Your Guide to Water Fun, Swimming, and Splash Pads Near McDonough

Where to go to cool off in and around Henry County

By Jennifer Sheran, publisher McDonough, Stockbridge, Hampton, Locust Grove Macaroni Kid May 15, 2023

  Water, Water Everywhere!

Water Fun Guide for Henry County and Surrounding Areas

Georgia summers are HOT! Luckily, there are many options for water fun in and around Henry County. Where does your family like to cool off? 

From pools to splash pads to water parks, Macaroni Kid is here to help you make a splash this summer.

Before You Go

Before you go to the pool, a splash pad, or water park, make sure you are prepared.

  • Whether a pool or a splash pad, you will need to wear swimwear and not street clothes.
  • Protect your family from the sun with sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses.
  • Bring your beach towels and blankets.
  • If your child is not toilet trained, you will need to bring swim diapers or incontinent swim wear.
  • Some places do offer concessions, but it is best to play it safe and bring your own drinks and snacks.
  • Be sure to have water shows or sandals that can get wet. 
  • It is a good idea to bring a change of clothes and a plastic bag to store wet items after the fun is done.
  • Have some cash on hand, some county facilities only accept cash for admission.

We advise always checking with the venue when possible before heading out as hours and availability can change due to any number of factors, ranging from weather to staffing issues. 

Most of our local cool-down hot spots open Memorial Day weekend and fully close on or before Labor Day. 

Splash Pads

There are several nearby splash pad recreation areas for kids of all sizes to cool off and play, the water play structure includes water-spraying nozzles of various kinds and has little or no standing water.

McBrayer Park Splash Pad on Central Avenue in Hampton is open 7 days a week from 11 am to 7 pm. Admission is free for Hampton residents and $5 per child, cash only for non-Hampton residents.

Avalon Park at 1045 Industrial Parkway in McDonough has a splash pad that opened in 2019. The splash pad is open M-F from 10 am to 9 pm, Saturday 9 am – 8 pm, and Sunday from Noon to 8 pm. Admission is free.

The Village Park North Henry at 750 Fairview Road in Ellenwood is a 34-acre park. Its splash pad is more of a paved area with fountains to run in and around and less of a water recreation play space. 

Denny Dobbs Park at North, 6252 Hwy 212 in Covington also has a free splash pad that is highly recommended by local moms.

Water Parks

Brown’s Mill Aquatic Center Water Park located at 4929 Brown’s Mill Road in Stonecrest is open 7 days a week and sells daily $10/$7 child) or annual passes ($85/person). It has a splash area, lazy river, pool with water slide, cabanas and concessions. 

High Falls Water Park is a privately-owned water park off High Falls Road in Jackson, Ga. It features a pirate ship play area, two waterslides, a family pool, and lounging area. They are open M-S, 11 am to 5 pm and Sunday, Noon to 5 pm. Daily admission is $14 adults, $10 seniors and active military, children under 32” are free.

The park offers concessions from pizza, hamburgers, and hot dogs to candy, snacks and ice cream, and beverages. You can also purchase floats, arm wings, ear plugs, and sunscreen for your convenience.

Spivey Splash Water Park located at Clayton International Park, previously known as Jonesboro Beach, has undergone a major renovation and is now open for fun. It has a 6-acre lake, adventure kiddie pool, slides, and sandy beaches. 

The new water park includes pools, a splash pad, a wave runner, and a lazy river. Beach volleyball fans can play where the 1996 Olympic athletes competed for gold. 

The park also includes a 17-court tennis court, indoor and outdoor playgrounds, fitness center, fishing lakes,  trails, picnic areas, a pavilion and new additions include the Skywalk Adventure Climbing area, a boardwalk, and a food truck area. 

Located at 2300 Hwy 138 SE.

The new park, Spivey Splash reopened May 29, 2022. Find out all the details about the new water park

Sandy Beach Water Park is about a 45-minute drive south in Macon. It is open M-Th 10 am to 5 pm and F – Sun 11 am to 6 pm. Admission is adults $10 and children under 48” $7. Children two and under are free. It offers water slides, a splash pad, a wave pool, a junior Olympic size leisure pool, a lazy river, a sandy beach, beach side games, and cabanas for rent.


Lake Dow Club is a private, members only club overlooking Lake Dow offering gym, pool, and tennis. Fees include an initiation fee of $350 and an annual family membership fee of $480 for the full gym, pool, and tennis package. 

Covington YMCA has indoor and outdoor pools and requires YMCA membership

Crystal Springs Recreation is a public facility located at 4387 Crest Highway in Thomaston, GA. It offers an outdoor swimming pool with a slide and high dive, a zero-depth child pool indoor putt-putt, billiards, arcade games, air hockey, and ping pong. 

It also has a fully stocked snack bar and a large picnic area located next to the pool. It is open Tues – Sat 12-7 and Sunday 1-7 and costs $8 for adults and children over 36 inches and $3 for children under 36 inches.

Steve Lundquist Aquatic Center in nearby Jonesboro has an indoor 25-meter warm up pool and 50-meter lap pool, a basketball court and fitness center. The pool is open M-F, 7 am - 9 pm and Saturdays 9 am – 6 pm. It is closed on Sundays and holidays. Click here for fee information.

Lake Spivey Recreation Center at 2300 Walt Stephens Road in Jonesboro has an indoor lap swimming pool and offers water aerobics and swimming classes. The center is open M-F 7 am – 9 pm and Saturday 9 am – 5 pm. It is closed on Sundays and holidays.  

TBD: The future O’Neal Edwards Aquatic Center (no website yet) is a new indoor aquatic center and outdoor water park planned for Henry County that will be built next to Cotton Fields Golf Course. While plans aren't final, reports say we can look forward to an indoor 50-meter competition pool, a 45-foot by 75-foot instructional / therapy pool, and a moderately sized outdoor water park. 

South Clayton Recreation Center, at 1857 McDonough Road in Hampton, has an outdoor recreation/lap pool. Call for pool hours (770) 347-0200. Clayton County Recreation Center Fees.

Lake Swimming

Costley Mill Park at 2455 Costley Mill Road NE in Conyers has a beach for swimming which is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The cost per day for beach swimming is age 3 and under - free, ages 4-61 $3 resident and $5 non-resident, and ages 61 and up $2 resident and $3 non resident.

Lloyd Shoals Park at 180 Dam Rd, in Jackson, GA is owned and operated by Georgia Power and is open to the public with a swimming beach, playground, picnic pavilion, barrier-free fishing pier, barrier-free boat ramp, and public restroom.  

Lake Spivey in Jonesboro is a popular swimming hole with its clear, spring-fed waters. There is a swimming cove on the lake’s east side, where you can see 11 feet to the sandy bottom. 

Factory Shoals Park at 450 Newton Factory Bridge Rd in nearby Covington, includes 450 acres of picnicking, swimming, hiking, fishing.

Henry County Water Authority Reservoirs

There are two reservoirs in Henry County open for public access from March thru November. The HCWA Tussahaw and Upper Towaliga Reservoirs offer HCWA Customers, Henry County Residents and Property Owners opportunities for outdoor recreation that include fishing, boating (with electric powered trolling motors), canoeing and kayaking. The reservoirs  are open weekly on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during those months, from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (daylight saving time) In addition, public fishing is open on Memorial Day (Monday, May 31), Father’s Day (Sunday, June 20), Independence Day (Saturday, July 4), and Labor Day (Monday, Sept. 6). However, the reservoirs are closed on Easter Sunday (April 4) and Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 9).

Access requires a Reservoir Use Permit, available for $45 (or $25 for senior citizens, citizens with disabilities, military active duty, retired or veterans) at the HCWA Headquarters, located at 1695 Highway 20 West in McDonough, during normal Customer Service hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. HCWA Reservoir Use Permits are valid for one full calendar year from the date of purchase, and permit holders can bring one guest with them for free. In addition to having an active Reservoir Use Permit, citizens also must sign a release form/waiver that accompanies their Permit, in addition to possessing a Georgia Fishing License when accessing the reservoirs for fishing. All guests, whether fishing, boating, canoeing or kayaking, must adhere to all rules and regulations governing the use of HCWA reservoirs and Georgia public waters.

Public access to the Tussahaw Reservoir, which has a boat ramp and accommodations for citizens with disabilities, is available through the public use area on Tussahaw Island, which is located at the end of Collins Way off of Peeksville Road. The public can access the Upper Towaliga Reservoir at 160 Hunter Road in Locust Grove, which is off of Weems Road, from Hampton-Locust Grove Road.
You can get a yearly reservoir pass from Henry County Water Authority for $45 and go to Tussahaw Reservoir off Peeksville.

Swimming Lessons

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