With temperatures on the rise, a trip to one of these water-themed parks might just be the perfect way to keep cool and have fun. Here are some well-known (and some not-so-well-known) Garden State water parks to visit for the 2016 season.
1. Six Flags: Hurricane Harbor (Jackson)
One of the better-known water parks in New Jersey, Six Flags Hurricane Harbor boasts a handful of unique water attractions to slip and slide on this summer. A general admission day pass allows visitors to enjoy the day how they please whether it’s tubing down the relaxing Taak It Eezee Creek, riding the waves in the 696,000 gallon Blue Lagoon wave pool or embarking on a fearsome 75-foot drop on Jurahnimo Falls. NEW: The Caribbean Cove water play area, new to the park in 2016, includes more than 55 interactive features, a giant beach area, 300 new lounge chairs, a shade canopy and more.
Ticket Price: Day passes for 2016 are $44.99 for adults and $34.99 for children under 48”; children two and under are free.
Hours: Hurricane Harbor is currently open on weekends from 10:30 am to 6:30 pm now until June 18, when the park’s summer hours begin. From June 18 through September 5, the park will be open daily from 10:30 am to 6:30 pm.
Tip: The Two Park Combo Gold Pass includes one free season parking pass as well as admission to Six Flags: Great Adventure, so if you live close by and plan on visiting either one of the parks more than once, it may make sense to purchase a season pass. You can also save up to $8 if you purchase tickets online, here.
2. Splash Zone (Wildwood)
Home to 300,000 gallons of water-based fun, this water park offers 20 attractions for people of all ages. Visitors can cool down under the one-of-a-kind Giant Dumping Bucket—which dumps 1,000 gallons of water every three minutes—or take a ride on the Beast of the East, a five person raft ride that offers amazing views of the boardwalk and beach.
Mingle with your favorite drink in-hand at the park’s new Flow Bar or rent your own private cabana and take a summer nap.
Ticket Price: Day passes for 2016 are $38.99 for adults and $29.99 for children under 48”.
Hours: The park will be open daily from 11 am to 5:30 pm beginning May 28 through June 12. Beginning June 18 through September 5, the park will be open daily with various opening and closing times.
Tip: The park offers special discount deals on park passes during certain hours—Morning Madness passes, for visitors to the park from opening until noon and Last Call passes, for visitors to the park from 3 pm until closing—both deals are $25.99 for adults, and $19.99 for children under 48”. Check out their website for more information.
3. Tomahawk Lake Water Park (Sparta)
Situated on 200 acres, this water-themed park has more than just rides. The scenic grounds include an 18-hole miniature golf course, an outdoor beer garden, horseshoe and volleyball areas, a softball field and more than 800 picnic tables situated around the park’s 20 acre lake.
Tomahawk Lake Waterpark also includes a handful of water slides and unique rides, some of which land the riders straight into the lake. Visitors to the park can traverse the 610-foot long Apache Plunge flume raft ride or dive down the Sioux Slide, a 400-foot long speed slide.
Ticket Price: The 2016 general weekend admission for adults is $14 and children $12—plus an additional $15 for unlimited water slides per rider. For additional fees, visitors can also rent out rowboats ($3), paddle boats ($4), swan and duck boats ($5) and more to enjoy on the lake.
Hours: The park will be open on weekends from 9 am to 6:30 pm beginning May 28, running through June 12. Beginning June 18, the park will be open daily from 9 am to 6:30 pm on weekends and holidays, and 10 am to 5:30 pm on weekdays.
Tip: Although there is an ATM on site, the park is cash only—no debit or credit cards are accepted—so make sure to bring some moola with you.
4. Runaway Rapids (Keansburg)
Runaway Rapids offers nearly two dozen different rides including 18 water slides with varying speeds, heights and splash zones, a kiddie lagoon, a separate toddler play area, two spa pools and their own take on the classic lazy river—Castaway Creek.
Ticket Price: For 2016, a two-hour ticket is $25.95; a three-hour ticket is $27.95. Season passes are $149 a person or $447 for a family of four.
Hours: The park will open at 11 am on weekends beginning May 28 running through June 5. From June 11 to 19, the park will be open daily at 11am. From June 20 through September 5, the park opens at 10 am. Closing times vary depending on weather and park occupancy.
Tip: If you would like to go to the park to watch others get soaked but would like to stay dry yourself, ask for the Dry Spectators pass for $9.95.
5. Action Park (Vernon)
Action Park’s motto, “extreme before extreme existed,” perfectly sums up this action-packed water park.
The park—formerly known as Mountain Creek Waterpark—offers quite a few fan favorites that keep adrenaline junkies returning each summer. Visitors can free fall from the woodsy canopy into crystal clear water on the Tarzan Swings, take the 23-foot jump off Canyon Cliffs or brave the “Wild West” on Jersey’s version of the Colorado River full of waterfalls, river rapids and enclosed tunnels.
Ticket Price: 2016 Day passes for adults are $45.99, tickets for those under 48” and seniors are $29.99. Children two and under are free.
Hours: The park will officially open on June 11—park operating hours will be announced soon.
Tip: For those arriving during “Twilight Hours,” or three hours prior to the park closing, the park offers a discounted entrance fee of $24.99 for adults and $21.99 for those under 48”.
6. Breakwater Beach (Seaside Heights)
Formerly known as Water Works, Jenkinson’s Breakwater Beach Waterpark at Casino Pier has several new rides (that opened last season) including two slides, an aqua drop, a serpentine slide and a Wave Pool outfitted with a picturesque water fall for swimmers to enjoy.
The park is also home to classic rides like Patriot’s Plunge, a six-lane racing slide, the Revolutionary Wild River, where riders avoid cannons and new surprises at every turn and The Perfect Storm, an interactive water playground which features the Nantucket Bucket, which dumps 800 gallons of water on anyone in its path.
Ticket Price: 2016 Day passes are $34.95 for adults and $28.95 for those under 48”.
Park Hours: The park will be open on weekends from 10 am to 6 pm beginning Memorial Day weekend (including Monday) through June 19. The park will be open daily from 10 am to 6pm from June 22 to 26 as well as from August 20 to September 4. The park will be open from 9:30 am to 6:30 pm from June 27 to August 19.
Tip: The water park is situated at Casino Pier. Visitors planning to spend the day can purchase Ride/Slide day passes to enjoy both unlimited waterpark and pier rides.
7. Raging Waters and Ocean Oasis Water Park & Beach Club (Wildwood)
Ahoy mateys! Raging Waters Water Park at Morey’s Piers offers tons of unique attractions for its visitors—including the Shipwreck Shoals interactive pirate ship fit for both parents and kids.
After you’ve found the treasure, head on over to the 175,000 gallon Activity Pool or embark on an adventure on Sky Pond Journey—an unique ride where tubers slide into four different elevated pools as they venture towards the final splash.
A separate park altogether, Ocean Oasis Water Park & Beach Club , is home to Cliff Dive, a waterslide that drops thrill seekers five stories in three seconds. The park also includes WipeOut, a six lane racer slide as well as Water Lillies Swim Up Bar, a hideaway where you can enjoy a nice cool drink surrounded by bubbles and geysers.
Ticket Price: 2016 Day passes are $45 for adults, $37 for children over 48″.
Hours: The park will be open from 10 am to 5 pm on beginning Memorial Day weekend (including Monday) as well as June 1-5, 11-12, 18-24 and from 11 am to 5 pm June 13-17. The park will be open daily from 9:30 am to 6 pm from June 25 through September 5.
Tip: Although Morey’s Piers is home to two different water parks, the general admission pass includes access to both parks. The park offers an “After 3 pm Special,” where tickets are discounted to $25 for adults and $20 for children under 48″.
8. Thundering Surf Water Park (Long Beach Island)
Located in the heart of Beach Haven, Thundering Surf Water Park features eight giant watersides, a Lazy Crazy River, and FlowRider, where visitors can test their skills “flow boarding” on waves with boogie boards.
Ticket Price: For 2016, two-hour passes are $28.99 for those 42” and over and $23.99 for those 42” and under. Seniors and children two years and under are $13.99.
Hours: The park will be open Memorial Day weekend from 11 am to 6 pm on Saturday and Sunday and 11 am to 5 pm on Monday. Summer hours will be updated on the park’s website soon.
Tip: Had enough water? Head on over to Thundering Surf Adventure Golf to play 18- or 36-holes of miniature golf. The Surf & Turf pass ($33.99) allows for two hours of water park fun and one round of golf.
9. Sahara Sam’s Oasis Indoor Water Park (West Berlin)
If it happens to get too hot or too wet outside this summer, head on over to Sahara Sam’s Oasis Indoor Water Park—58,000 square feet of arcade and aquatic fun. Open year-round, the park is celebrating their sixth summer season, with both indoor and outdoor attractions.
Catch some waves on the Flow Rider, New Jersey’s only indoor surfing simulator, or take a ride on the Nile Mile, a super fast, 350-foot body slide for those brave enough to take the tubeless dive. The park also has a few restaurants where parents can relax with a tropical drink while watching their kids slide, dip and dive.
NEW: The park’s recent 10,000 square-foot addition, called the Mirage and featuring a family leisure pool and two additional water slides, officially opens Memorial Day weekend.
Ticket Price: General admission tickets are $29.95 online; $34.95 at the door. Twilight tickets are $24.95 online; $26.95 at the door. Annual passes are on sale online for $59.95.
Hours: The park is open from 10 am to 7pm Thursday through Monday now through June 5. The park will be open daily at 10 am (with various closing times) beginning June 9 and running through September 5.
Tip: No admission is required to visit Sam’s Indoor Arcade. Full of classic claw machines, skeeball and more, it’s a perfect way to spend a rainy day.
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