Summer in South Florida is a (at least!) a six-month affair. Make the most of the season with splashes & giggles at a local water park….
A few tips regardless of your destination
- Hours vary by park, make sure to call & confirm before venturing out, especially since COVID.
- Pack towels, flip flops & loads of sunscreen. Reapply often.
- Hydrate regularly.
- Some parks allow outside food. Great way to save money & encourage healthier snacking.
- Castaway Island Water Park (3300 N Park Rd, Hollywood, 954-357-8811). Castaway Island offers two interactive water playgrounds: One for smaller children with climbing features and a small slide; the other for older children. The park also features a zero-entry, hard-bottom Swim Lagoon with a waterfall. Castaway Island is open seasonally.
- Paradise Cove Water Park at C.B. Smith Park (900 N Flamingo Rd, Pembroke Pines, 954-357-5170). Paradise Cove is Broward County Parks and Rec’s largest aquatics facility. Older kids will can hag in paradise pipeline featuring four 5-story watersides, while little ones will like Sharkey’s Lagoon’s18-inch deep pool and Parrot’s Point’s 12-inch deep pool. Everyone can enjoy a 410-foot-long meandering type ride. Paradise Cove is open seasonally.
- Splash Adventure Water Park (401 S. Powerline Rd, Deerfield Beach, 954-357-5100). This is the park for little ones. Features include slides, tunnels, turn valves, wheels and levers, water curtains, and a huge bucket that fills and empties onto the playground below. The depth of the pool ranges from zero at its edges to 12 inches at its deepest. Lifeguards are on duty whenever the water park is open.
- Tigertail Aqua Challenge at Tigertail Lake Recreation Center. (580 Gulf Stream Way, Dania Beach, 954-201-4500). Tigertail Lake Recreational Center is Broward College’s experiential learning, team building, watersports and ropes course facility. Its Aqua Challenge is a water obstacle course and playground featuring climbing walls, a bouncing dome, a trampoline and a catapult with a 16-foot swing
- Tropical Splash Water Park. This park includes two interactive water playgrounds: One for smaller children, with climbing features & small slides; the other for older children, with a spiral slide, two turning slides, water guns and an oversize bucket that regularly fills with water and dumps it out onto the playground below. The complex also includes a fully accessible instructional pool, used by the county’s SWIM Central program, and a marina with boat rentals.
- Aventura Founder’s Park Splash Pad (3105 NE 190 Street Aventura, 305-466-0183). Recreational water play area, is located inside the park.The southern section of the park (Bayside) consists of tropically landscaped walkways, a bay walk overlooking the intracoastal waterway and is home to the Aventura Community Green Garden.
- Bucky Dent Water Park (2240 W 60 St., Hialeah, 305-818-2990). Highlights include a zero depth entry swimming pool, twin 30-foot waterslides and an activity pool with slide.
- Grapeland Water Park. (1550 NW 37 Ave, Miami, 305-960-2950). Grapeland offers four big attractions: Pirate’s Plunge slide, Shipwreck Island with splash fountains and two smaller slides, Captain’s Lagoon heated recreation pool and the and Buccaneer Ride lazy river.
- McDonald Water Park. (7505 W 12 Ave., Hialeah, 305-818-9164). This park is particularly great for little munchkins. Highlights include a water playground/tot lot, a 1,000-foot lazy river and a wave pool.
- Venetian Pool. (2701 de Soto Blvd, Coral Gables). This local landmark features towers, waterfall, cave-like grottos and lifeguards. The pool is 820,000 galloons and filled with spring water from an underground aquifer. Note: Children under 3 are not allowed in the facility (parents must provide proof of age 3 to enter).
Palm Beach County
- Aqua Park at Greg Norman’s Shark Wake Park (7715 Forest Hill Blvd, West Palm Beach, 561-323-3937). This floating water park spans an entire acre and offers monkey bars, climbing towers, bounce-house features and slides for 150 guests.
- Burns Road Aquatic Complex Pool. (4404 Burns Rd, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 334103 (561) 630-1100) 3 water slides, a rock climbing wall, a splash playground and a splash pad to accomodate all ages in the family.
- Calypso Bay Water Park (151 Lamstein Lane, Royal Palm Beach, 561-790-6160). Highlights include two 220-foot water slides, an 897-foot lazy river, a children’s water playground, lap pool & lily pad walk. Note: This park is only open seasonally.
- Catharine Strong Splash Park. (1500 SW 6th St, Delray Beach, FL 33444, (561) 243-7194) Fenced in splash pad with adjoining playground.
- Coconut Cove Water Park. (20130 Regional Park Dr, Boca Raton, 561-629-8840). Attractions include two four-story water slides, a children’s water playground and a 986-foot lazy river. This park is open seasonally.
- Commons Park. (11600 Poinciana Blvd, Royal Palm Beach, FL 33411, (561) 790-5140). Waterfront park with a sports center, café, pavilions, boat launch, play & splash areas & golf.
- Rapids Water Park (6566 N Military Trail, Riviera Beach, 561-848-6272). Rapids clocks in at over 30 acres and is packed with attractions for kids of all ages and fear levels. Highlights include six high speed slides, an artificial wave FlowRider, a quarter mile lazy river, an aquatic obstacle course & water play areas for the little ones.
Tampa Bay Area
- Adventure Island. 10001 McKinley Dr, Tampa, FL 33612, 813-884-4386. Located northeast of Tampa, Florida, across the street from Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. The park features 30 acres of water rides, dining, and other attractions.
- Splash Harbor Water Park. (399 Second Street, Indian Rocks Beach, FL 33785, 727-754-6492) Water park with a variety of slides, kids’ splash zones, a lazy river, casual dining & a tiki bar.
- Water Works Park. (1701 N Highland Ave, Tampa, FL 33602, 813-274-8615). Water Works Park is a park area in Tampa, Florida. The park includes a section of the Tampa Riverwalk, and extended alongside the Hillsborough River.
- Water Play at Zephyr Park. (5039 4th St, Zephyrhills, FL 33542, 813-780-0022). This park offers free admission and is unsupervised. Any use is at your own risk.
- Tarpon Springs Splash Park. 508 Live Oak St, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689, 727-942-5610). Colorful splash pad featuring maritime-themed water sprayers & covered seating areas.
- The Lift Adventure Park. (17362 Old Dixie Hwy. Hudson, FL 34667, 727-569-6472). The Lift aspires to provide a unique experience in outdoor recreation. Never been wakeboarding before? Spend your summer on the water learning how to ride.
- Aquatica Orlando(5800 Water Play Way, Orlando, FL 32821, (407) 545-5550) Florida’s first autism certified water park.
- Barber Park. (3701 Gatlin Ave, Orlando, FL 32812, 407-254-6860). Landscaped park offering a dog run, picnic facilities, sports fields, a hockey rink & a skate park.
- Bithlo Community Park. (18501 Washington Ave, Orlando, FL 32820, 407-254-1905) Happening local park featuring a water play area, a basketball court, ball fields & other options.
- Capeheart Park. (715 Capehart Dr, Orlando, FL 32822, 407- 254-9160). Green space with plenty of shade & a fitness path, plus splash & toddler-oriented playgrounds.
- Coco Key Water Park. Located in Coco Key Hotel and Resort
- Dr. Phillips Splash Pad. (7943 Fenton St, Orlando, FL 32836, 407-254-9038)
- Nona Adventure Park. 14086 Centerline Dr, Orlando, FL 32827, 407-313-2907) Water-based center with an inflatable aqua park, wakeboarding, ropes courses & climbing walls.
- Treasure Cove Water Park. Located in Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa
- Universal’s Volcano Bay Water Park (6000 Universal Boulevard Orlando, FL 32819, (407) 363-8000)
- Winter Garden Interactive Fountain & Splashpad. (119 S Lakeview Ave, Winter Garden, FL 34787, 407-656-4155)
- Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park Splash Pad. (942 Wonderwood Dr, Jacksonville, FL 32233)
- South Beach Park and Sunshine Playground. (2514 S Beach Pkwy, Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250) Recreation site with a playground, walking trail, sport courts, playing field & picnic areas.
- Losco Regional Park. (10931 Hood Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32257) City green space with a modern play structure & a splash pad, plus snacks, picnic tables & grills.
- Shipwreck Island Water Park
- St. Mary’s Aquatic Park (301 Herb Bauer Drive, St. Marys, GA 31558).