THE 2014 GUIDE TO WATER PARKS IS NOW AVAILABLE–CLICK HERE!
For a closer look at these water parks, dive into our photo slideshow right here.
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 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 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 A Classic Experience
Six Flags Great Adventure may be known for its gut-wrenching roller coasters, but on a hot summer day the water park next door, HurricaneHarbor, may be your best bet for thrills and spills. The park has everything from fast action adventure rides to an expansive kiddie area. Don’t want to spend the whole day in the water? Your options are open, because this place is wedged between two other fun-filled theme parks.
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 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 oceansidein 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 Idyllic Fun
Become one with nature in nearby New Jersey at Tomahawk Lake Waterpark, where you can rent swan boats, paddle boats, or bumper boats on the beautiful 20-acre lake. Try the 503-foot Black Snake tube ride or the 610-foot Mammoth Flume raft ride. Bring young kids to explorePapoose Land, where they can climb a giant turtle or frog, go down mini-water slides, and paddle in kiddie canoes and bumper boats. Children can enjoy some variety with miniature golf or softball, and parents can relax to live music in the beer garden every weekend.
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.
More from our SUMMER FUN GUIDE:
Local Fishing, Kayaking, And Sailing
Our Favorite Beaches Around NYC
Editor’s Picks: Camping For Families
(Inter)Active Fun In Parks & Zoos
Garden Oases, Animal Encounters, And Good Learnin’