Chill out at water parks for some splashy, memorable thrills, and summertime fun. California has many water parks to choose from, some of which are adjacent to theme parks, and some of which are standalone parks. The following are some of the biggest and best the state has to offer. Outdoor water parks are open seasonally; check the websites for current information. The state’s two indoor water parks are open year-round.
This enormous water park in the Bay Area used to be know as Waterworld California. In 2018, Six Flags purchased it and renamed it. It is not connected to a Six Flags park (like the other Hurricane Harbor that is next to Six Flags Magic Mountain and listed below); it is a standalone park. The park chain also added a new attraction in 2018: Splashwater Island, a four-story water play area with more than 100 fun features. Hurricane Harbor also has many water slides and other attractions for all ages and thrill levels. Highlights include the launch chamber slide, Break Point Plunge, and the funnel ride, Tornado. Everyone can get seriously wet, no matter their age or adventure quotient at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Concord.
Part of the LEGOLAND California theme park resort, the water park requires an additional fee to enter. About a half an hour's drive north of San Diego and an hour south of Anaheim, the facility offers younger children kids some unusual water park adventures. For example, at Build-a-Raft River kids build a raft of LEGOs before floating down the river, and at Imagination Station, kids make bridges, dams, and cities out of DUPLO bricks and see how they stand up in the water. There are also more conventional slides and rides where everyone gets soaked.
With three locations, Raging Waters has the largest water parks in California. Considered one of the top water parks in the United States, the San Dimas property (near Los Angeles) has 50 acres of rides, slides, and more that will make the day of even the most demanding visitor. Attractions include the Aqua Rocket uphill water coaster, Neptune’s Fury family raft ride, Dr. Von Dark’s Tunnel of Terror bowl slide, and the Raging Rocket and Screamer speed slides. While not as big, the state’s other two Raging Waters are nonetheless huge and offer plenty to do.
Check out Big Surf Shores, Loggerhead Lane, Kata's Kookaburra Cove, Slippity Dippity, and Walkabout Waters at this water park near San Diego. You can also check out the flamingos and freshwater turtles, go on rides, and get a bite to eat for an all-day adventure.
Boomerang Bay, part of California's Great America theme park in the Bay Area, has a whole slew of fun watery things to do. Try out Boomerang Lagoon, Great Barrier Reef, Jackaroo Landing, Castaway Creek, Kookaburra Cay, Down Under Thunder, Tasmanian Typhoon, and Screamin' Wombat, just to name a few choices. General admission grants entry to both the theme park and the water park.
Water rides, slides, surf simulators, and a wave pool await at the indoor water park for fun throughout the year. When the weather cooperates there is also outdoor activity pools at the Great Wolf Lodge near Disneyland. The full-featured resort also offers the Howly Wood XD Theater motion simulator ride, MagiQuest, an extra-charge interactive experience, bowling, laser tag, and more. The lodge includes 600 kid-friendly accommodations that include all-suite guest rooms.
Scheduled to open in 2020, California's second Great Wolf Lodge will offer a similar complement of activities as its Garden Grove sister park. Unique attractions at the indoor water park will include Wolf Tail, a launch chamber slide. In the warmer months, the resort will feature Raccoon Lagoon, an outdoor pool area. There will also be family yoga, mini-golf, gem mining, and a ropes course. The all-suite resort will offer themed rooms that children will adore.
Knott's Soak City boasts that it is the biggest water park in Orange County, complete with a seven-story plunge, Gremmie Lagoon, and seven water slides new in 2017. Reserve a cabana if you want to duck out of the sun for a bit. Or stop in at one of the park's many restaurants, which include Boardwalk BBQ, Cable Car Kitchen, Calico Saloon, Cave Inn, and Farm Bakery, among many others.
At Six Flags Hurricane Harbor in Valencia, you'll find a whitewater run, a lagoon to chill out in, bunches of slides, a climb-in-the-water zone, raft courses, and a river cruise. You'll be soaking wet when the day is done at Hurricane Harbor. After you’ve worked up an appetite slipping and sliding around, dig into some all American favorites or Italian fare, slurp on some ice cream, or keep off all those calories you burned with some healthy options.