When beating the summertime heat, few excursions are more enjoyable than diving into a big, welcoming water park. Americans so love these aquatic adventures that theres's even a National Waterpark Day.
Fortunately, as the temperatures rise (and you and the kids need a day-long activity), Houston offers several options that are well worth the drive. We've rounded up a list of water parks that'll have you swimming, slipping, and sliding away the Houston sultriness.
Located off Highway 288 and CR 418 in Rosharon, Altitude H20 is a new and wildly popular floating water park. Here, guests can bounce around on a 25,000-square-foot, inflatable aqua park and obstacle course. Expect obstacles such as a balance beam, wiggle bridge, monkey bars, trampolines, and half-pipe. Each 45-minute session costs $20. Noon-5 pm.
The everything-but-the-kitchen-sink amusement complex in Galveston also has its own water park hangout, known as Palm Beach. That's where you'll find its Lazy River attraction, its 18-foot tower slides and, of course, the wave pool. Tickets are $23.95 ($18.95 kids and seniors; free for children 3 and under). 9 am-7 pm. (9 am-10 pm Friday-Saturday)
This Baytown park has all the required attractions: wave pool, lazy river, slides, and play structures. But the complex also has such amusingly named, high-speed rides as the Flowrider, the Space Bowl, and the Boomerango. Anyone taller than 48 inches pays $20, while people below four feet pay $15. ($5 more Friday-Sunday) 11 am-7 pm. (10 am-7 pm Friday-Sunday)
Schlitterbahn Waterpark Galveston
The Galveston favorite has the perhaps the craziest-named speed slides in Texas — including Rohr!, Cliffhanger, and the Screaming Serpents body slides. A great bonus: If you hate being out in the sun, this park has you covered (literally) with Wasserfest, its indoor/convertible waterpark. Day passes are $50.99 ($38.99 for kids and seniors). 10 am-8 pm.
Typhoon Texas Waterpark
The Katy attraction already won our hearts when it opened two years ago, with its 25,000-square-foot wave pool and cabanas for rent. The park is currently getting in the holiday spirit early with its weeklong "Christmas in July" celebration. Any-day passes are $39.99. ($19.99-$39.99 for choose-your-day tickets) 10:30 am-7 pm. (10:30 am-9 pm Friday-Saturday)
Wet 'n' Wild Splashtown
This Spring institution is nearly 35 years old and continues to be the one of Texas' most beloved and familiar water parks, with thrill rides, kids rides, family rides — and even a three-story tree house on the premises. Tickets are $45.99 ($34.99 for kids). 10 am-7 pm. (10 am-8 pm Friday-Sunday)
Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp & Resort
The Waller theme park provides a fine place to camp out. It also offers two water slides (including the 565-foot Jelly Roll water slide), a lazy river, a swimming pool with a swim-up bar, and other fun, watery stuff. A visitor's day pass is $19 (kids 3 and under get in free). 10 am-7 pm.
Opening soon: Big Rivers Waterpark
Locals have been eagerly watching the construction — which has been delayed due to recent storms — of this New Caney water park, which is slated to open this summer. Big Rivers staff advises that interested guests visit its website to see the exciting attractions, such as the Gator Splash — which they claim is the largest interactive play structure in Texas — and the floating fortress known as Wild Isle. Tickets are $29.99 (free for children 2 and under).