7 Wild Water Parks You Need To Add To Your Summer Bucket List

I swear, I was a fish in a previous life. If there is one thing that I always look forward to in the summer, it’s swimming. Growing up, I was lucky enough to live in a neighborhood that had a private lake where I could spend my summer days splashing in the sun and catching spotted salamanders. However, by the time I reached the age of 13, the lake was no longer as fun as it used to be. I was bored with spending day after summer day catapulting my body off the dock and I was getting a little too old to care about who’s cannonball could make the biggest splash.

That’s also the summer when I visited my first water park.

I can still remember the smell of thousands of bodies slathered in sunscreen and having to push through crowds of screaming children just to get into the park. But what I remember most is how much I loved sliding down the dangerously tall water slide, spending hours splashing around in the wave pool, and grubbing on a basket of chicken tenders and french fries as my mom reapplied a thick layer of sunscreen for the fifth time that day. That’s when I decided that water parks are the ultimate summer destination. From thrilling water slides to relaxing lazy rivers, they have attractions for all ages. Check out these 7 water parks in the U.S. that you’re not gonna want to miss out on this summer!

1. Noah’s Ark, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

Termed “America’s Largest Water Park”, this enormous tourist hotspot contains over 50 water slides, four children’s water play areas, two giant wave pools, and 4-D dive-in movie theater. Located in the “Waterpark Capital of the World”, Noah’s Ark is the ultimate summer destination. General admission tickets at the door are only $38.99, and they’re even cheaper if you plan in advance or with a group!

2. Dollywood’s Splash Country, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

This award-winning water park located in the southern state of Tennessee boasts 35 fun-filled acres of attractions and southern hospitality that will call you back summer after summer. One of their most well-known attractions is The Cascades, an 8,000 square-foot lagoon-style pool that features waterfalls, a geyser, and tons of interactive elements. Single-day admission tickets are $48 for adults and $43 for children and seniors.

3. Wet n’ Wild, Orlando, Florida

Scheduled to permanently close its doors on December 31, 2016, you better take the chance to visit this park before it’s too late! Single-day passes are $39.99 for Florida residents and $48 for out-of-state residents. Plus, for all you lucky Florida residents, the park is offering their “buy a day, get the rest of the year free” limited-time offer. That means you pay $39.99 for unlimited water park visits throughout all of 2016. Say what?!!

4. Splashin’ Safari, Santa Claus, Indiana

Part of the Holiday World Theme Park, Splashin’ Safari features some of the nation’s best water rides. In fact, Amusement Today listed the Wildebeest, a two-and-a-half-minute fast-paced water coaster, as the #1 Water Park Ride on the Planet. Single-day tickets to Holiday World include an all access pass to this incredible water park for as low as $44.99!

5. Water Country USA, Williamsburg, Virginia

From thrilling water slides, family water rides, poolside attractions, and water diving shows, this place has it all! One of their most popular rides is the Colossal Curl. This exciting water ride is an action-packed adventure that includes swishing and swirling its guests through a funnel before shooting them through a set of colorful tubes. Purchase general admission tickets online that are $52 for adults and $45 for kids aged 3-9.

6. Water World, Denver, Colorado

Located just 15 minutes from downtown Denver, this is one of America’s largest family water parks. Water World has over 45 different water attractions and boasts more family tube rides than any other water park in America. General admission tickets are as low as $36.99 for the day, leaving you a little extra cash to rent one of their fancy cabanas to keep you protected from the sun.

7. Schlitterbahn Water Park, Multiple Locations

With four different locations in Texas and one in Kansas, each one offers some of the world’s best water rides. The Kansas City location is home to the World’s Tallest Waterslide, the Verrückt. Made for only the most daring adventure-seekers, this water slide will take you up a 168 foot and 7 inch structure and blast you down not one, but two, gut wrenching drops. Although ticket prices range for each location, they do not exceed $42, making any of these locations a fun and affordable summer destination.

Next time you complain that you’re tired of swimming at your local pool, scrounge up some money, get your friends together, and take a road trip to one of these awesome water adventure parks! Located all across the U.S, at least one of these 7 water parks is surely no more than a few hours drive from you! What are you waiting for? Slap on some sunscreen, pack your swim trunks, put on your favorite pair of shades, and visit one of these water parks while school is out and sun is shining!

Featured image via Brandon Hoogenboom on Unsplash


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