7 Sensational Water Parks That Your Kids Will Adore
Even with winter on its way, you can still splash up a storm at these wet and wild escapes
It may be getting colder outside, but at these aqua parks, the water is always warm. Some keep the water play indoors year-round, while others offer a wet wonderland outside under the sun. Consider these seven wild water parks for your family vacation this winter.
For those who want to shop ’n’ slide: World Waterpark (Edmonton, Alta.)
Inside the famed gargantuan West Edmonton Mall is World Waterpark, one of the biggest indoor water parks on earth. This park boasts the world’s largest indoor wave pool and more than 21 unique waterslides and play features. There are also plenty of play areas and slides for kids of all ages.
Must do: Soar across the ginormous wave pool on the SkyFlyer Zipline. Cowabunga!
For the world’s largest indoor jungle: Tropical Islands (Krausnick, Germany)
Europe may be far from the equator, but when in Germany, you can enjoy warm waters at Tropical Islands, an indoor water park housed inside a former airship hangar. This huge water world offers everything from a 27-metre high waterslide tower and kids’ paddling pools to a tropical sea with a 200-metre-long sandy beach. Bunk in one of the dome’s 195 rooms and lodges, or sleep in the great indoors in the Rainforest and Sunset camps.
Must do: Visit the world’s largest indoor rainforest, which has nearly 50,000 plants and a mangrove swamp complete with wildlife.
For those who love raft rides: Wild Wadi Waterpark (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Whether lazing in the wave pool or firing down a tube on a rapid water ride, you’re bound to have a blast at Wild Wadi Waterpark in Dubai. There are more than 30 rides at this family-friendly water park inspired by Arabian folklore, but the pinnacle of excitement is riding the Jumeirah Sceirah, a 120-metre slide that sees riders hit speeds of 80 km/h after being dropped through a trap door. There are also plenty of heart-stopping raft-based slides at the park, and a few surfing experiences to boot.
Must do: Slip down Tantrum Alley, a thrilling ride that twists and turns your raft down steep waterslides before cascading into a water pool below.
For Ontario families looking to stay local: Great Wolf Lodge Resort (Niagara Falls, Ont.)
A family getaway drenched in fun can be had as close as Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls, a resort with an impressive 100,000-square-foot indoor water park. Here, you can splash your way around thrilling waterslides, floating rivers, “water tree houses” full of toys, whirlpools and a wave pool—all under one roof. Bonus: the lodge is located just minutes from Niagara Falls, one of Southern Ontario’s natural wonders.
Must do: Zip down the Canada Vortex, a pulse-pounding slide that drops four storeys in mere seconds before sending you spinning down a vortex.
For those who want to skip lines: Volcano Bay Water Park (Orlando, Fla.)
A new addition to Universal Orlando Resort, Volcano Bay has introduced new technology to help guests avoid lineups. Just strap on a wearable device that virtually holds your place in the queue, then wait for it to buzz when it’s your turn to ride. That means more time to explore the park’s four areas and 18 attractions, such as whitewater torrents, lazy rivers, twisting tubes and a slew of slides.
Must do: Make your stomach flip on the Maku Puihi Round Raft Ride, a rafting adventure inside a cavern that explodes out an immense funnel.
For a water park worth travelling for: Aquaventure Waterpark (Paradise Island, Bahamas)
How about dipping your toes into Aquaventure, a one-of-a-kind, 141-acre water park at Atlantis Paradise Island Resort? Aside from the warm weather and sun-kissed beaches, water babies will love that it has more than 20 swimming areas and 11 unique pools, as well as adrenaline-inducing waterslides and a mile-long river ride with rolling rapids and wave surges.
Must do: Take the Leap of Faith, an electrifying slide with a nearly vertical 60-foot drop from the top of a Mayan temple into a transparent tunnel that passes through a shark-infested lagoon.
For Lego lovers: Legoland Water Park (Winter Haven, Fla.)
Whether you’re five or 50, Lego lovers of all ages will love this whimsical and wild water park. Aside from slides and splash pads, Legoland Water Park features water-themed Lego models created from more than four million Lego bricks. Other attractions include a 500,000-gallon wave pool, tube slides, body slides and a Duplo safari, a water-play structure just for toddlers.
Must do: Build your own Lego boat and drift down the 1,000-foot-long lazy river.
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