Wet and Wonderful Water Parks in California

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.

California water parks are arranged alphabetically.

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Buccaneer Cove at Castle Park in Riverside

Buccaneer Cove at Castle Park in California

Castle Park

Outdoor water park

The small water park is part of Castle Park, an amusement park. Admission includes entrance to both the water park and the dry rides. Attractions include an interactive water play structure with small water slides and sprayers, and a dump bucket as well as open and enclosed body slides. Private cabanas are available to rent.

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DropZone Waterpark in Perris

DropZone water park in California

DropZone

Outdoor water park

The medium-sized park offers a variety of attractions, including a FlowRider surfing simulator, a lazy river, mat racing slides, body slides, an interactive water play structure with a dumping bucket, and a splash pad for younger children. There are also sand volleyball courts.

DropZone also has an Olympic-sized competition pool that is open year round. The park offers swimming lessons in the pool.

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Great Wolf Lodge in Garden Grove

Great Wolf Lodge California funnel ride
Great Wolf Resorts

Indoor water park resort

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.

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Great Wolf Lodge in Manteca

Alberta Falls Water Ride at Great Wolf Lodge
Great Wolf Lodge

Indoor water park resort

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.

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Island Waterpark in Fresno

Island Waterpark in California

 Island Waterpark

Outdoor water park

Among the attractions at Island Waterpark are the Tidal Wave wave pool, the Bora Bora Racers mat racing slides, the Ohana Bay interactive water play structure, the Thrills of Fiji speed slide, and the Tsunami family raft ride.

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Knott's Soak City

Knott's Berry Farm
Courtesy of Knott's Berry Farm

Outdoor water park

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. 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.

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LEGOLAND California in Carlsbad

Legoland California water park

THE MERLIN ENTERTAINMENTS GROUP

Outdoor water park

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.

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Raging Waters in San Dimas, Sacramento, and San Jose

Raging Waters
Don DeBold/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Outdoor water parks

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 in Sacramento and San Jose are nonetheless huge and offer plenty to do.

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The Ravine Waterpark in Paso Robles

Ravine water park in California

The Ravine Waterpark

Outdoor water park

Among the attractions at the good-sized park is Sidewinder, a new addition for the 2021 season. The water slide sends passengers twisting and turning in an enclosed tube. Other features include Thunder Run, a family raft ride, Quadzilla, a four-lane, mat-racing slide, the tube slides Anaconda and Viper, the Calypso Bay wave pool, the Kamikaze speed slide, the Kickback Kreek lazy river, the Vertigo bowl slide, and Tadpool, an activity area for younger visitors.

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Sesame Place in Chula Vista

Aquatica, San Diego, SeaWorld
Courtesy of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment

Outdoor water park and theme park

The former Aquatica water park is being transformed into Sesame Place. It will include some of the existing water attractions, including the huge wave pool and water slides, as well as dry attractions such as a carousel, shows, and a daily parade. The new park, which may open in 2021, will be themed to the popular children’s television show.

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Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Concord

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Concord aerial view

Six Flags

Outdoor water park

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.

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Six Flags Hurricane Harbor in Valencia

Splash Island at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor
Photo courtesy of Six Flags Hurricane Harbor

Outdoor water park

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.

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South Bay Shores in Santa Clara

Boomerang Bay water park at California's Great America.
Cedar Fair

Outdoor water park

South Bay Shores, part of California's Great America theme park in the Bay Area, has a whole slew of fun, watery things to do, including a family raft ride, a halfpipe-style slide, a wave pool and the Rushin’ River lazy river. New for 2021, the park is opening the Pacific Surge slide complex, which will include six slides. It is also opening Tide Pool, a family lagoon with eight slides designed for younger children. General admission grants entry to both the theme park and the water park.

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Splash-N-Dash in Snelling

Splash-N-Dash water park in California

Splash-N-Dash

Outdoor water park

Located on Lake McSwain, Splash-N-Dash features inflatable water slides and other features. It is designed as an obstacle course, with guests trying to make their way up, down, and over a succession of slides and obstacles. They include "Dome," which guests can jump on like a trampoline and splash into the lake. There's also "Swing," which has a slide followed by a trapeze-like swing into the water.

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WaterWorks Park in Redding

WaterWorks water park in California

WaterWorks

Outdoor water park

The medium-sized water park includes a wave pool, lazy river, a bowl ride, multiple water slides, and activities for younger children.

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The Wave Water Park in Vista

The Wave water park in California

Wave Water Park

Outdoor water park

A municipal park run by the city of Vista, The Wave offers a decent assortment of attractions, including tube and body slides, the El Rio Loco lazy river, and a FlowRider surfing attraction. Wave’s Spray Park is designed for younger kids. There is also a huge pool for recreational as well as lap swimming.

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Wild Rivers in Irvine

Wild Rivers water park in Irvine

City of Irvine, California

Scheduled to open in spring 2022, the new Wild Rivers will be a full-featured outdoor water park. Among its attractions will be a wave pool, family rat rides, tube slides, launch chamber slides, body slides, a mat racing slides, a lazy river, an activity pool, slides for younger children, and an interactive water play structure with a tipping bucket.

The park is a sequel of sorts. There was a Wild Rivers in Irvine from 1986 to 2011, when it closed. The new park will be privately operated, but will be located at Orange County Great Park, which is owned by the city of Irvine.

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Wild Water Adventure Park in Clovis

WildWater Adventure Park in California

 WildWater Adventure Park

Outdoor water park

Attractions at the good-sized park include a funnel ride, a wave pool, a family raft ride, and multiple water slides. Areas for younger children include Adventure Bay, Buccaneer Landing, and Orca Lagoon. In addition to the water park attractions, Wild Water offers fishing, volleyball, and horsehoes.

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