By Jill “MamaBug” Frier
Summer is in full swing and it’s hot outside! So what’s the best way to keep your kids busy while keeping them cool and getting them outside into the fresh air? Well, make a big splash and head to the water park, pool or splash pad near you! Here is a list of some of the best water parks in the Valley. Be sure to visit each website for specific hours, pricing, special events, and more info.
Wet ‘N Wild Phoenix
Located in the Northwest Valley is one of the best water parks in the Phoenix area. This 25-acre facility on Pinnacle Peak Road, just west of 35th Avenue, is wildly popular and features some fantastic waterslides and pools for kids of all ages. Interactive water slides, super slides and attractions with names Maximum Velocity, the Tornado, the Serpentine Complex, Mammoth Falls, and Desert Racers will keep your bigger kids entertained, while the Crazy Cactus Roaring River raft ride, Soak’em Playground area and newly remodeled wave pool are great places to splash and play for all ages. The water park also occasionally hosts special evening events, such as their Dive ‘n Movie nights and various activities for teens and adults. Their fireworks shows on holidays throughout the summer are fantastic – and free!
4243 W. Pinnacle Peak Rd.
Glendale, AZ 85310
Big Surf Waterpark
One of the oldest and most popular water parks in the Valley is located in Tempe, at Hayden and McClintock Drive. The Big Surf Waterpark opened it’s doors in October 1969 and is now home to America’s original wave pool, the Waikiki Beach Wave Pool, and more than seven giant, thrill-seeker
water slides. Big Surf also has many kid friendly water park attractions, including Bora Bora Bay, Otter Slides for smaller kids, and the Captain Cook’s Landing area for toddlers. Big Surf also hosts concerts, festivals and other events throughout the year.
1500 N McClintock Dr.
Tempe, Arizona 85281
Golfland Sunsplash, located in Mesa at Country Club and US 60, features over 30 exciting rides and attractions. The water areas are open all summer and include thrilling waterslides, a wave pool, a lazy river, and numerous toddler slides and splash areas. Sunsplash features the original water roller coaster, the Master Blaster Water Coaster, as well as speed slides and a variety of multi-story thrill ride slides and giant family raft rides. The Golfland area is open all year round and features bumper boats, miniature golf, laser tag, car racing and arcade areas. Golfland-Sunsplash also hosts night splash hours throughout the summer and features various special events, festivals and parties throughout the year.
155 W. Hampton Ave.
Mesa, AZ 85210
Special Mention: Non-Public Water Parks
These water parks are definitely worth mentioning – they all receive rave reviews from their guests. Unfortunately, they are not open to the general public. You need to be a guest of the resort or a resident of the community to use these facilities, but they are great places to make a big splash if you are planning a resort stay in the Valley or are able to take advantage of their hospitality.
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa
Closest to home is the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort and Spa. They offer their guests both fun and fitness with four acres of sparkling pools on their beautiful North Phoenix property. Their five, interconnected pools include poolside dining, cabana cottages, a lazy river, splashing fountains and a serpentine waterslide.
Arizona Grand Resort Oasis Water Park
The Oasis Water Park at the Arizona Grand Resort features a 7-acre, premium water park. The park activities include huge water slides, a giant wave pool, a 25-person hot tub, the Valley’s only side-by-side active river, and a fun toddler area called Wild Cat Springs. One of their most exciting attractions is the eight-story Slide Canyon tower. The water park is reserved for guests only, but worth considering if you are planning a stay-cation in the Valley.
Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort River Ranch Water Park
The River Ranch Water Park at the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort offers their guests fun and relaxation in a four-acre water park. The water park features multiple pools, a winding lazy river, cascading waterfalls and poolside dining.
The Westin Kierland Adventure Water Park
The Adventure Water Park at the Westin Kierland Hotel and Resort features more than 575,000 gallons of water fun, including a 900-foot lazy river for inner-tubing and a 110-foot-long water slide. The resort is also home to the Kierland FlowRider, an artificial wave pool that lets visitors “Flowboard” – a combination of surfing, snowboarding, and skateboarding using boards derived from wakeboarding.
Take some time this summer to get yourself and your kids out of the heat and into the cool waters of one of the fantastic water parks here the Valley of the Sun. Be sure to check Ladybug’s Blog for a more ideas for great places to get your kids out of the house and interested places to see around the great state of Arizona.