Summertime in Columbus, Ohio, means an abundance of long, sunny days that almost always include plenty of heat and humidity. When the temperature rises, a fun place to get a little relief is at one of the four of water parks in the area. But you don't have to limit this kind of splashy fun to summer—some indoor water parks are open year-round. If you're going to be in the Columbus area on vacation, bundle up the kids, the swimsuits, the sunscreen, and some snacks and head out to one of these great summertime (or anytime) spots.
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Part of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium complex, Zoombezi Bay is one wild outdoor water park. The entire site covers 22 acres and includes 17 waterslides, a wave pool, action river, lazy river, kiddie play pool and private cabanas.
Some of the high attraction rides include:
- Dolphin Dash: Up to six guests can compete in this head-first, mat racing, a high-speed attraction that starts from a 49-foot tower. This slide has a length of 310 feet and is longer than a football field.
- Cyclone: Dropping from a 55-foot start to reach unmatched speeds of 20 mph, this extreme four-person raft cruises into the largest enclosed reducing-radius tunnel in the world. This is sure to be the most exciting and popular ride in the park. The Cyclone stretches 209 feet in length. Raft transport is complimentary and starts from the same tower as the Tahitian Twister.
If you get hungry, there are 10 different restaurants and stands to tempt your tummy, including an adults-only cocktail area.
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This year-round 50,000 square-foot indoor water park inside the Cherry Valley Lodge in Newark, Ohio, 40 miles from Columbus, is kept at 84 degrees. Special rides include Parrot’s Perch, a zero-depth entry area for swimmers under 48 inches and water cannons. Don't miss Coral Reef Cavern, a 1,000-gallon activity pool with lily pads, water basketball, Quest Arcade, and animated coral reef backdrop.
Don't forget to bring your towel from home in an effort to help keep the resort green; towels are not provided for guests. If you're staying at the hotel, you can simply snag one from the room.
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Reed Road Water Park, in Upper Arlington, Ohio, about 6 miles from Columbus, is part of the city's aquatics division. It's open from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day. The water park has heated water, a diving well, a vortex and current channel and waterslides. You can buy a daily admission pass for Reed Road Water Park.
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Splash Harbor, inside a Comfort Inn in Bellville, Ohio, has a 49-foot looping water slide, dumping buckets, shooting geysers, water basketball hoops, a floating raft and kids pool area. With a room reservation, four water park passes are included, and guests are also treated to free continental breakfast, the weekday newspaper, arcade and bicycle rental for a 20-mile bike path next to the hotel. Bellville is 62 miles from Columbus.