When the temperatures start to rise, there's no better place to cool off than a water park. Not that they're a purely seasonal pleasure, of course - if it's too cold for outdoor parks, there's always the indoor variety to consider. Regardless of whether you're a long-term resident or a short-term visitor, you'll find no shortage of places to enjoy some wild and wacky fun in the water in Virginia. If you're looking for some inspiration, check out our round-up of the 10 best water parks in Virginia.
10. Ocean Breeze Waterpark, Virginia Beach
Ocean Breeze Waterpark is a family-friendly, Caribbean-themed destination located in Virginia Beach. With 30 slides and attractions (including a quarter-mile lazy river, a pirate-themed waterpark for kids, and a million-gallon wave pool), it's got everything you need to guarantee hours of wild fun in the water. If you get peckish, the park offers five excellent dining options to choose between.
9. Ocean Dunes Waterpark, Arlington
The beach-themed Ocean Dunes Waterpark in Arlington promises just as much fun as you'd have at the beach, but without the inconvenience of driving there. Visitors can expect a zero-depth lap pool that's perfect for even the tiniest toddlers, a 500-gallon dumping water bucket, an awesome kids play area with mini water slides, waterfalls, and squinters, and two thrilling waterslides for adrenaline junkies. When you're ready to hit dry land, enjoy a quick round at the mini golf course.
8. SplashDown Waterpark, Manassas
According to huffpost.com, SplashDown Waterpark in the Washington, D.C. suburb of Manassas offers 'a refreshing oasis from the area's busy and often harried lifestyle.' A big part of that offering includes a 770-foot lazy river that's perfect for a relaxing drift, along with two four-story curving water slides and a sandy beach area. If you get hungry, head to Coney Island Cafe for some barbecued pulled pork sandwiches, Beach Break Boardwalk for some cheese sticks, or Paradise Pizza for a slice of pizza.
7. Massanutten WaterPark, McGaheysville
Massanutten WaterPark is always heated to 84 degrees, making it the ideal destination for some family-friendly fun regardless of the season. There's enough on offer to keep everyone from the tiniest tot to the most adventurous thrill seeker happy, with a huge variety of body slides, lazy river floats, hot tubs, waterfalls, and cannons. If that wasn't enough, there's also a giant tipping bucket and the largest surf simulator in Virginia to enjoy. If you want to relax, head for one of the private cabanas to kick back in style, or head to the White Caps Wave Pool to dig your toes into the sand on the beach.
6. Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole, Reston
If you're in Fairfax County, be sure to make time for a visit to Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole in Reston. Boasting over an acre of aquatic fun, the water park offers a huge assortment of attractions for all ages. Enjoy slides, water showers, floatables, flumes, and a huge interactive water playground. If you want to take a relaxing trip around the park, grab a tube and head for Rattlesnake River, a seven hundred and twenty-five-foot lazy river. Kids will get a kick out of the wild animals, covered wagons and water-filled ore carts in the children's area, while the whole family will love the mine shafts and tunnels at Pete's Peak.
5. Soak City, Doswell
Soak Cty boasts 20 acres of water-based fun. The undisputed king of the rides is the Aqua Blast, which ranks as the world's tallest enclosed dark tube slide. The 65' slide complex Hurricane Heights is perfect for thrill-seekers. There's also a lazy river, family raft ride, and an interactive water-powered playhouse with a swinging bridge. Little ones will love Splash Island, which includes a kiddie pool for toddlers, mini slides, inflatables, water sprays, and more besides. Once you're ready to dry off, hit the rollercoasters at the attached Kings Dominion theme park.
4. Pirate’s Cove Waterpark, Lorton
When the temperature starts to rise in Lorton, Pirate’s Cove Waterpark is the best place to cool off. Located in the Pohick Bay Regional Park, the pirate-themed waterpark is ideal for younger kids, with a huge swimming pool, a sand play area called Buccaneer Beach, a five hundred gallon dumping water bucket, and plenty of child-sized slides. It also hosts regular 'Dog Days' for anyone who wants to bring along their pet.
3. Great Waves Waterpark, Alexandria
As The Crazy Tourist says, from the most avid thrill-seeker to the youngest tot, Great Waves has something for everyone. Kids will love the splash pools, wading pool, and kids activity center, while older adrenaline junkies will find enough slides and rides to keep them in thrills and spills for days. There's even the chance for your dog to get involved in the fun at one of the regular 'Dog Days.'
2. Great Wolf Lodge, Williamsburg
Virginia.org has named Great Wolf Lodge as one of the best waterparks in Virginia. It's easy enough to see why. The 67,000-square-foot indoor waterpark boasts year-round temperatures of 84 degrees, making it the perfect destination come rain, wind, or shine. It's packed with fun rides and attractions, including a lazy river, a family flume, and a children's leisure pool. When you're ready to dry off, you'll find plenty to keep you entertained, including a 3-D movie theatre, a bowling alley, a ropes course, an arcade, and a Build-A-Bear Workshop.
1. Water Country USA, Williamsburg
Named as one of the best water parks in the US by Fodors, Water Country USA in Williamsburg has got some of the biggest rides, fastest slides, and happiest visitors in the entire country. Key highlights inside the Colossal Curl, the nation's first (and so far, only) funnel-and-wave raft attraction, Aquazoid, a thrilling four-person raft ride, and Jet Scream, which features four, 400 foot long flumes. Rock ‘n’ Roll Island, which comes with an 1100 square foot pool and a 700-foot lazy river is also unmissable. Little ones are well served with plenty of pint-size rides and slides, along with a shallow 4500 square foot pool, interactive activities, and a very cool play structure. If you get peckish, you'll find a bunch of dining options to try. There are also shopping options in case you left your goggles and towels at home.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson