“Everything is bigger in Texas,” and these water parks are no exception. Consider a visit to one of these for your next family vacation.
Schlitterbahn Water Park – New Braunsfels
Here, you’ll find the world’s longest waterpark ride — all 3,600 feet of rapids, waterfalls and waves! Find something for everyone in this 70-acre park, from the Polywog Pond Kiddie park for the youngest adventurers in your party to the Skycoaster for the most daring. Blast down waterslides of every sort or rent a cabana and relax in between peaceful floats down the circular lazy river. Schlitterbahn is actually the country’s most visited waterpark and is a wonderful spot for family fun in the sun!
Hawaiian Falls – Pflugerville
Yes, you’ll find Hawaiian fun in Texas! With so many rides from which to choose, it might seem hard to know which one is perfect for each kiddo. Not to worry! Hawaiian Falls has the Shaka Meter, which rates the rides from the least scary wave pool (1) to the Hawaiian SkyFall, which drops you in a watery chute when the floor beneath you opens (5). Take a break for some onsite food — all the kid favorites like hot dogs and burgers and grown-up selections like Texas-style barbecue.
Six Flags Hurricane Harbor – Arlington
Winding slides, wading pools of enormous proportions and a lazy river are staples at any Texas water park, but this one has roller coaster type of attractions to thrill any adrenaline craving family! Listen to these crazy fun names: Hydra Maniac (all enclosed body slides), Mega Wedgie (four-story half pipe), Banzai Boggan (45-foot slide) and Boogie Beach (wading pool). Height requirements help you decide which adventure is perfect.
Castaway Cove – Wichita Falls
Well shiver me timbers, this park has a pirate theme and ARGH, there are no landlubbers here! Ride a raft in the Parrot’s Perch Slide Complex down the 40-foot open flume slides. Explore the water jungle gym area in Buccaneer Bay with body slides, water cannons and a dumping bucket! Nellie’s Rolling River is perfect for some down time floating on inner tubes. Spend the day with your whole pirate crew enjoying fun family time.
Great Wolf Lodge – Grapevine
Bring your pack of little wolves to the indoor portion of this water park — where the water is kept at 84 degrees — or head outside for some fun in the sun. Wolf pups of all ages will love the adventures and there is something for everyone — ride Alberta Falls in a tube raft or head outside to Raccoon Lagoon for splashing and water fountain fun. Need more of an adrenaline rush? Try the Howlin’ Tornado, which drops you into a 6-story tunnel on a raft for adventure seekers. Big Foot Pass is great fun in the water — test your balancing skills on the logs and lily pads that create an agility course. Dare you?
–Natalie Tanner, The Educational Tourist
Natalie Tanner, The Educational Tourist, has hundreds of thousands of miles under her belt — business trips with her geologist husband to places like Scottsdale, Jackson Hole, New York and Denver — and family adventures to far-flung destinations like Rome, Paris, Tangier, and Istanbul. When she isn’t traveling, The Educational Tourist stays busy planning the next adventure while being mom to two kids, three dogs, Sushi the fisand a hamster. Follow her adventures at The Educational Tourist.