Kids will have a new way to beat the Memphis heat beginning this Memorial Day as the Children's Museum of Memphis opens its new water spray park.
The nearly 8,000-square-foot park features more than 40 sprayers designed in the form of flowers, turtles, crabs, snails, ladybugs, frogs, and a water tunnel. With a capacity of 165 people, it will become the largest spray park in the region.
"Memphis is extremely warm in the summer. This will give kids a place to play safely in the water and cool off," said Carrie Roberts, director of public relations and marketing for the museum. "It goes from small sprayers that little toddlers can enjoy to tall sprayers that older youth and teens can enjoy running through. Those who don't have access to a pool regularly can come here and play in the spray park."
The park, which will operate daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., features a garden theme with plantings of ornamental grass, a variety of trees, and bright flowers.
The spray park won't just be a place for children to play but also for them to learn. Children can attend programs that focus on plant life, photosynthesis, and the importance of wearing sunscreen and staying hydrated.
"We'll have special programs that will be staffed at all times. They'll tell [kids] little tidbits of information throughout the day while they're there," Roberts said. "I hope [the exhibit] will help more people realize that the Children's Museum is here and that we are a resource for all of the children of Memphis. This is a place where they can come to learn through play."
The park also features a whale-shaped water organ where children can create their own tunes.
Museum staff will watch over children from two lifeguard stands in the water park.
From Monday through Thursday, admission to the park will be $4 for members and $8 for nonmembers. From Friday through Sunday, admission is $5 for members and $10 for nonmembers. The park is scheduled to remain open through Labor Day.
"It's certainly an unparalleled amenity," said Richard "Dick" Hackett, CEO of the museum. "It's a place that will be a memory. When [people] see this exhibit, they'll see that we didn't cut any corners."
Other locations that offer spray parks include Peabody Park in the Cooper-Young neighborhood, W.C. Johnson Park in Collierville, and the new Salvation Army Kroc Center on East Parkway.