide that’s perfect for your pint-sized adventurers, HPAC has something for everyone. And let’s not forget about the lazy river – because who doesn’t love pretending to be a beached whale while floating along? Plus, with an eight-lane, 25-meter pool and diving well, you can show off your best cannonball (or belly flop) to the entire neighborhood.

Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Mattson on Facebook

Zoombezi Bay | May 18 & May 19, Memorial Day Weekend – Labor Day Weekend

4850 Powell Rd, Powell, OH 43065

You knew it was coming… we’re saving the best for last! Sitting on over 20 acres of land next to the Columbus Zoo with 14 different attractions, Zoombezi bay is far and away the best waterpark in Columbus. Whether you’re into tubing or body slides, lazy rivers or wave pools, Zoombezi bay has it. If you’re like me, you probably just want to feel like a kid again and ride as many waterslides as possible. However, I know that not everyone feels the same way, which is why Zoombezi bay offers cabana rentals and adults-only premium loungers. Whether you’re splashing or sipping, you’re going to have a good summer if Zoombezi bay is on your itinerary.

Photo courtesy of Zoombezi Bay on Facebook

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Featuring things to do, places to go, and ways to explore the beauty that is the greater Columbus area. We help connect residents and visitors to local businesses, organizations, and awesome ways to experience our region.

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