Water parks in Baltimore offer fun ways to beat the heat. With lots of thrilling slides and a variety of attractions for all ages, water parks can keep a family entertained for hours. As part of a Huffington Post Travel series on family parks, here is our guide to all the key information visitors need to know about Baltimore parks.
Six Flags America
Six Flags America, which is located approximately 40 minutes from Baltimore, is home to a large water park that features, among other attractions, a variety of high-speed slides, a huge wave pool and an area designed especially for the little ones where they can splash and play to their heart's content.
The TornadoSix Flag America's Tornado is almost as terrifying as the real deal. Raft riders first drop down through an enclosed tube into a funnel, where they spin around like they've been caught in a wicked wind vortex. Finally, when the Tornado has had enough fun with its victims, it sends them plunging down to a pool below.
Bahama BlastSix Flags America has a lot of different slides including Bahama Blast, a 517-foot tube ride, and the Halfpipe, a four-story-tall "half-pipe" built to resemble the ones skateboarders perform tricks on. For the youngsters, Six Flags America has Buccaneer Beach, it's kid-friendly play and splash zone.
Popular Chain RestaurantsSix Flags America has Subway restaurants and a Johnny Rockets Express on site, in addition to the typical amusement park food, such as burgers and hot dogs.
Safety RecordOur research revealed no notable news reports of accidents or safety issues at the Six Flags water park, Hurricane Harbor.
Address: 13710 Central Ave., Upper Marlboro, MD 20721
Hours: From Memorial Day to Labor Day, the water park opens at 11 a.m. and closes at 7 p.m.
Price: Ages 2 and under, free; juniors under 48 inches, $34.99; general admission, $54.99
Great Waves Water Park
Great Waves Water Park, which is located approximately one hour from Baltimore, offers guests a number of wet and wild diversions on a hot summer day, including a wave pool, twisting slides and Kid Zone, an area just for the little ones.
Twisting SlidesThe Reef Body Slides, three colorful, twisting flumes towering over the rest of Great Waves Water Park, are hard to miss and just scream out to be ridden. Guests climb four stories to reach the top and then go flying down its twists and turns for a fast and fun ride.
The Wave PoolGreat Waves features, of course, great waves in the form of a pumping, half-acre wave pool. For the toddlers, there is a wading pool and a splash pad area where kids can run around under Funbrellas spouting showers of cool water.
Dining OptionsFood choices at Great Waves include typical amusement park-type fare such as hot dogs, french fries and chicken tenders. If visitors have a big event or gathering, Great Waves has pavilion areas that it rents out. The park can also provide catering services, as well.
Safety RecordOur research revealed no notable news reports of accidents or safety issues at Great Waves Waterpark. The park employs lifeguards that regularly go through safety audits. For the past three years, the Great Waves's staff was ranked "World Class" by the National Aquatic Safety Company.
Address: 4001 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22304
Hours: Memorial Day Weekend, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. June 1 through June 16, closed Monday through Thursday. Fridays, 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Weekends, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. June 17 through Sept. 5, open daily 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., except for July 4th, when it closes at 6 p.m.
Price: Weekends: Over 48 inches, $15; $12 for those under 48 inches. Individuals older than 55 pay $9. Weekdays, Over 48 inches, $14.50; $11.50 for those under 48 inches. Individuals older than 55 pay $8
Other Noteworthy Parks Near BaltimoreGlenn Dale Splash Park
Allentown Splash, Tennis and Fitness Park
Germantown Outdoor Pool
Jungle Jim's Water Park, Rehoboth Beach, DE
Cascade Lake Water Park
What's one of your favorite water parks in Baltimore?
Photo: Phaesia2011/ Flickr
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