When temperatures hit 100 °F (37 °C) in Dallas-Fort Worth, locals and visitors scramble for a place to stay cool, and we know exactly where that’s at: water parks. Our list contains water parks at hotels, year-round indoor water parks, low-key water parks, and water parks with thrilling, high-intensity rides. Check them out, and stay cool, friends!
While Hurricane Harbor has plenty of kid-friendly areas across its 47 acres, the main attractions at this park appeal to thrillseekers. As the largest water park in North Texas, Hurricane Harbor is known for its heart-pounding slides and tubes. If you have kids in tow, the new Splashwater Beach is an interactive water playground with almost 40 different water features. For those wanting something a little more extreme, the Der Stuka offers two seven-story, free-fall slides that drop passengers 72 feet (22 meters). Plenty more exciting rides abound, and “Dive-In Movies” are offered on select Friday nights in the wave pool.
With nine water slides, six splash pools, and one “gigantic tipping bucket,” all spread out over 80,000 square feet, it’s no wonder people flock to this indoor water park to escape the blistering sun. The water park is reserved exclusively for guests staying at the Great Wolf Lodge, which helps with overcrowding and long lines. An array of dining options are available on-site, and “Story Time” — where younger guests wear their pajamas while listening to bedtime stories at the Great Clock Tower — happens every night.
Water parks don’t have to be an expensive affair. There’s some, like Bahama Beach Waterpark, that make for an easy, fun visit. It’s just 10 minutes south of downtown Dallas and has an array of family-friendly water activities. There’s a lazy river, dumping buckets, 45-foot-tall (13-meter-tall) water slides, slide races, high-speed slides with tubes, and water balloon games. It doesn’t hurt that general admission for adults is only $15 and $11 for kids.
The Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center is a luxury resort in Grapevine, Texas that attracts convention-goers and visitors for its lush gardens, spa, 10 restaurants, views of Grapevine Lake, and interior river walk. They are also known for their 10-acre western-themed water park, Paradise Springs. In addition to a lazy river and a lagoon, Paradise Springs has a new multi-level water playground, zip-line, 27-foot (8-meter) waterslide, hot tub, and indoor and outdoor pools.
North Richardson folks love visiting their resident water park, NRH2O Family Water Park. The rides at this water park are impressive. There’s a 330-foot (100-meter) body slide called the Sidewinder. Riggamaroll is a 98-foot (30-meter) Champion Bowl slide. NRH2O features multiple single-ride slides that range from calm to high-thrill. The Green Extreme is their most notable slide with the longest line. At 1,161 feet long (354 meters) and 81 feet (25 meters) tall, it’s the world’s largest uphill water-coaster. You’ll also find a bay, wave pool, dive-in movies, and small children’s water play area. With a location in North Richardson, right between Dallas and Fort Worth, it’s perfect for anyone visiting or living in the metroplex.
Outdoor water parks in North Texas must shut their doors when winter comes around, but not Epic Waters Water Park. This indoor water park just opened in 2018 in Grand Prairie, Texas, and it’s making waves. You’ll find the basics here like pools and a snack bar, plus some pretty thrilling, one-of-a-kind rides. They have the nation’s tallest indoor AquaLoop slide, named the Lassoloop. The Yellow Jacket Drop is a combination of the Boomerango and Constrictor slides and the first slide of its kind to be placed indoors. On this slide, inner tubers speed through an enclosed slide and experience a zero-gravity drop. Those with friends will want to try the Aquanaut, the first indoor double-rider Aquasphere inner tube ride. If those rides seem too thrilling for you, keep in mind that Epic Waters has a wide array of other rides and slides as well.