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Best For Resort Lovers
Sitting at the top of a mountain in Vernon, NJ, you’ll find a winter ski resort turned warm-weather water park at Mountain Creek. The adventure-seeker will find plenty to do: jump off a cliff, swing among the trees and free-fall into the water, or plummet 99 feet on the H2-Oh-No’s vertical drop. Tamer guests can try the River Runner Slide or the Junior Rapids.
Best For A Mix Of Everything
Less than two hours from Manhattan you’ll find Dorney Park’s Wildwater Kingdom. With an assortment of more than 36 water slides, wave pools, lazy rivers, and kids’ play areas, there’s something for each member of your family to enjoy. Plus, one ticket gives you admission to both Dorney Park Amusement Park and Wildwater Kingdom for the best of both worlds.
Best For A Rainy Day
Nestled in the Pocono Mountains, this constantly-84-degrees indoor water park features the one-of-a-kind Hydro Plunge, a water ride-roller coaster hybrid on a motorized track that plunges you down a 52-foot vertical drop. All 79,000 square feet of Great Wolf Lodge are chock full of exciting slides and rides as well as zero-depth entry pools and toddler-sized entertainment for the kiddies.
Best For Super Small Splashers
Splash your heart out at Water Slide World in Lake George, NY, where there are two kid-friendly play areas for youngsters and plenty of thrilling adventures for adrenaline-seekers. This park is particularly accommodating to little ones, so no one will be left on the sidelines. Enjoy 12 curling slides, play volleyball, or float under the sun—no matter how you and your family play, everyone will have a splashing good time.
Best For Brave Souls
Complete with a brand new hydromagnetic water coaster and body surfing wave pool boasting four-foot waves, Splish Splash in Riverhead, Long Island, has become a destination water park for city slickers and suburban dwellers alike. Attractions like Dr. Von Dark’s Tunnel of Terror and the Giant Twister are perfect for excitement-seeking older children and adults. For the little ones, “my-size” slides and pools at the Kiddie Cove are also available.
Best For A Three-In-One
Located oceanside in Wildwood, NJ, Morey’s Piers & Beachfront Waterparks offers a wild assortment of fun-in-the-sun activities and thrills for the whole family. With three piers complete with traditional amusement rides and two water parks featuring slides, cliff dives, pirate ships, lazy rivers, and kiddie play areas, this getaway is sure to excite kids of all ages. A waterpark wristband offers access to both Raging Waters Waterpark and Ocean Oasis Waterpark and Beach Club.
Best For A Hybrid Sporting Experience
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 inWest Berlin,NJ, adds aquatic fun to all of your favorite sports. The park also features a relaxing lazy river, freestanding water tree fort, tube slides, raft rides, and the toddler-friendly Lizard Lagoon. Plus, its $6.5 million dollar outdoor expansion means a new 12,000-square-foot wave pool, a children’s play zone, a leisure pool, sand volleyball courts, and more!
Best For Intergenerational Adventures
Located in Tannersville, PA, Camelbeach Mountain Waterpark is a water-lover’s dream, as slides, pools, and rides abound. For a relaxing start, grab a lounge chair and enjoy a picturesque view of thePocono Mountains from the Olympic-sized pool. Kids and adults can play together at Pharaoh’s Fortress and Camel Cove, the park’s two interactive play structures. Finally, pick up the pace on Camelbeach’s Checkered Flag Challenge and Triple Venom Speed Slides, go on an adventure down the Blue Nile River, or get caught spinning in either of the two bowl slides.
Best For A Short Dip
If a full day at the water park seems like too much for your little one, consider the Land of Make Believe in Hope, NJ. With the charm of a county fair and the attractions of a major water park, this place has it all. Visit America’s largest wading pool, let the kids play on a life-size pirate ship, float down the pirate-themed lazy river, and check out one of the 40-foot-high water slides. When you’re done with the water works, you can head over to the dry rides, meet a talking scarecrow, visit Old McDonald’s farm, or settle down at the picnic area for lunch.
Water Park Size: 100,000 square feet Aesthetic: “Following the theme of Kalahari’s two existing resorts in Wisconsin Dells, WI, and Sandusky, OH, the Pocono resort 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 that will be brewed on property, to selecting art for the convention center walls, choosing authentic crafts for guest souvenirs and more.”
Accommodations: 457 guest rooms containing one-, two- and three-bedroom suites. Day passes are available for the park.
Wildest Feature: “Guests can bodyboard or surf 365 days a year on the Flowrider, or experience thrills down the Anaconda water roller coaster, relax in the lazy river or spas, and feel the high-energy oscillations of the Swahili Swirl.”
Dry Activities: “Kalahari boasts a 30,000-square-ft family entertainment center with mini-bowling, cutting-edge arcade games, a 5D theater, black-light mini golf, and more. Spa Kalahari is a full service spa where guests can relax and rejuvenate their mind, body, and spirit with amazing body treatments, luxurious messages, skin care, nail care, and more. Need some retail therapy? Kalahari has more than 6,000 square feet of retail space.”
Water Park Size: 125,000 square feet Aesthetic: “Adventure-themed”
Accommodations: 453 rooms; 16 different suite layouts. Park is exclusive to Camelback Lodge guests and included with your room reservation, along with one day of admission at the resort’s outdoor Camelbeach Mountain Waterpark.
Wildest Feature: “Starting with a heart-pounding drop, riders on the Venus Slyde Trap speed down an enclosed serpentine flume before they are injected into a 16-ft sphere where they bank around 90-degree turns, and finally are plunged back into darkness. Next, riders are propelled back into the rushing waters where they experience wall-crawling Zero-G oscillations before being swallowed and spit back out into a plunge pool below.”
Dry Activities: “The 45,000-square-ft Arcadia Family Adventure Center offers two levels of themed activities including: more than 100 video, interactive and ticket redemption games; the Ascent, a vertical rock climbing wall and K2 Klimb overhead ropes courses for adults and kids; Meh-Tah’s (Not So) Mini Golf; Lazer Runner black-light laser tag; Polka Dot Pots children’s arts and crafts; Oasis Kids Spa offering manicures and pedicures to the youngest of guests; and Kartrite’s Kids Quest, a themed soft play area for the littlest of adventurers. Adults wanting to retreat for a massage, nail treatment, or workout can find respite at Serenity Spa and Fitness Centre.”