It’s that time of year again, when no amount of ice cream is enough to cool off you and the kids! If you’re looking for an escape, try one of these awesome water parks in the NYC area for some splishing and splashing with the whole family.
16 Great Water Parks
Action Park (Mountain Creek), Vernon Township, NJ
Less than 50 miles from Manhattan, Mountain Creek’s Action Park provides small kids with their own Junior Rapids, lazy river, splash zones, tide slides and wave pools. Older kids will love Canyon Cliffs and the Bomb’s Away free fall, a steep descent ending in an 18-foot free-fall into the pool below. For the truly daring, there’s the Zero-G, the world’s tallest double looping thrill slide, clocking in at 100 feet high with a 50-mile view of New York. Getting here is easy with NJ Transit’s bus from Port Authority, and cabanas are available for your family to relax the day away in.
Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark at Camelback Lodge, Tannersville, PA
One of the most daring waterslides, the Venus Slydetrap, can be found at Aquatopia. Riders start with a heart-pounding drop before being injected into a 16-ft sphere where they bank around 90-degree turns, and finally are plunged back into darkness before being spit back out into a plunge pool below. For younger kids, the Croc-O-Nile Crossing and splash pads offer countless hours of enjoyment. Aquatopia also offers lots of fun dry activities like the Arcadia Family Adventure Center with more than 100 video, interactive and ticket redemption games, rock climbing, an overhead ropes courses for adults and kids, mini golf, black-light laser tag and a kid’s spa.
Camelbeach Mountain Waterpark, Tannerville, PA
The biggest water park in Pennsylvania, Camelbeach Mountain has more than 37 water rides to cool you off when the weather gets hot. This ski resort has water rides for every member of the family. Little ones can splash around on Pharaoh’s Phortress and Kahuna Cove, with its sprinklers and wave pool, while older kids can try out the 6-story tall Triple Venom slide or grab some friends to go on the Dune Runner. If you’re waterlogged and want something new, there’s always the rock climbing wall, Euro Bungee, or freefall.
Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom, Allentown, PA
Dorney Park may not have been what Billy Joel was singing about in “Allentown,” but it’s a prime destination when you’re looking to cool off and have a great time. Wildwater Kingdom has more than three dozen slides, pools, rivers, and play areas, including specially themed kids areas like Lollipop Lagoon, Splash Landing, and Kids Cove. For the more adventurous, try out the Python Plummet, which opens the floor beneath your feet to plunge you down the 65ft drop. If you need to dry off, check out Planet Snoopy, located in the Park — it’s a park within the park, just for little ones!
Enchanted Forest Water Safari, Adirondack State Park, NY
New York’s largest theme water park, located in Adirondack State Park, has more than 50 rides and 32 water rides for a whole day of fun. Tiny tots can splash to their hearts desire in the pygmy pond, which features pint sized slides and tubes just for them. Tweens and teens can zip down Mt. Killermanjaro, a speed slide which reaches up to 30 miles-per-hour, as well as the parks newest ride Curse of the Silverback, which includes a 100 foot drop into a forty foot diameter bowl. With so many rides and activities for every size and age, it’s not wonder this waterpark has been in business for more than 60 years.
Great Wolf Lodge, Poconos, PA
No matter the weather the Great Wolf Lodge has got you covered – literally. Set in the scenic Pennsylvania Pocono Mountains, this indoor, 84-degree water park offers vacation ready weather all year-round. With their new attraction Slideboarding, which allows riders to shoot targets using hand controls while barreling through the water, Great Wolf Lodge has rides of every variety. Older kids will also enjoy the Double Barrel Drop, which features flashing lights and 450 degree spins, while little ones will have hours of fun climbing Fort McKenzie, a four-story interactive tree house with slides, dumping buckets and a zero depth entry pool. After a thrilling afternoon, relax in the hot springs or rent a cabana for the whole family.
Kalahari Resort, Pocono Manor, PA
Following the theme of Kalahari’s two existing resorts in Wisconsin and Ohio, the Pocono resort, which holds the title of America’s largest indoor waterpark, is also authentically African themed. In October 2014, park owners the Nelson family, took on six countries in Africa in 23 days across 24,000 miles to bring authentic African experiences and items back to the Pocono resort—from handpicking coffee beans, to selecting art for the convention center walls. Some of the Kalahari Resorts more wild rides include The Smoke that Thunders, a raft slide the whole family can go down at once, the Anaconda Water Roller Coaster, and the Swahili Swirl. The waterpark is also home to a lazy river and spas to relax in after a long day of fun.
The Land of Make Believe & Pirate’s Cove, Hope, NJ
Located in Hope, NJ, about 90 minutes from NY, is the Land of Make Believe & Pirate’s Cove. Here you can find America’s largest wading pool, along with pirate ships outfitted with water slides, nets, and dumping buckets. Older kids can ride The Black Hole, the #1-rated waterslide in the United States, and the new Sidewinder, a slippery half-pipe like raft ride and the first of it’s kind in New Jersey. If the younger kids get tired of water rides, they can hang out with a talking scarecrow or ride a turn-of-the century carousel. Make sure to also check out the live farm animals and the Civil War railroad!
Morey’s Piers and Beachfront Waterparks, Wildwood, NJ
Looking for some summer fun? Look no further than Wildwood, NJ. Morey’s Piers boasts three piers full of rides, games, and attractions, and two sprawling water parks. The Raging Waters Waterpark offers a revamped version of the classic lazy river complete with waterfalls, seating alcoves and refreshment service right in the river. Head on over to Ocean Oasis Waterpark to race your friends down a six lane racer slide or shoot down the Cliff Diver Speed Slides, which drop you five stories in three seconds. Both parks offer interactive kids play areas, and when you’ve had enough of the water, walk along the pier and enjoy soft pretzels, funnel cakes, lemonade, and other summertime goodies.
Sahara Sam’s Indoor and Outdoor Waterpark, West Berlin, NJ
With unique attractions like an indoor surfing simulator, a water obstacle course, and Sam’s Slamdunker—a pool designed for shooting hoops—Sahara Sam’s Indoor and Outdoor Waterpark in West Berlin, NJ, adds aquatic fun to all of your favorite sports. Recent additions to the park include Tut’s Twisters, a head first set of mat slides that let adventurous friends race each to the finish line, and mount Kilimanjaro, a giant raft slide that the whole family can enjoy together. The water park also features a relaxing lazy river, freestanding water tree fort, tube slides, raft rides, and the toddler-friendly Lizard Lagoon. Plus, a 12,000-square-foot wave pool, children’s play zone, leisure pool, sand volleyball courts, and more!
Sesame Place, Langhorne, PA
Water park attendees both young and old can remember fond memories with lovable characters of Sesame Street. Just a two-hour drive from New York City, this waterpark is worth the trip for it’s fun activities both in and out of the water. Children will love playing in the Count’s Splash Castle complete with a 1,000 gallon tipping bucket, while older kids can race down slides reaching 75 feet. Not a thrill seeker? Take a relaxing float down Big Bird’s Rambling River or feel like you’re really at the beach in the tidal wave pool.
Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, Jackson, NJ
Six Flags might be synonymous with amusement park, but its water park is pretty amazing, too. Hurricane Harbor has the brand new Caribbean Cove, a water play area with over 55 interactive features specially made for small children including slides, wading areas, climbing nets, small wave pools, and a pirate ship. Thrill seekers will instantly be drawn to the visually impressive King Cobra, a massive red and black slide, which spits rafters out onto the cobra’s head and right up to it’s mouth. For those looking for a more peaceful afternoon, Taak It Eez Ee Creek is a slow-moving lazy river tube ride that lets you and your kids relax and take in the sights, and if you tire of the water, there’s a whole other theme park to explore.
Splash Down Beach, Fishkill, NY
Ever been on a zero gravity half pipe? Here’s your chance to try the only one in New York! SplashDown Beach boasts the Humunga Half-Pipe for a ride you won’t forget any time soon. Little kids can also find adventure at the kid’s only shipwreck lagoon, a giant play area filled with fountains, geysers, slides and dumping buckets. Older kids can ride the 600 foot long Arctic Mammoth, Pirates Plunge, or enjoy the wave pool. If you’re tired of the water, check out Safari Outpost and the exotic animals.
Splish Splash, Calverton, NY
Voted one of the best waterparks in the United States by the Travel Channel, Splish Splash offers thrills for every member of the family. Little kids will love the wading pools filled with sprinklers and animal slides as well as a pirate ship featuring water canons and nets. Splish Splash is also home to some killer water slides like the Cliff Diver, which drops you eight stories in only three seconds, and Bootleggers Run, a water coaster that propels riders uphill. Kids of all ages can join forces in the Battle of Mutiny Bay, an interactive game pitting riders up against pirates and sea creatures.
Tomahawk Lake, Sparta, NJ
New Jersey’s largest white sand beach is only an hour away, in Sparta, at Tomahawk Lake. This 20-acre lake has Papoose Land, a water park for smaller kids, which includes climbing ropes, lily pads, inflatable rafts, slides, tipping buckets, and more. For older kids, a pool and the lake have a variety of water slides. Not into that? No problem! Rent a paddleboat, bumper boat, kiddie canoe, go miniature golfing, play horseshoes or beach volleyball, or play in the arcade. Just remember to bring lots of cash, as this is a cash only venue.
Water Slide World, Lake George, NY
Twelve acres of water park fun are at this Lake George, NY waterpark. Pirate Ship Cove and Aruba-Scuba-Duba Bay are options for little ones, while older kids and parents can check out rides like the Blue Bomber Slide, Tasmanian Twister Slide, and the Hurricane Harbor Wave Pool. For the more athletically inclined, there’s also water and sand volleyball. This family-focused park also allows visitors to bring their own food so pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the warm weather.