While Miami is swarming with beaches and swanky hotel pools, sometimes the weather calls for more than an ordinary dip in salt water. Enter water parks. Plunge down an exhilarating water slide, float down mile-long lazy rivers and cool down in the heat. Here’s our guide to the best water parks to chill out in and around the city.
You may have to wake up early to beat the long queues to the water slide, but the mecca of water parks is worth rising early for. South Florida’s largest water park boasts a thrilling seven-story water slide for those who can stomach the drop, a giant wave pool, and a long lazy river to work on your tan. Whether you seek an adrenaline rush or simply want to feel like a mermaid, the 30-acre park is your oyster. Admission Fees: Monday–Friday (No Holidays), $42.99 plus tax; Saturday–Sunday (And Holidays), $47.99 plus tax; Children two and under are admitted for free.
For those unbearably hot and humid Miami days, Hialeah’s McDonald Water Park has the cure. Prop yourself on a floaty and tube down the 1,000-foot (305-meter) lazy river for a cooling splash underneath the waterfall. The park also has a wave pool with fluctuating wave patterns to keep it exciting and a water playground for kiddies to spend the day.
With two 30-foot-high (9.1 meters) water slides, you can bet you’re going for seconds, thirds, fourths and so on. Snake through the two water slides that dump into a three-foot (0.9-meter) pool because there’s no other way to beat the 100°F (38°C) weather in the Magic City. Parents and their toddlers can wade in the zero-depth entry swimming pool or enjoy a splash at the activity pool with slide. The water park is conveniently located in Hialeah; therefore, you can skip a long drive.
It may be quite the stretch to drive to Palm Beach, but the determined few will be rewarded. Calypso Bay Water Park features an astounding 897-foot (273-meter) river ride, a lily pad walk, and a children’s water playground. Glide through the two four-story water slides or do laps in their swimming pool with diving boards. The park conveniently offers locker rentals to store your change of clothes as well as shower facilities, and when you get the munchies from all the physical activity, grab a hot dog at the concession stand.
*All fees subject to 7% sales tax. Adult (12 years & older) $10.60; Senior (65+) & Military (with ID) $8.60; Child (3–11 years of age) $8.60; Toddler (one- and two-year-olds) $4.60; Infant (under one year of age) Free.
Run by the same company as Calypso, Coconut Cove Water Park in Boca Raton features very similar amenities. Along with the 897-foot (273-meter) river ride, lily pad walk, water playground, and water slides, the park also has a recreational pool. (It’s also a shorter drive from Miami than Calypso!) Admission Fees: *All fees subject to 7% sales tax. Adult (12 years & older) $10.60; Senior (65+) & Military (with ID) $8.60; Child (3–11 years of age) $8.60; Toddler (one- and two-year-olds) $4.60; Infant (under one year of age) Free.
The sprawling water park in the 3-0-5 boasts a host of amusement rides for adults and children. Shipwreck Island features two slides, water shooting cannons, and a shallow water play area for toddlers. Adults and kids can enjoy racing through the three slides in Pirate’s Plunge and float down the Buccaneer River equipped with water sprayers and fountains to splash you while you glide through. Feeling refreshed? Head to Captain’s Lagoon to relax in the heated pool with both deep and shallow areas. Admission Fees: Adults 14 years and over: non-residents $15, Miami-Dade County Residents $12; Children 2–13 years old $7; Ages one and younger are free.
Four five-story coiled water slides make this Paradise Cove a true water park haven. The rides are pumped with 400 gallons of water per minute to slide you through and eventually drop you in a four-foot-deep (1.2 meters) plunge pool. If Paradise Pipeline’s height scares you, you can always wind through the Crazy Creek tube ride or wade in the pool at Sharky’s Lagoon. Children five and under can play in the water playground that features two water slides for the kiddies and a 12-inch-deep pool. Admission Fees: $10/person for all-day admission and $6.75/person after 3 p.m. Children under one year of age are admitted for free.