7 Great Water Parks for Summer Fun

Bring the whole family to enjoy these splash-tastic destinations.

Multi-ethnic group of three children playing together at a water park. They are in a play area, standing under falling water iStock

Summer is the perfect time for a family adventure, whether that means going to a favorite theme park or embarking on an epic road trip. But with the summer sun comes summer heat, and the best remedy for hot temperatures is a refreshing dip in cool waters.

These seven outdoor and indoor water parks offer something for everyone in your family, from sky-high water slides to lazy rivers.

1. Enjoy summer fun at America’s largest water park.

Two young men riding the Black Anaconda at Noah’s Ark Waterpark Noah's Ark

Wisconsin Dells is known as the Water Park Capital of the World, and Noah’s Ark Waterpark is the country’s largest. A prime spot for water park summer fun, Noah’s Ark spans more than 70 acres and comprises more than 50 water slides and 2 million gallons of water.

One of the most thrilling attractions at this rapids water park is the more-than-quarter-mile-long Black Anaconda, which propels guests down spirals and up humps at speeds of 30 miles per hour. If this park’s slides, wave pools and children’s play areas aren’t enough, Wisconsin Dells is home to several other water parks to try out.

2. Visit a kid-focused water park that encourages creativity.

Two boys floating on innertubes down the Build-a-Raft Lazy River in Legoland, Florida Legoland Florida

Equal parts water park and creative studio, the Legoland Florida Resort in Winter Haven, Florida, offers as many opportunities for creativity and expression as it does for water park summer fun.

Attractions like the Build-a-Raft Lazy River allow you to interact with the ride as you use oversize Lego bricks to build your own custom raft while floating down the 1,000-foot lazy river. Tube slides, body slides and an interactive water-play structure keep the fun going all day.

3. Cool off at a Disney water park.

Park patrons on inner tubes floating down a section of Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park Abigail Nilsson

Visit Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park in Orlando, Florida, to spend the day chilling out in the largest wave pool in North America, sunbathing on a sandy beach and plunging down the roller coaster known as Miss Adventure Falls. 

This tropical paradise is the perfect spot for the whole family to enjoy summer fun at the water park. Stay for the weekend at one of the many nearby hotels.

4. Feeling daring? This Six Flags water park includes thrill rides.

Park patrons waiting in line to ride a water slide at Six Flags White Water Six Flags

Whether you prefer the thrill of a 10-story drop or a relaxing seaside retreat, Six Flags White Water in Marietta, Georgia, can keep the whole family happy.

The Atlanta Ocean Wave Pool offers 700,000 gallons of simulated ocean waves, while the Dive Bomber sends you plummeting at a nearly 90-degree drop from almost 10 stories up.

Six Flags offers a great rapids water park experience for thrill-seekers, and for little ones still getting their feet wet, you’ll find the brand-new Caribbean Cove AquaPlay structure and other low-key attractions.

AAA is your one-stop resource for planning and booking all things fun! Before you start packing your swimsuit and sunscreen to head off to the waterpark, don't forget that AAA offers hotel discounts, even some with free shuttle service to attractions and theme parks. Members enjoy savings, plus get free use of a child safety seat with Hertz, Dollar and Thrifty rental cars. Protect your vacation investment with travel insurance plans that offer coverage for the whole family, should the unexpected happen.

5. Great Wolf Lodge: This hotel has an indoor water park for family fun.

Park patrons playing in front of Fort MacKenzie at the Great Wolf Lodge Courtesy of Great Wolf Lodge

Great Wolf Lodge in Concord, North Carolina, close to Charlotte, offers a rip-roaring indoor water park experience for the whole family. Kids and grown-ups can cool off and catch a wave in the Slap Tail Pond wave pool.

Older kids will enjoy Howlin’ Tornado, which spins you around before dropping you down six stories, or racing with friends on the toboggan-style Mountain Edge Raceway. Fort Mackenzie, a four-story treehouse-like playground, is perfect for younger kids.

6. Take a break at Splash Country.

Park patrons racing down the TailSpin Racer water slide at Dollywood’s Splash Country Dollywood

Dollywood’s Splash Country in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, is a true rapids water park spanning 35 acres tucked into the Great Smoky Mountains. Take on friends in the TailSpin Racer, a high-speed race down steep drops and hairpin turns; experience the thrill of whitewater rafting on the Raging River Rapids ride; or conquer the waves in the 25,000-square-foot wave pool, Mountain Waves.

7. Stop by an indoor water park that’s fun in any weather.

Park patrons enjoying the Rip Zone Surf Simulator at Avalanche Bay Avalanche Bay

Leave your worries about the weather at the door with one of Michigan’s largest indoor water parks. Avalanche Bay, in Boyne Falls, is always a balmy 84 to 87 degrees, even when the temperature outside drops.

Catch a wave on the Rip Zone Surf Simulator, or let gravity do the work on the Big Couloir, where riders drop into a tunnel through a trapdoor, instantly accelerating to 38 feet per second. This water park with hotel is a great place to bring the family for a weekend—or longer.

Sometimes a day trip to the nearest water park will do just fine, but if you’d rather make a weekend of it, search AAA Diamond designated hotels by location and amenities—and unlock member savings, too.


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