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.
We recommend that you call the attractions and restaurants ahead of your visit to confirm current opening times.
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
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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
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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
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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
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
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
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
22.Lubbock Water Rampage
Lubbock Water Rampage has been a Lubbock area summertime favorite for more than 30 years, frequently selling out season passes for its family-friendly water attractions and special events. The park offers three distinct sections of attractions, including a Pirates Cove area that features an explorable pirate ship play area, giant dumping bucket, and a number of party pavilions that may be rented for private special events. A lazy river attraction traversing a pirate village anchors its Lost World area, while a giant wave pool and children’s play area serve as the centerpiece of its Caribbean Adventure attraction. Movie nights are offered throughout the season, with all visitors receiving free inner tube rental in exchange for admission to float on the wave pool and watch top blockbuster films. A portion of all proceeds for movie nights benefit the South Plains Food Bank.
6602 Marsha Sharpe Fwy, Lubbock, TX 79407, Phone: (806) 771-5953
23.Hawaiian Falls Roanoke
Hawaiian Falls Roanoke was opened Memorial Day weekend of 2011, becoming the Hawaiian Falls franchise’s fourth location in Texas. The park is best known as the home of Mega WaterWorld, the largest aquatic play structure in the world, which incorporates a family rafting ride, a three-lane family racing slide, and two giant dump buckets reaching volumes of 500 and 1,000 gallons. Other top attractions include Beach Blasters, the first dueling multi-tube racer slide in the world, and the Flyin’ Hawaiian covered tube slide, which presents high-definition lighting and sound effects. Families can enjoy the Rainforest River Adventure lazy river attraction, the Breaker Bay giant wave pool, and the Water Walkway children’s spray play area.
290 Byron Nelson Blvd, Roanoke, TX 76262, Phone: (817) 853-0099
24.Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark
Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark is a 26-acre water park resort in Galveston, operated by New Braunfels-based franchise corporation Schlitterbahn. The year-round water park was opened to the public in 2006 and is home to the most rides of any Schlitterbahn park, including the 81-foot MASSIV coaster, the Guinness world record holder as the world’s tallest water coaster. Other high-thrill slides include the immersive, intertwined Screaming Serpents dual-slide experience, which has been showcased on the Travel Channel’s “Xtreme Waterparks” series. A one-mile lazy river connects the park’s attractions, including its convertible indoor-outdoor Wasserfest section, which has received multiple Golden Ticket awards as the World’s Best Indoor Waterpark.
2026 Lockheed Rd, Galveston, TX 77554, Phone: (409) 770-9283
23 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
- Lubbock Water Rampage, Photo: silentalex88/stock.adobe.com
- Hawaiian Falls Roanoke, Photo: Artem/stock.adobe.com
- Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark, Photo: n_u_t/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Maresol/stock.adobe.com
Attraction Spotlight: Shipwreck Island Waterpark
The tropical-themed Shipwreck Island Waterpark in Panama City Beach, Florida, first opened to the public in 1983. The waterpark features many different rides and attractions designed to bring a smile to every visitor., as well as outlets food and drinks. The 20-acre waterpark has been providing fun and entertainment for families for more than three decades in Panama City Beach.
Shipwreck Island Waterpark's Ocean Motion Wave Pool generates waves measuring three feet within a 500,000-gallon pool every ten minutes. One of Shipwreck Island's more thrilling rides is the Raging Rapids. Constructed in the open space along the back of the Zoom Flume hill, the white water inner tube ride is completely unique to the park and provides a breathtaking ride from beginning to end.
The Zoom Flume's three turning, weaving lanes have provided visitors with fun memories for decades. It's the only slide at Shipwreck Island where younger children can double up with older family members to race to the bottom of the hill. The Tree Top Drop, another thrilling ride, actually consists two slides venturing off of a single 65-foot platform. One of the slides is a dark tube that sends riders on a free fall ride down a rapid drop. The second slide is a twisting tube slide.
The Great Shipwreck the waterpark is a replica of a sailing ship during the seventeenth century that ran aground at Shipwreck Island many years ago. Visitors have the chance to swing out on a cable from the ship and drop down into a stunning deep-water lagoon pool filled with azure blue water. The Pirate's Plunge is a racing slide, featuring side-by-side slides that lead off from a 60-foot tower. Guests can test their own nerves or challenge family and friends.
Skull Island, a family activity pool, features the Pirate's Race and Lickity Split. Pirate's Race is a racing slide designed for the entire family, while Lickity Split is a slide for small children. The activity area also includes a fort with a massive Tipping Bucket that dumps over seven hundred gallons of water on both awaiting and unsuspecting visitors every three to four minutes, more than one hundred times every day. This relatively new attraction at Shipwreck Island Waterpark is part of Skull Island's redevelopment, which will lead to the area being named instead as Pirate's Cove.
White Knuckle River at Shipwreck Island is a winding, twisting inner tube ride that sends guests down six hundred and sixty feet on inner tubes big enough to fit the whole family. The relaxing Lazy River spans more than two thousand feet. The meandering, slow-moving river offers visitors a break from the thrills of waterslides.
Located next to the wave pool and the Lazy River is Tadpole Hole is a world of activity pools perfect for younger children. The pool includes several small slides, such as an elephant slide, a pelican slide, a purple frog slide, and a ship slide. There is also a rope climb, and a little yellow submarine called "The Silly Sub."
12201 Hutchinson Boulevard, Panama City Beach, Florida, Phone: 850-234-3333
More Things to Do in Panama City Beach
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