Summer is well underway, and many of us head to the pool or beach to cool off on a hot, sunny day. If you’re looking for a change of pace, however, kick things up a notch with a visit to a twisting, turning waterpark that the whole family will love. While you may already have a local favorite, we’ve gathered up a few wet ‘n wild spots that are well worth the trip.
Splashin’ Safari (Santa Claus, IN)
You’re certainly in for a jolly time when you visit Splashin’ Safari, located in a festively-named town just west of Louisville, Kentucky. Don’t be intimidated by the two massive water coasters – aptly named Wildebeest and Mammoth – or the 10-lane water slide racing complex that’s perfect for some friendly family competition. The Bahari Wave Pool delights kids of all ages with a variety of special effects like jets and geysers. As a bonus, admission to Splashin’ Safari also grants you access to neighboring Holiday World amusement park, where old-fashioned roller coasters and rides abound.
Great Wolf Lodge (Williamsburg, VA)
This indoor waterpark spans nearly 80,000 square feet and takes the concept of a family vacation to the next level. They’ve thought of everything! The temperature throughout the Lodge will remain at a balmy 84 degrees as you explore incredible attractions like an interactive, multi-level treehouse, a surf simulator, and a swirling funnel that finishes with a dramatic drop into the water. Book a room at the on-site resort, and you’ll be just steps away from some R&R after a long day of swimming and splashing. Plus, park passes are included with every stay.
Schlitterbahn Waterpark (New Braunfels, TX)
There are five Schlitterbahn locations in the U.S., but this resort and amusement park complex, built in 1979, is the one that started it all. The six-story, 1,000-foot long “Master Blaster” uphill water coaster is sure to please thrill-seekers looking for an unforgettable and intense ride. Ready to get spooked? Grab a partner and zip through the dark tunnels of the Black Knight, a completely enclosed tube ride. Or, take it easy with a leisurely float along the Kristal River, which promises to move you on an endless loop until you’re ready for another adventure. Grown-ups will love the Boogie Bay heated pool, which features a swim-up bar and shady oak trees under which to relax.