Kennedy Park, Helena MT

If you’ve road tripped through Montana on a summer family vacation, you know that while beautiful, the state of Montana is vast…and often empty. Pit stops are sometimes scarce, which makes Kennedy Park (located on Harrison Avenue) in the heart of East Helena all the more attractive.

Helena Mt with kids

We loved the wide space of grass (the boys dug the soccer ball out of the car), the picnic areas, and the huge wooden fort structure. There were several shade canopies and plenty of shade. Best yet, unpack the swim suits, because this park has an exceptional city pool and water park attached.

The pool, called Memorial Park Swimming Pool, features a large water slide, splash pad, and spray area in addition to a full-sized pool.

Distance from the interstate: Five minutes

Date last visited: July 2010

Admission fee: None. Swimming pool admission varies.

Hours: Sunup to sunset. For pool hours, check the city’s recreation page.

Food services: None. Pack a picnic!

Website: None.

Directions: From I-15, take Highway 12 into East Helena. Turn left on First Street, right on Main, and left on Harrison.

About the author

Pit Stops for Kids AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly at a number of travel publications, and contributes to OutdoorsNW magazine as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.




  1. Jaliyah Moultrie says:

    Thank you for your blog. Really Cool.

  2. B. A. Sanguine says:

    Thanks for giving a thumbs up to a Helena, MT, stop. Here are some updates:

    A current link for pool and other City info:
    Click on “Swimming.” There is also a link to “Parks and Open Spaces,” where there’s a very good map download. Our City parks are free entry. Note that the City web page has links to all sorts of other great stops.

    The park is named (and locally known as) Memorial Park. We have a nice, big, confined (for toddlers) Leathers playground in one corner, and a veteran’s memorial, a bandstand (so-so restrooms nearby), and the pool (formerly Memorial Pool, now called Last Chance Water Park, alluding to the street address and Helena history) in the other corners. Lots of beautiful shade trees and picnic areas.

    Centennial Park, across the street, was just upgraded in 2011-2012 and has a fine skate park. Just around the corner, in the Great Northern Square, are the popular Exploration Works (admission fee) and The Carousel (pay for rides and ice cream/lunch), just below a popular eatery, The Brew House. We have lots of good restaurants along and further up Last Chance and The Walking Mall (and in other Helena areas, to).

    If you’re on a super-tight budget and you’re east or west-bound, try Spring Meadow Lake (check link on City page) off Hwy 12 just west of the city limits. Crowded on a hot summer day, but free. Montana Wild, the States wildlife rehab center, is on the opposite end of the lake, and it has a wonderful museum/interactive facility.

    But please try our pool — earlier in the afternoon is better because of late afternoon thunderstorms. And it’s just a few hundred feet from Lyndale/Hwy 12.

    North/south-bound on I-15, take Cedar St. exit west-bound and stay on that road all the way to the pool. It’s just a few hundred feet from Lyndale/Hwy 12, for west-bound (Missoula) traffic.

  3. While I realize the original post was many years ago now, I wanted to clarify some misinformation for anyone who might come across this as I happened to today. While Kennedy Park is indeed located on Harrison in East Helena and does have a city pool, the park and city pool/ waterpark you are speaking of here is NOT the same place. Memorial park is located on N. Last Chance Gulch in the city of Helena (literally a different town… East Helena is not the Eastern part of Helena. Different towns in different zip codes located next to each other. Kennedy park and Memorial park are both great parks to visit but are absolutely 100% NOT the same place as you have insinuated here. Not trying to be picky but this could be very confusing for those not from the area. Here is the link to the actual Kennedy park if anyone needs it. Cheers!

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