IN NORTH JERSEY
DreamWorks Water Park brings the fun all year round inside American Dream in East Rutherford. Not only is it the largest indoor water park in Northern America, it’s always a perfect 81 degrees (F) and home to your favorite DreamWorks characters. Big kid must-do thrills: Plunge down the 14-story-high Thrillagascar & Jungle Jammer, take on the world’s tallest speedslide at Surfari Slider and feel the G-forces in The Carnivortex. Little kid laidback chills: Tots as small as 36” can play the day away in the Kungfu Panda Temple of Awesomeness and The Penguins Frozen Fun Zone.
When it isn’t skiing and snow tubing season, Mountain Creek Waterpark in Vernon is the peak place to make a summery splash. Big kid must-do thrills: Be sure to tackle Bombs Away and Canyon Cliff Jumps. Little kid laidback chills: There’s splish-splashing fun to be had in the Fishing Village, Sprayground, Lost Island, Li’l Dippers and The Hook.
Tomahawk Lake Water Park in Sparta brings the freshwater fun with bumper, paddle, swan and duck boats you can use to navigate the park’s 20-acre lake. Rather be IN the water than ON it? You have your choice of slides that end in splash pools or the lake itself. Big kid must-do thrills: Take a coaster ride down a ramp that will have you skimming over six-to-eight feet of freshwater or tackle a speed slide that will shoot you down a single tube into the lake. Little kid laidback chills: Kiddos 45” and taller can ride a trio of slides – with two designed for non-swimmers.
The whole family can pretend they’re on a high-seas adventure at the Land of Make Believe & Pirate’s Cove in Hope. Big kid must-do thrills: The only one of its kind in the tri-state area, the Sidewinder makes you feel like you’re “going off the edge of the Earth.” Or race your friends on the Pirate’s Escape and Pirate’s Revenge. Little kid laidback chills: Explore Blackbeard’s Pirate Fort or Pirate Ship and make a splash in Pirate’s Cove Wading Pool.
The Splashplex is the outdoor water park side of The Funplex indoor/outdoor amusement park and entertainment complex in East Hanover. Big kid must-do thrills: Drop five stories in six seconds flat on the Speed Slides. Little kid laidback chills: Jump right into the action with water blasters, splash detonators and a massive hydro tower.
IN CENTRAL JERSEY
Six Flags Hurricane Harbor in Jackson is filled with wow-a-minute water rides. Big kid must-do thrills: Face a mind-blowing 75-foot drop on Cannonball, Wahini and Jurahnimo Falls. Challenge your friends on the Big Wave Racer to see who reaches the bottom of these 1,800-foot slides (with sudden steep drops!) first. And hop aboard one of two turbo toboggan rides on Hurricane Mountain. Little kid laidback chills: Parents get in on the fun when they take their not-so-big kiddos on a family raft down the Big Bambu and Reef Runner or by wading into the 696,000-gallon Blue Lagoon wave pool.
In Keansburg, take the plunge at Runaway Rapids, where you’ll be greeted by two dozen water rides for all ages. Big kid must-do thrills: You’ll not only speed down but UP on Volcanic Revenge! You can also slip and slide on Soaring Thunder and Mega Bunga Falls. Little kid laidback chills: The tiniest tots can make a big splash on the Frog Slide and in Toddler’s Reef. Siblings that are a bit bigger and more adventurous have their choice of water slides too.
Casino Pier & Breakwater Beach Waterpark in Seaside Heights offers plenty of cool family fun right on the Jersey Shore. Big kid must-do thrills: Test your limits (and your sense of adventure!) on the 50-foot Salem’s Scream. But be prepared – this super-fast slide features a floor that drops out from under you at the starting platform. Twists and turns more your speed? Try Revere’s Wild Ride. Little kid laidback chills: Lighthouse Cove features gently sloped slides for safe splashdowns, and the Revolutionary Wild River (with its depth charges and water cannons) can be navigated with a parent.
As New Jersey's first municipal water park, Crystal Springs Family Waterpark in East Brunswick is open to local residents (at a discounted rate for season and daily passes) and non-residents. Big kid must-do thrills: Hit the park’s twisting, turning open and closed tube slides. Little kid laidback chills: Cool off in the spray park or splash around in the kiddie pool.
IN SOUTH JERSEY
Build a full day of fun at The Water Main at Diggerland USA – the nation’s only construction theme park – in West Berlin. Big kid must-do thrills: Body surf swells up to four feet high in the wave pool, or hurl yourself down your choice of chutes in the slide tower. Little kid laidback chills: Cool off in the splash park with family and leisure swim zones.
Also located in West Berlin, Big Kahuna's delivers a 60,000-square-foot, year-round indoor water park under a state-of-the-art retractable roof – plus an in-season outdoor water park. Big kid must-do thrills: Bodyboard waves indoors on FlowRider and shoot down the super-fast 350-foot Riptide Body Slide. Little kid laidback chills: Skitter your way to Little Lizard Landing inside or find totally awesome fun at Little Kahuna Lagoon outside.
Beach Haven-bound sunseekers can cool off in Thundering Surf Water Park, the longest, continuously operating water park on the planet. Big kid must-do thrills: Get a feel for real waves on FlowRider®, a surfing simulator ride. Little kid laidback chills: Aquatic fun rules in the Cowabunga Kids water playground and the interactive toddler area gives the tiniest guests a place all their own.
Located on the family-friendly Ocean City boardwalk, the OC Waterpark is an oceanfront splish-splashing extravaganza. Big kid must-do thrills: Take on Serpentine Slides, said to be the best body slides on the East Coast, then free fall off the end of Splashdown. Little kid laidback chills: Sign up for swashbuckling fun at Lil’ Buc’s Bay or go with the flow (and with an adult!) in the lazy river.
Down in Wildwood, Morey’s Piers & Water Parks offers not one, but TWO water parks. Ocean Oasis Water Park + Beach Club is a beachfront paradise. Big kid must-do thrills: Drop five stories in just three seconds on the Cliff Dive or hop aboard a tube and shoot down the high-speed Riptide Rapids. Little kid laidback chills: Explore all the fun at Bonsai Beach and the activity pool. Raging Waters Water Park is another great place to keep it cool in The Wildwoods. Big kid must-do thrills: Slide fast and plummet far from Shotgun Falls or feel a burst of acceleration on the Speed Slides. Little kid laidback chills: Spout off in the Fountain Pool or get salty at Shipwreck Shoals.
Locker and cabana rentals are available at most of these locations. As always, be sure to check the websites and social media pages of your chosen water park before you go to ensure you have all the need-to-know info. For more New Jersey summer fun, download a free travel guide or sign up for our e-newsletter.