Make a Summer Splash At 10 Top Water Parks
It’s hot! You know what’s fun to do when it’s hot? Get wet. Soaking wet. You might want to head to one of the nation’s many water parks this weekend and just take up permanent residence in a wave pool or lazy river (that’s what I do). If you’re more daring, try any number of looping, dropping, plunging, racing slides that water parks love to feature these days.
Here are ten water parks that are brand new or have new features worth checking out. There is something here for every age and level of daring. So there’s no reason your family can’t make a splash this summer.
2 Great Wolf Lodges Out West
two Great Wolf indoor water parks and hotels open next to Anaheim, CA and Colorado Springs, CO. With Great Wolf you always know what you’re getting. It’s always a good option for rainy days and getting out of the heat.
• The California resort has a 105,000-square-foot water park with pools, suspension bridges and two water slides including a drop slide, which seems pretty daring for this kid-centered brand. The resort also has 600 suites hotel, a nine-hole mini-golf course, and a Scooops ice cream-themed kids spa.
• The Colorado outlet is smaller with 311 suites and a 65,000-square-foot water park. This one also offers an arcade, miniature golf, mini-bowling, rope climbing, and an unnamed kids’ spa.
Catch a Wave (Pool) Near New York City
• Hershey Lodge, part of Hersheypark in Hershey, PA, inaugurates Water Works, a year-round 30,000 square feet indoor pool complex. It features the Reese’s Water Walk and Twizzlers Twists water slides. For the very young there is a zero entry pool, sand castle spray zone, and lighthouse tipping bucket. We only hear great things about this theme-park hotel. If we try one water park out this year, it will be this one.
• Quassy Waterpark in Middlebury, CT adds the Slide City little-kids area with 5 water slides. Look for two KIDZ Twisters serpentine slides, a two-person ProRacer, Kidz Bowl 14 and a Kidz MiniRiver. The addition is part of a two-year project to double the park’s size, which is welcome. The smallish water park can get crowded on hot summer days.
Splashing Around The Mid-Atlantic
• Six Flags America Hurricane Harbor, in Largo, MD outside Washington, DC, adds Splashwater Falls. This water playground for young children has seven slides and a super-sized tipping bucket that dumps gallons of water throughout the day.
• Kings Island Soak City, in Mason, OH, has launched Tropical Plunge, 65-feet tall complex of six slides. Three have launch chambers where the floor drops, plunging riders into a near-vertical drop that segues into a series of loops and S-curves. There’s also a set of 337-foot-long racing slides and an enclosed chute with four 360-degree loops. We recommend trying these before lunch.
Get Wet Down South
• Visitors to Six Flags White Water, outside Marietta, GA, can see who gets to the bottom first on the new Wahoo Racer (top and right) water slide. Speeds reach nearly 40 feet per second through six aerodynamic water slides then glide through a serpentine stretch of multi-colored tubes to the finish.
• The relaunched Carowinds, outside Charlotte, NC, introduces Blackbeard’s Revenge, a complex with six slides. Four of them spin riders completely around. The water park has also added a two-acre family area with a children’s water spray pad, two toddler water play spaces, and a wave pool with waves up to six feet high.
A 10-Gallon Coaster in Texas
• Schlitterbahn Water Park, in Galveston, has its new Massiv water coaster. Riders climb 123 steps, then plunge down a slide with four uphill sections powered by blaster jets and a translucent section where lazy river swimmers can see the riders above them (look for the look of fear exhilaration on their faces), It finishes with a triple-drop and a landing pool.
Texas for the Tame Hearted
• If you like a water-themed day out without the adrenaline rush head to SeaWorld San Antonio to check out Discovery Point, a new hub for its animal interactions. The new addition doubles the size of the dolphin pools to 600,000 gallons of water—that’s one big swimming hole. In Beluga Bay, Sea Lion Shallows, and the renovated Dolphin Lagoon visitors can walk through underwater viewing areas or interact with dolphins sea lions and beluga whales (if that’s your thing; it’s not mine).
Ok, last one into the wave pool’s a rotten egg!