With temperatures already starting to spike, it won’t be long before we’re hitting triple digits. Which means it’s a perfect time to start thinking about unique ways to cool yourself down. Thankfully, Texas is home to a variety of water parks that can’t wait to welcome throngs of visitors this summer. Need ideas? Check these out.
You know it, you love it. After all, it’s the “hottest coolest time in Texas.” For water park fun, it’s hard to beat this local institution, which opened in 1979 and quickly became a must-see destination for people across the country. It’s currently home to 51 attractions that span more than 70 acres. This summer will also bring the first full season for the MASSIV, which Schlitterbahn calls the world’s tallest water coaster. For added fun, book a night or two at one of the on-site lodging options — you’ll get access to the park before it opens to the public and after it closes for the night. The park will be open daily starting May 12. Heading to South Padre Island, Corpus Christi or Galveston this summer? You can find Schlitterbahn locations there, too.
If you want the thrills of a big water park but only have a few hours to spare, Typhoon Texas might be just what you’re looking for. Located 40 minutes from Austin in Pflugerville, Typhoon Texas opens May 27 in the spot that was previously Hawaiian Falls. (Typhoon Texas took over the lease for Hawaiian Falls and the park has undergone a multi-million dollar transformation, according to Pflugerville officials.) Don’t miss the Gully Washer children’s playland, which includes seven slides, 100 spray areas and an 800-gallon water bucket that douses the entire space. Season passes are currently on sale. There is another Typhoon Texas located in Katy near Houston.
Located on the outskirts of Houston, this popular park recently underwent a massive transformation that brought with it attractions such as the Big Kahuna raft ride and the FlowRider surf simulator. New this year is the Alien Chaser, a “three-saucer mega slide” that’s six stories tall and 429 feet long. If you’ve got little ones, be sure to stop by Wet’n’Wild Jr., which features spray fountains and twisting slides built just for them.
Heading to Six Flags Fiesta Texas? Don’t forget your swimsuit. From massive pools and lazy rivers to rafting adventures and speed slides, you’ll find lots to entertain you at the park’s on-site water park. And it’s free with the cost of admission to Fiesta Texas. New this year is the Thunder Rapids Water Coaster, a three-story, 942-foot-long thrill ride that includes five uphill blasts, four spiraling turns, custom-made inline rafts and new water jet propulsion technology. Oh, and there will be no awkwardly lugging tubes to the top of this ride — it features a loading system where guests board at ground level, then ride up the lift hill to the top of the slide.
You’re at SeaWorld, so in addition to water park fun that includes 450-foot-long body slides and a 48-foot-tall tube ride, you’re also going to be surrounded by marine life. The Stingray Falls attraction, for example, take visitors on a four-seated raft into an underwater grotto where stingrays and tropical fish are waiting to greet you.
Want to make a splash but tired of the sun? Plan a weekend trip to Great Wolf Lodge, located near Dallas in Grapevine. Here you’ll find over 80,000 square feet filled with slides, pools, a tipping bucket and a water fort treehouse. Don’t miss the Howlin’ Tornado, which drops you down through a six-story funnel.