08/22/2011 10:22 am ET | Updated Oct 08, 2011

Water Parks in Phoenix: A Huffington Post Travel Guide

Water parks in Phoenix are the perfect place to cool off during hot, triple-digit summer days. With raging rapids, giant wave pools, and gravity-defying water coasters, Phoenix water parks deliver thrills for the whole family. As part of a Huffington Post Travel series on family-fun parks, here is our guide to all the key information visitors need to know about water parks in Phoenix.

Big Surf

Big Surf is the oldest water park in the Phoenix area. The park features more than 18 water slides, two children's play areas and sand volleyball courts. The park has a distinct Tahitian and Hawaiian theme, and is home to Waikiki Beach, the first wave pool in North America and the third largest in terms of volume.

Waikiki Beach

With over 2.5 million gallons of water, Waikiki Beach remains one of the biggest draws at this venerable water park. Visitors can lounge by the water, bodysurf the gentle tides, or rent rafts to float in one of the country's largest wave pools.

Bora Bora Bay

Bora Bora Bay in the Kids Kool Zone features tipping tree frogs and is perfect for the climbing kids in your family. Daredevils will want to brave the Black Hole, a twisting slide that plunges you into darkness and then lands you in the water with a heart-racing splash.

Dining Options

The park has a snack bar and ice cream parlor. No outside food or drink is allowed inside the park, with the exception of sealed water bottles.

Safety Record

Our research revealed no notable news reports of safety issues or accidents at Big Surf. The park used to allow surfers on the Waikiki Beach wave pool, but the practice was discontinued in the 1980s due to safety concerns, according to Arizona Foothills Magazine.

Address: 1500 N. McClintock Dr., Tempe, AZ, 85281
Phone: 480-994-2297
Hours: May through September, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
Price: $19.50 for seniors, $26 general admission, $19.50 for children three years of age up to 48 inches tall, $3 for children two years of age and younger.

Wet 'n' Wild

Wet 'n' Wild is Arizona's biggest and newest water park. Situated on 35 acres in north Phoenix, the park is home to more than 30 water slides and attractions.

Defy Gravity

Wet 'n' Wild is home to Maximum Velocity, the world's first gravity-defying Master Blaster water coaster. This one-of-a-kind coaster, featuring exhilarating curves, uphill climbs and thrilling drops, lets guest race in tandem tubes on parallel slide tracks. This one is not for the faint of heart.

The Constrictor

The Constrictor, Wet 'n' Wild's latest water slide, shoots riders down an enclosed flume slide featuring tight, serpentine turns before sending them splashing into the water. There's also the Soak 'em Playground, an interactive "spray ground" featuring whimsical sprinklers and sprouts designed to delight very young children.

Sit Down Or Dine On-The-Go

Wet 'n' Wild offers a variety of dining options for visitors. The main indoor restaurant is the Point Break Cafe, featuring three dining areas, including the American Grill, Fiesta Cafe and Italian Kitchen. Located outdoors by the wave pool, Sharky's Eats & Drinks serves an assortment of beer and wine beverages for adult guests. There are also several on-site snack bars and refreshment carts.

Safety Record

Our research reveals no notable news reports of safety issues or accidents at Wet 'n' Wild.

Address: 4243 W. Pinnacle Peak Road Glendale, AZ 85310-4002
Phone: 623-201-2000
Hours: June through September, open daily, hours vary.
Price: $34.99 general admission, $27.99 junior and senior admission.

Other Noteworthy Parks Near Phoenix

Mesa Golfland Sunsplash
Oasis Water Park at the Arizona Grand Resort
Salt River Tubing
Hole-in-the-Wall River Ranch at the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort
Breakers Water Park in Tucson

What's your favorite water park in Arizona?

Check out more WATER PARKS.