The Best Theme Parks and Water Parks in Virginia

Kings Dominion-Delirium
Cedar Fair Entertainment Company

There are two major theme parks in Virginia, and between them, the state boasts some of the world's best and biggest roller coasters. There are also some smaller family entertainment centers and other places to find fun.

It can get plenty hot and humid in Virginia. To help stay cool (and have fun), you could check out the state's water parks. No matter what time of year, you could visit one of the indoor water park resorts. With their climate-controlled environments, you could be floating in a lazy river or tearing down a water slide regardless of the weather outside.

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Atlantis Waterpark in Centerville: Outdoor Park

Atlantis Waterpark in Centerville Virginia

Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority

Attractions at the small, municipal park include two water slides, a large pool, a play area with smaller slides for younger children, an interactive water play structure with a tipping bucket, a baby pool, and a sand play area.

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Busch Gardens Williamsburg- Outdoor Theme Park

The Griffon at Busch Gardens
Arthur Levine

The lovely park, which is divided into European countries such as Italy and Germany, is often cited as being one of the most beautiful in the industry. It offers a fabulous array of coasters, including Apollo's Chariot (which gets my nod as one of the country's best) and Griffon, a floorless diving coaster. Among its other notable rides is Battle for Eire, a virtual reality ride that opened in 2018. Busch Gardens is also known for its great live shows and decent food.

After a delay, the park will be introducing Pantheon, a new roller coaster, in March 2022. Billed as the world’s fastest multi-launch coaster, it will hit a top speed of 73 mph. It will also rise 180 feet, deliver a beyond-vertical, 95-degree drop, and include two inversions.

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Compass Entertainment Complex: Irvington Indoor and Outdoor Entertainment Center

Compass Entertainment Complex in Virginia

Compass Entertainment Complex

The entertainment center is anchored by a six-screen luxury boutique movie theatre. Compass also offers indoor and outdoor attractions including bumper cars, go-karts, mini-golf, a virtual reality attraction, a ropes course, a climbing wall, a challenge zone, a kids’ climbing structure, and an arcade. Meridian Bar & Grill serves a variety of dishes for lunch and dinner.

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Dinosaur Land: White Post Outdoor Attraction

Dinosaur Land Virginia
Dinosaur Land

Meet over 50 animatronic dinosaurs at this small, primeval-themed roadside attraction. Of course, there is a gift shop with dinosaur items.

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Fun Land: Fredericksburg Outdoor Entertainment Center

Central Park Fun Land
Central Park Fun Land

Activities at the indoor and outdoor center include go-karts, batting cages, a huge arcade, spinning rides, an XD Dark Ride, and a small (indoor) roller coaster.

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Fun Land of Fairfax: Centerville Indoor Entertainent Center

Fun Land of Fairfax park in Virginia

Fun Land

A sister family entertainment center to the original Fredericksburg Fun Land, the Fairfax location offers a large arcade with over 100 video and redemption games, go-karts, laser tag, a virtual reality experience, a ropes course, and a rock-climbing wall.

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Go-Karts Plus: Williamsburg Outdoor Entertainent Center

Go-Karts Plus Virginia
Go-Karts Plus

It should come as no surprise that go-karts are featured at this center. The "plus" includes bumper boats,  a Disk’o thrill ride, a kiddie coaster, other kiddie rides, an arcade, and more.

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Great Waves: Alexandria Outdoor Water Park

Great Waves Waterpark
Great Waves Waterpark

This is a small, seasonal, municipal water park with a wave pool, water slides, and a children's pool with an interactive play area.

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Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg Indoor Water Park Resort

Great Wolf Lodge Waterpark
Michael Lewkowitz / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

This is a major, indoor water park resort that is part of the Great Wolf chain. Highlights include a wave pool, lazy river, water slides, and the MagiQuest interactive attraction. The water park is only open to registered hotel guests.

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Kings Dominion: Doswell Outdoor Theme Park

Volcano coaster Kings Dominion
Cedar Fair Entertainment Company

Kings Dominion is a huge park with an impressive collection of roller coasters, including Intimidator 305, a massive (would you believe 305 feet tall?) thrill machine that delivers punishing G-forces and wild thrills. But there are many more. So many, in fact, it is one of the theme parks with the most number of roller coasters in the world. Also features Planet Snoopy, a large Peanuts-themed land with kiddie rides. The adjacent Soak City water park is included with admission to Kings Dominion.

New for 2022, Kings Dominion will be introducing Tumbili, a 4D Free Spin coaster. After climbing over 100 feet straight up, passengers will, well, tumble to and fro in cars that rotate vertically, independent of the train. The coater will be part of a re-themed land that the park is calling Jungle X-Pedition. The former Safari Village will also include a new dining experience and a new shop.

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Massanutten Resort: Indoor and Outdoor Water Park

Massanutten Resort water park Virigina
Massanutten Resort

This indoor water park offers a FlowRider wave-making attraction for boogie boarding, hot tubs, a huge wave pool, water slides, and other attractions. The outdoor water park has a mat racing slide complex, a wave pool, and a splash pad and activity pool for younger kids. New for 2021, the outdoor pool added a halfpipe slide, Mass Mayhem, the Peak Plunge tube slide, and the enclosed tube slide, Valley Vortex. The parks are open to hotel guests and to the general public. The Massanutten Resort also includes skiing, golf, and other activities.

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Motor World: Virginia Beach Outdoor Entertainment Center

Motor World Virginia
Motor World

At Motor World: Virginia Beach, there are lots of go-kart tracks plus kiddie and thrill rides, mini-golf, and other attractions. One of the major attractions is a Skycoaster.

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Ocean Breeze Waterpark: Virginia Beach Outdoor Water Park

aerial shot of slides and pools at Ocean Breeze Waterpark
Ocean Breeze Waterpark

This medium-sized water park offers water slides, a wave pool, and water playground. Restaurants, on-site catering, and private cabanas are available. New for 2021, Ocean Breeze debuted Operation Splashdown, a six-story family raft ride. Up to five passengers pile into circular rafts and brave the attraction’s 600-foot flume.

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Ocean Dunes: Arlington Outdoor Water Park

Ocean Dunes Arlington Virginia Water Park

Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority

A small, municipal park, Ocean Dunes offers water slides, an interactive water play structure with a dumping bucket and a pool. Dry attractions include mini golf, batting cages, and a climbing course.

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Pirate’s Cove: Lorton Outdoor Water Park

Pirate’s Cove Virginia Water Park

Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority

This small, municipal water park offers a themed water play structure with a tipping bucket, two water slides, a large pool, kiddie slides, and a sand play area.

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Soak City: Doswell Outdoor Water Park

Soak City water park at Kings Dominion
Cedar Fair Entertainment Company

Soak City water park is included with admission to King's Dominion theme park. Attractions include Pipeline Peak's four slides, Big Wave Bay wave pool, Surf City Splash House interactive play area, Lazy Rider river, speed slides, tube slides, and kids' areas.

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SplashDown: Manassas Outdoor Water Park

SplashDown water park Virginia

This medium-size water park with water slides, a lazy river, and activities is for younger visitors.

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Splash Valley: Roanoke Outdoor Water Park

Splash Valley water park in Virginia

Roanoke County VA

A small, outdoor, municipal water park, Splash Valley is open seasonally. Its attractions include a bowl slide, a flume slide, a kiddie slide, a lazy river, ain interactive sprayground with activities for younger children, and a leisure pool.

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Volcano Island Waterpark: Sterling Outdoor Park

Volcano Island Waterpark in Virginia

Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority

Part of Algonkian Regional Park, the small park offers open and enclosed body slides, a large main pool with a small slide, a splash pad, and an interactive water play structure with slides, fountains, sprayers, and a dump bucket. Volcano Island also offers a mini-golf course and a cafe.

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Water Country USA: Williamsburg Outdoor Water Park

Water Country USA water park in Virginia
SeaWorld Parks

Water Country USA is operated by the Busch Gardens folks, but the outdoor water park requires a separate admission and is located a few miles away from the theme park. It is a major park with lots of slides, including speed slides and a family raft ride, a wave pool, a lazy river, attractions for young children, and more.

For 2022, Water Country USA will be introducing Aquazoid Amped, an update of the family raft ride, Aquazoid. It will include special effects such as color changing rings and amped-up music.

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The Water Mine Family Swimmin' Hole: Reston Outdoor Water Park

The Water Mine is a small, municipal water park with a lazy river, Pete's Peak slides, an activity pool, and kids' activities.