Water parks are the quintessential summertime family vacation destination with thrilling speed slides, slow-flowing lazy rivers, and towers of water slides of all heights and sizes. The style of slides at nearly every park range from body slides, mat racers, and tube rides. Each park’s unique theme adds a distinct whimsy and character that sets it apart from all the others. Many of America’s best water parks have multi-person raft rides and water coaster rides that climb hills, twist, turn, and drop like a regular roller coaster. Kid play zones provide adventure and excitement with geysers, towers to climb, and various chutes and slides.
1.Holiday World and Splashin Safari, Santa Claus, IN
© Holiday World and Splashin Safari
Holiday World and Splashin Safari is a mixed bag of a holiday-themed amusement park with an African-themed water park. This seasonal theme park opens each year in May with daily admission available in June and July and weekends-only from August through the end of October. The water park offers the familiar kid-friendly areas but features a unique row of eight low-intensity water slides for little thrill-seekers to explore. Families can splash together on raft rides like Watubee or zip through the water on one of the park's three water coaster rides like the new Cheetah Chase, a two-lane racing roller coaster-style slide with 1700 feet of thrilling twists and turns.
452 E Christmas Blvd, Santa Claus, IN 47579, Phone: 812-937-4401
2.Whale’s Tale Water Park, Lincoln, NH
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Whale’s Tale Water Park has a variety of water attractions the whole family can enjoy. Shipwreck Island features four brightly colored water slides among the multi-tiered family-friendly play structure. Castaway Cove is 85 feet of heated pool and hot tubs for relaxing the day away. Willie’s Wild Waves is White Mountain’s only wave pool and Jonah’s Escape offers a calm river ride that carries riders around the park. The Plunge is a dual-lane speed slide that hits speeds of 40 mph while the drop slide, Poseidon’s Voyage, sends riders at a top speed of 38 feet per second.
481 Daniel Webster Hwy, Lincoln, NH 03251, Phone: 603-745-8810
3.Aquatopia, Tannersville, PA
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Aquatopia, located inside Camelback Resort is a year-round indoor waterpark with free admission to guests of the resort. The enormous transparent roof lets the sun pour in on the 84-degree water playland. The park has 13 thrilling waterslides in a range of sizes and styles. Tube slides let riders share a raft as they twist and turn before making a splash. High-speed launch capsule slides and a giant wave pool kick up the excitement. Kid-friendly slides and zero-depth activity pools offer fun and adventure for kids of all ages. The park serves drinks at their swim-up bar or guests can grab a bite to eat at Colonial Commons or Moroccan Nights.
193 Resort Drive, Tannersville, PA 18372, Phone: 570-629-1665
4.Camelbeach Mountain Waterpark Tannersville, PA
© Camelbeach Mountain Waterpark
Camelbeach Mountain Waterpark is Camelback Resort’s outdoor water playground with more than 37 waterslides and attractions. Egyptian-themed kid zones of Mummy’s Oasis and Pharaoh’s Phortress have pint-sized slides, water features, and water bucket dumpings. Thrill-seekers flock to High Noon Typhoon, a six-story tall funnel slide with a free-falling experience that takes your breath away. Friends and family can race to the finish on the eight-lane Checkered Flag Challenge. The park has four family raft rides to choose from like Dune Runner that builds up speed before splashing into a pool. After all the excitement, guests can relax as they slowly float along the Blue Nile Adventure River.
309 Resort Drive, Tannersville, PA 18372, Phone: 570-629-1662
5.Boulder Beach Water Park, Athol, ID
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Boulder Beach Water Park is the wet and wild sidekick of Silverwood Theme Park in northern Idaho. Guests take things slow floating in the lazy river or splash it up in two giant wave pools. Kids enjoy the fountains and geysers at Toddler Springs or squeal at the deluge of water from the enormous bucket at Polliwog Park. Visitors bump up the excitement with family-size raft rides like Avalanche Mountain and Ricochet Rapids. Riptide Racer takes riders down 400-feet of side-by-side racing slides. Thrill-seekers can top out at 55 mph on Velocity Peak, where over 100 stairs take guests to the summit of three intense high-speed slides.
27843 N. Hwy 95, Athol, ID 83801, Phone: 208-683-3400
6.Cedar Point Shores Waterpark, Sandusky, OH
© Cedar Point Shores Waterpark
Cedar Point Shores Waterpark is 18-acres of family-friendly fun in the summer sun. Located on the shore of Lake Erie, the park showcases a six-story drop slide where riders free-fall before zipping through twists and splashing down in the pool below. Kids can climb and explore SplasH2O, a multi-level play zone with interactive water features for hands-on water play. Adventure and agility are combined in the Lily Pad Walk obstacle course for thrill-seeking tykes where kids make their way across floating pads with the aid of an overhead netting. Guests enjoy floating along the peaceful Cedar Creek lazy river before taking a plunge down the many waterslides throughout the park.
1 Cedar Point Drive, Sandusky, OH 44870, Phone: 419-627-2350
7.Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, Lake Buena Vista, FL
Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park is one of Walt Disney World Resort’s family-friendly splash zone for cooling off all year long. The park features tyke sized slides and a pint-sized playground with shallow pools, animal-themed water sprayers, and a cave with a waterfall. Thrill-seekers can ride the Humunga Kowabunga, a fully enclosed body slide that sends riders down a 5-story drop into darkness. Raft rides offer excitement for individuals on slides like Keelhaul Falls or with a friend on the park’s signature ride, Crush ‘n’ Gusher. This 400-foot long water-propelled roller-coaster style waterslide has sharp drops, winding turns and uphill climbs before the final plunge into Hideaway Bay.
1145 East Buena Vista, Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32830, Phone: 407-560-4120
8.Universal’s Volcano Bay, Orlando, FL
Universal’s Volcano Bay is Orlando’s tropical island oasis themed water park like no other. An enormous volcano serves as the backdrop to this simulated Hawaiian-style water playground with a beach. Guests enjoy floating along the Kopiko Wai Winding River as they bask in the Florida sun or hopping on one of the five-person raft-rides that twist, turn, and splash their way through the park. Adventure seekers love Ohno of Ohyah and Ohno Drop Slides where riders climb up to cross a rope-bridge dangling above a giant chasm before plunging down the snaking slide that ends 6 feet above the sparkling blue pool.
6000 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819, Phone: 407-363-8000
9.Dollywood’s Splash Country, Pigeon Forge, TN
© Dollywood’s Splash Country
Dollywood’s Splash Country is the Smoky Mountain’s answer to keeping cool and having fun in the summer. Adjacent to Dollywood Theme Park, Splash Country is 36-acres of raging river rides, mountainside racing slides, and kid-friendly fun in Little Creek Falls play area. The Cascades is an 8000 square foot lagoon-style pool with over 25 hands-on splashtastic water features. The park offers single rider slides like Fire Tower Falls, the park’s tallest and fastest slide, as well as group raft rides like Big Bear Plunge that travels through dark caverns and steep drops. Guests can also enjoy a relaxing float along the scenic 1500 foot long lazy river that slithers through the landscape.
2700 Dollywood Parks Blvd, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863, Phone: 800-365-5996
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10.Hershey Park, Hershey, PA
© Hershey Park
Hershey Park opens up The Boardwalk, an 11-acre water park attraction to their guests every summer. Thrilling rides like Coastline Plunge take single or double rider rafts through a course of open-air slides with curves, tunnels, and showers of water before splashing into the landing pool. Young explorers can splash and play in Sandcastle Cove, a zero-depth entry splash pool with slides, water cannons, and jets of water. Guests looking for some competition can race down Whitecap Racer, a multi-lane mat ride named longest racing slide in the world. Those who like taking things slow can relax as they float along the lazy river, the Intercoastal Waterway.
100 W. Hersheypark Drive, Hershey, PA 17033, Phone: 717-534-3900
11.Knott’s Soak City Water Park, Buena Park, CA
Knott’s Soak City Water Park, located next door to Knott’s Berry Farm is 15-acres of waterslides and family fun. Daredevils can scale to the top of Old Man Falls, a 63-foot high-speed slide structure with three slide choices. The Beach House is three-stories of interactive playscape with water sprayers, faucets, and waterslides. Tykes are enthralled with exploring Gremmie Lagoon with scaled-down attractions, a miniature submarine, and animal-shaped play features. Three towering structures of waterslides offer a total of ten slides of twisting turning fun while Banzai Falls provides six-lanes of racing excitement. The enormous 750,000-gallon wave pool and a relaxing, slow-paced river round out the attractions.
8039 Beach Blvd, Buena Park, CA 90620, Phone: 714-220-5200
12.Morey’s Piers Ocean Oasis Water Park, Wildwood, NJ
Morey’s Piers Ocean Oasis Water Park is New Jersey’s beachfront family destination for water slide fun. From heart-racing rides down Cliff Dive to the winding, twisting slides named Sidewinders, Ocean Oasis Water Park offers summertime visitors a surfer-themed play place. Agility and strength are key to conquering the obstacles at the activity pool, while Wipeout sends six riders racing to the finish. Bonsai Beach looks out over the Atlantic and features water sprayers, waterfalls, and a giant bucket atop the beach house-themed play structure. Adults enjoy their favorite tropical drinks at the parks swim-up bar before taking a relaxing trip down the Endless River.
2501 Boardwalk, Wildwood, NJ 08260, Phone: 609-522-3900
13.Raging Waters Water Park, Wildwood, NJ
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Raging Waters Water Park is Morey’s Piers other beachside water park with more wild slides of adventure. The Sky Pond Journey is a multi-tiered raft ride that combines twisty slides with splash pools that gradually descend for a unique water ride attraction. Slides like Shotgun Falls send riders zipping down a slide before launching them out above the splashdown pool. Children take on the challenges of Shipwreck Shoals, the activity pool, and the rope swing. The park offers a variety of raft rides and body slides that suit the adventurous and the laid-back visitors alike.
3501 Boardwalk, Wildwood, NJ 08260, Phone: 609-522-3900
14.Noah’s Ark Water Park, Wisconsin Dells, WI
© Noah’s Ark Water Park
Noah’s Ark Water Park, located in the famous Wisconsin Dells, is America’s largest water park adventure. The 70-acres of rides and attractions provide family fun with four interactive play areas for children, two massive wave pools, and two slow-flowing lazy rivers. The park’s signature attraction is Raja, a six-story tall serpent slide with over 300 feet of twisting coils ending with a 37-foot drop into the open mouth of an enormous king cobra. Scorpion’s Tail is America’s first nearly vertical slide that sends riders plunging towards splashdown at a rate of 50-feet per second. Guests love the one-of-a-kind 4D movie theater where all your senses enjoy the show.
1410 Wisconsin Dells Parkway, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965, Phone: 608-254-6351
15.NRH2O, North Richland Hills, TX
NRH2O is a thrill-seeker’s water park paradise with rides like the Green Extreme, an 81-foot tall water coaster with over 1000 feet of steep hills and drops. The park offers a variety of single and double rider attractions in both open and enclosed style slides. The Accelerator is four-lanes of head-to-head racing down the 200-foot long track. Viper offers an extreme ride for the whole family as it takes high banking turns and a heart-pounding drop. Guests can then kick back and relax on the white sands of Beachside Bay, a 5300 square foot pool with waterfall features and sand volleyball.
9001 Boulevard 26, North Richland Hills, TX 76180, Phone: 817-427-6500
16.Oceans of Fun, Kansas City, MO
© Worlds of Fun
Oceans of Fun is the summertime attraction of Worlds of Fun, Kansas City’s roller coaster theme park. The water park attractions are open from mid-May to early-September with admission to Worlds of Fun. The water park has all the essential slides, rides, and kid-zone attractions to keep the whole family entertained. The play structure of Paradise Falls, a tropical-themed kid-zone, has buckets of fun, slides, and wheels of water that have kids squealing with delight. The family ride, Hurricane Falls, takes four passengers down a steep-sided nearly 700 foot-long flume-style waterslide. The spray park of Crocodile Isle, built for the littlest guests, has mini slides and splash pools.
4545 Worlds of Fun Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64161, Phone: 816-454-4545
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17.Schlitterbahn Water Park, New Braunfels, TX
© Schlitterbahn Water Park
Schlitterbahn Water Park began with slides and rides fed by the cool spring water of the Comal River. The original section continues to flourish and still features the park’s iconic castle. Over 40 years later, this massive family destination expanded to become the most exciting water park with so many rides it takes a tram to get to them all. The park has more than 50 attractions like lazy rivers, thrilling slides, coaster-style rides, and multiple interactive water playgrounds for kids. Visitors can ride the rapids of the White Water Tube Chute, zip down the Downhill Racer, or take on The Falls, the park’s longest river ride with rapids, waterfalls, and giant waves.
400 North Liberty Avenue, New Braunfels, TX 78130, Phone: 830-625-2351
18.White Water, Branson, MO
White Water is Silver Dollar City’s summertime attraction with 13-acres of slides, rides, and waves of fun. The Hawaiian theme is all around with a float on the Aloha River, children splashing at Coconut Cove or a daring adventure with a 40-foot plunge at 26 feet per second on KaPau Plummet. Four lanes of racing excitement are found at Kalani Towers as well as two drop slides for exhilarating high-speed plunges to the bottom. Families can take a ride on the rapids of Ohana Falls or guests can try out the interactive double speed-slide, Waikiki Wave in the center of White Water’s tropical paradise.
3505 West, MO-76, Branson, MO 65616, Phone: 800-888-7277
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19.Water Country USA, Williamsburg, VA
Water Country USA is an epic water park with four family-sized raft rides like Aquazoid that takes riders through a dark and twisty tunnel or the high-thrill adventure on Cutback Water Coaster. Young park guests have three fun-filled themed play areas to choose from, Cow-A-Bunga, H2O UFO, and Kritter Corral, each with geysers, interactive water features, climbing obstacles, and scaled-down waterslides. No water park would be complete without the calming waters of the lazy river, Hubba Bubba Highway, or the adrenaline-fueled rush of a six-lane racing slide, Nitro Racer. For even more heart-stopping action, the park features two styles of drop slides that send riders down a near-vertical 75-foot drop.
176 Water Country Pkwy, Williamsburg, VA 23185, Phone: 757-229-4386
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20.Enchanted Forest Water Safari, Old Forge, NY
Enchanted Forest Water Safari in the Adirondacks of New York is the area’s largest water theme park with water rides, slides, and amusement park attractions. The water park offers all the favorite attractions like a tidal wave pool, speed slides, and two lazy rivers, Log Jammer and Safari River Expeditions. Four-person raft rides like Amazon snake through the jungle with twists, turns, and plenty of splash. Kids enjoy exploring the three-story Sawmill play area with slides for all ages or race down the pint-sized Walter’s Wild Slide 4-lane racer. This seasonal water theme park is open from mid-June until Labor Day and features a variety of family entertainment options beyond the water’s edge.
3183 State Route 28, Old Forge, NY 13420, Phone: 315-369-6145
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21.Zehnder’s Splash Village Hotel and Water Park, Frankenmuth, MI
Zehnder’s Splash Village Hotel and Water Park consists of two indoor water parks, the Atrium and Splash, as well as a seasonal outdoor pool. The Atrium features a four-person raft ride that twists and turns down six-stories of water slide. The Super Loop Speed Slide is a four-story drop with a 360-degree loop at lightning speed. Both water parks have a toddler-friendly zero-entry pool play area and water sports, volleyball and basketball. The activity pools feature geysers and a lily pad obstacle course and each park has its own style of rafting river, one slow and steady and one with a little more action.
730 S. Main Street, Frankenmuth, MI 48734, Phone: 844-330-1715
21 Best Water Parks in the United States
- Holiday World and Splashin Safari, Santa Claus, IN, Photo: Holiday World and Splashin Safari
- Whale’s Tale Water Park, Lincoln, NH, Photo: Tropical studio/stock.adobe.com
- Aquatopia, Tannersville, PA, Photo: Photocreo Bednarek/stock.adobe.com
- Camelbeach Mountain Waterpark Tannersville, PA, Photo: Camelbeach Mountain Waterpark
- Boulder Beach Water Park, Athol, ID, Photo: Jaroslav Moravcik/stock.adobe.com
- Cedar Point Shores Waterpark, Sandusky, OH, Photo: Cedar Point Shores Waterpark
- Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, Lake Buena Vista, FL, Photo: Artem/stock.adobe.com
- Universal’s Volcano Bay, Orlando, FL, Photo: DoraBiro/stock.adobe.com
- Dollywood’s Splash Country, Pigeon Forge, TN, Photo: Dollywood’s Splash Country
- Hershey Park, Hershey, PA, Photo: Hershey Park
- Knott’s Soak City Water Park, Buena Park, CA, Photo: bortnikau/stock.adobe.com
- Morey’s Piers Ocean Oasis Water Park, Wildwood, NJ, Photo: Coka/stock.adobe.com
- Raging Waters Water Park, Wildwood, NJ, Photo: Odua Images/stock.adobe.com
- Noah’s Ark Water Park, Wisconsin Dells, WI, Photo: Noah’s Ark Water Park
- NRH2O, North Richland Hills, TX, Photo: NRH2O
- Oceans of Fun, Kansas City, MO, Photo: Worlds of Fun
- Schlitterbahn Water Park, New Braunfels, TX, Photo: Schlitterbahn Water Park
- White Water, Branson, MO, Photo: soupstock/stock.adobe.com
- Water Country USA, Williamsburg, VA, Photo: Damian/stock.adobe.com
- Enchanted Forest Water Safari, Old Forge, NY, Photo: Damian/stock.adobe.com
- Zehnder’s Splash Village Hotel and Water Park, Frankenmuth, MI, Photo: Damian/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Maresol/stock.adobe.com