While there are no water parks in Seattle proper, a quick drive down I-5 will bring you to a pair of attractions that offer rides and aquatic fun for people of all ages. 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 the water parks near Seattle.
Wild Waves is known throughout the Northwest as one of the best water parks around. It features some thrilling and fast water slides, a few slower ones to entertain the little riders and a number of other aquatic diversions. And once you've dried off, check out the more typical amusement park rides to keep your heart beating.
Signature RideWild Waves proudly advertises their brand new water attraction, the Cannon Bowl. Riders drop into a chute that swirls them around an outer perimeter, then moves them slowly into the center, at which point they fall through the Corkscrew and into a splash pool below.
Other AttractionsWild Waves has a 24,000 foot wave pool (one of the largest in the region), a 50-foot family raft ride and 20 other water slides for visitors to enjoy.
FoodThere's plenty of food at Wild Waves, and most of it is typical theme-park fare: burgers, chicken strips, ice cream and -- of course -- lots of fried goods.
Safety RecordUntil recently, the safety record for Wild Waves has been spotless. But recently a pair of malfunctions on a couple of their rides caused some concern. Luckily, no one was hurt in either incident, both rides have been fixed and inspected and they're ready to roll.
Address: 36201 Enchanted Pkwy S, Federal Way, WA 98003
Hours: The park is open May through October, but times vary. Check the park's website for more information.
Price: General admission or 48 inches and up, $39.99; general admission after 4pm, $19.99; junior admission or under 48 inches, $29.99; senior admission 55 years and up, $29.99; ADA admission, $29.99; Active military admission, $29.99; children 3 years and younger, free.
Be advised that there are fees for parking and for lockers (should you use the water park), and note that some rides cost a little extra. If you buy your tickets to the park online, you can save some money -- they sometimes drop the cost of an adult ticket by as much as $10.
Great Wolf Lodge
While the waterpark itself is only available to people staying at the hotel, Great Wolf Lodge might just be the perfect spot for your family's Northwest vacation. An impressive number of activities are available for young ones, like the indoor waterpark and the high-tech, interactive games.
Signature RideFort Mackenzie is a four-story treehouse in the center of the water park. It promises to leave kids completely drenched -- especially if they get caught under the 1,000 gallon bucket, which slowly fills up before tipping over on to anyone standing nearby.
Other AttractionsGreat Wolf Lodge also features River Canyon Run, a large waterslide meant for raft rides. The whole family will love the wave pool known as Slap Tail Pond, as well as Big Foot Pass, a water-based agility challenge for toddlers and big kids alike.
FoodAs with any resort, guests will face a dizzying number of food options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This means fast food like Pizza Hut, but it also means a large buffet-style restaurant and a bar & grill.
Safety RecordJust this year, the Great Wolf Lodge was recognized for their water safety excellence, with the Grand Mound location achieving Platinum status by Ellis & Associates. Also, two of the Grand Mound lifeguards were given awards for their hard work.
Address: 20500 Old Highway 99 SW, Grand Mound, WA 98531
Hours: Open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Price: Rates vary depending on the size of the room you book. Check the website for more information.
Other Noteworthy Parks
Splash Down Waterpark
Arne Hanna Aquatic Center
Asotin County Family Aquatic Center
What are your family's favorite Seattle water parks?
Check out more WATER PARKS.