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Splash Pads Rankings for the 100 Largest U.S. Cities, 2018 


  1. Introduction

Based on annual research undertaken by the Trust for Public Land through our annual City Parks Survey, the Center for City Park Excellence has determined that splash pads are among the fastest growing park amenities in the combined parks of the 100 largest US cities. In the 2015 City Parks Survey, we began asking cities to report the number of splash pads or spray grounds they have within their parks. There are currently 1,756 splash pads in the parks of the 100 largest cities, an increase of 423 splash pads over the last year.

  1. Current Splash Pads Numbers

2017 saw a growth of 423 splash pads in the 100 largest US cities, with 1,756 splash pads in parks. Since 2015 when we began collecting information on splash pads, we’ve seen a 60 percent increase in slash pads, when there were only 709 splash pads reported in the largest US cities.

Year Number of Splash Pads Change in numbers Change in percentage from prior year Overall increase since 2015
2017 1,798 465 26% 61%
2016 1,333 624 47% 47%
2015 709      

Splash pads are among the fastest growing amenities in the 100 largest US Cities’ park systems and the top cities might be surprising. We calculate rank based on the number splash pads for every 100,000 residents in a given city. Below we have ranked the top 10 cities. [For information on our work and findings from our annual city parks survey, please check out our annual publication, City Park Facts – http://www.tpl.org/cityparkfacts.]

City                        Population          Splash Pads   Splash Pads per 100,000 Residents

  1. Louisville            248,987                   32                           12.9
  2. Cleveland            383,649                  40                            10.4
  3. Boston                 661,977                   61                             9.2
  4. New York         8,691,599                780                             9.0
  5. Chicago            2,781,116                240                             8.6
  6. Pittsburgh           309,419                 26                              8.4
  7. Tulsa                    419,494                  31                             7.4
  8. Henderson          290,567                 17                              5.9
  9. Philadelphia    1,587,761                 80                              5.0
  10. Cincinnati           309,190                 14                              4.5