Washington has a number of water parks spread throughout the state -- parks that offer a great experience for young and old who like to get wet. 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 Washington.
Wild Waves is known throughout the Northwest as one of the best water parks around. It features some thrillingly fast water slides, slower slides for the little ones and a number of other aquatic adventures. The park is also features a number of awesome theme park rides -- like the iconic Timber Axe -- and roller coasters, for folks that want to have fun and stay dry.
Cannon BowlOne of the park's newer rides, the Cannon Bowl, drops riders into a chute, swirls them around an outer perimeter that moves them slowly into the center, then drops them through a corkscrew slide into a splash pool below. It's definitely one of the wilder attractions at Wild Waves.
Massive AttractionsWild Waves boasts one of the largest wave pools in the region, measuring in at 24,000 feet. There's also big fun to be had on the park's 50-foot family raft ride, and on the 20 other water slides that visitors can enjoy. Be sure to check out the park's non-aquatic rides as well. Swing on the Timber Axe's dizzying pendulum, or catch a ride on an old-fashioned wooden coaster.
Fast FoodThere's plenty of food to enjoy at Wild Waves and the assortment is typical of a theme park: burgers, chicken strips, ice cream and lots of fried goods.
Safety RecordAccording to the Tacoma News Tribune, there have been two recent incidents of ride malfunctions at Wild Waves. No one was injured and both rides have reportedly been repaired.
Address: 36201 Enchanted Parkway South, Federal Way, WA 98003
Hours: The park is open May through October. Hours of operation vary, so call ahead or check the park website for details.
Price: Admission ranges from $19.99 to $39.99, depending upon the age and height of the visitor. Be advised that there are fees for parking, lockers and some rides that cost extra. Discounts are available online.
Although getting to this park involves a bit of a trek out to eastern Washington, Slide Waters is more affordable than its closest counterpart, Wild Waves. But less money doesn't mean less fun. Slide Waters features eight water slides, a huge hot tub and soaking pool and play areas for toddlers and kids. The park bills itself as "exhilarating fun, whether you're seven months or 70 years old."
Purple HazeThe signature ride at Slide Waters is the Purple Haze. Named for the deep purple color of its tube, this enclosed water slide sends patrons down 450 feet in pitch black darkness before dumping them into a splash pool.
Thunder Rapids, Tube BlasterSlidewaters also has the Thunder Rapids, a river ride that up to four people can enjoy, the 400-foot Tube Blaster (a single- or double-tube ride) and other slides for both kids and adults. There's also a huge green space next to the park that is perfect for picnics and games of volleyball. The park itself is located on a butte high up above scenic Lake Chelan.
Food OptionsSlidewaters offers up typical amusement park fare: burgers, hot dogs, chicken strips and a variety of fried goods for lunch. There's also ice cream, elephant ears and candy for dessert.
Safety RecordOur research revealed no notable accidents or safety concerns at Slidewaters.
Address: 102 Waterslide Drive, Chelan, WA 98816
Hours:The park is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Price: General admission (over 4 feet tall), $17; children under 4 feet tall, $14; children 2 and under, free. Show up three hours before closing and you'll save $3 off the cost of admission.
Other Noteworthy Parks Near Washington
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Photo: Jeff Sandquist; Flickr.