Water parks in Miami offer a variety of fun for the whole family, from fast-action attractions to rides that parents and kids can enjoy together. Miami's water parks offer the ideal way to catch relief from the warm weather and thrills you'll never forget. As part of a Huffington Post Travel series on parks, here is our guide to all the key information visitors need to know about Miami water parks. --Rhonda Bunton
Rapids Water ParkLocated in West Palm Beach, Rapids Water Park has over 30 acres of attractions, including 35 water slides, a 25,000-sqaure foot wave pool and a quarter-mile river. The park also features several rides and areas for young children, as well as a 30-horse 1950 Herschell Carousel.
Big ThunderBig Thunder, one of the most popular attractions at Rapids, is noted as being the largest water ride in Florida. This four-person tube ride is definitely for thrill-seekers -- it reaches over 20 miles per hour and sends riders racing up the sides of its funnel.
Rapid RidesVisitors who are looking for fast rides should check out Black Thunder, Body Blasters and Tubin' Tornadoes. Those who just want to relax and cool off will enjoy the Big Surf wave pool and Lazy River, while the younger set will have fun splashing around in Alligator Alley, Splish Splash Lagoon and the Tadpool.
Big Surf SnacksRapids does not allow any outside food or drink, but has two full service snack bars, known as Big Surf Cafes, an ice cream parlor, snow cone stand and shaded picnic areas near the entrance gates. Guests can dine on burgers, pizza, hot dogs, chicken, nachos and soft drinks at Big Surf Cafe.
Safety RecordIn July 2008, there were two accidents at Rapids Water Park within the span of one week, on consecutive days. The accidents are thought to have resulted from patron error, and inspectors did not find anything mechanically wrong with the rides in question. No one involved was seriously injured, and no lawsuits were filed.
Address: 6566 N. Military Trail, Riviera Beach, FL 33407
Hours: Open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Sunday, weather permitting. Visitors are advised to call ahead to ensure the park will be open.
Price: Free for children ages 2 and younger; $38.95 per person Monday through Friday; $40.95 per person Saturday, Sunday and holidays.
Grapeland Water Park
If you're looking for an affordable way for your family to have fun and cool off, Grapeland Water Park, named one of the "Best Water Parks in South Florida" by CBS Miami, is the place to visit. There are attractions for children of all ages, including Shipwreck Island, a place for babies and toddlers to splash around, and Pirate's Plunge, which has fast slides for older children.
Take The PlungeThose looking for thrills should head to Pirate's Plunge, which contains Grapeland's many water slides. This zero-entry area also has a huge bucket which periodically fills and dumps -- guests can stand underneath it to receive the ultimate soaking.
Big Screen FunIn addition to its many pools, visitors to Black Beard's Beach can catch a dine-in movie. The movies are always family-friendly and appropriate for children of all ages. Grapeland Water Park also offers swim classes for all levels and ages, as well as cardio river walking and water aerobics fitness programs.
Dining OptionsGrapeland offers typical concessions that vary throughout the year. No outside food or drinks are allowed inside the park.
Safety RecordOur research revealed no notable news reports of accidents or safety issues at Grapeland. The park does have a system to evacuate guests in the event of lightening, and American Red Cross-certified lifeguards teach its swim classes.
Address: 1550 NW 37 Ave., Miami, FL 33125
Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Sunday during the summer.
Price: Free for children 1 and younger; $5 for children ages 2 to 13; $10 for Miami-Dade county residents ages 14 and older; $12 for nonresidents ages 14 and older.
Other Noteworthy Parks Near MarylandSun Splash Big Kahuna's Wild Waters Wet 'n Wild Shipwreck Island
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