SplashDown Beach: My Favorite Outdoor Family Water Park

SplashDown Beach, located in Fishkill in Dutchess County, is a charming, outdoor waterpark that calls itself America’s Biggest Little Water Park. After experiencing it, it doesn’t really feel that little because SplashDown Beach was the perfect size for my family.

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Rides at SplashDown Beach

SplashDown Beach

SplashDown has a wide range of water rides and activities. My boyfriend and I made this adventure with our 4-year-old daughter and her 5-year-old friend. Within moments of entering the park, we were already in the Monster Wave Pool, where the kids jumped in the waves and many lifeguards were on duty.

The water park is laid out with several different areas, each one with seating and convenient bathrooms. The design allows for a crowded park to still have intimacy. After the wave pool, we headed over to the little kid’s section, Splash Works. Even though it’s designed for little ones, it still has a lot to offer, including slides, geysers, and dumping buckets. Our kids played a bit in Splash Works then made their way to the Water Whirler. This was a thrill for the kids and my boyfriend. They spun around in buckets with water guns shooting anything in sight, including me from the sidelines. Our next stop was Shipwreck Lagoon. This area has a pirate ship, slides, and all kinds of interactive water features. My boyfriend and I were able to relax and watch the kids for a few minutes.

Cowabunga Falls

Our next (and perhaps our favorite stop) was Cowabunga Falls. This is a series of three body slides, each over 300 feet long, with twists, turns, and tunnels that all land in a big splash pool. After each slide, the kids’ faces were so animated and full of expression as they described each run they made. It filled my heart with joy to see them so happy. Even though they can swim, they wore free, provided life jackets, so we felt very safe with them going to the top of the slides while we waited at the bottom.

Arctic Plunge Racer

Next to this area is the brand new Arctic Mammoth. This is a five-seat raft ride was one that we all LOVED. After walking up about about six stories, you float down a slide almost 600 feet long. We had a blast with lots of twists, turns, and drops that kept the kids excited without scaring them. Next to the Arctic Mammoth is the Arctic Plunge Racer. This is a classic series of steep slides, all next to each other for racing. We did these multiple times.

The scariest ride is the Humunga Half-Pipe. This bills itself as New York’s only zero gravity half-pipe and it’s quite a thrill. You can ride this solo or in a double tube. My four-year-old is so brave, I can’t believe she rode this twice.

After the half-pipe, we did a lap in the Croc Creek Wavy Lazy River, which was nice for an adrenaline break, yet it still had some thrills with bucket dumps and geysers. We ended our day in a section with three slides: the Pirate’s Plunge, Pirate’s Revenge, and the Bullet Bowl. All three of these are tube rides and you can go solo or doubled up. Each one has tunnels, turns, drops, and twists, and all of them end in the same landing pool.

Our day at SplashDown Beach was great. With a 4- and 5-year-old, the kids were tall enough to do everything, yet young enough to still enjoy the little kid’s sections. SplashDown Beach Water Park is owned and operated by the Turk Family, who also runs the Rocking Horse Ranch Resort.

Tips for Visiting SplashDown Beach with Your Family

  • Bring towels, sunscreen, sunglasses, and hats.
  • Coolers, food, and drinks are not allowed in, but bottled water is, so bring your own.
  • You can pack a cooler and leave it in the car for a picnic break or dine at one of the many options on site. The food was good, but a little pricey.
  • Best for ages 2-14.
  • Very stroller-friendly.
  • We made our visit on a Monday and the park was not crowed. I hear it gets packed, so if you’re looking for a less crowded day, try a day early in the week.
  • Generally height requirements are between 36″-42″, check site for exact heights for each ride.
  • Free life jackets are provided.


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