It’s that time of the year when even adults can get away with acting like kids, when children can enjoy their summer vacation, and when everyone needs to—and can—cool off. The water parks are officially open! Let’s dive into some of the best in the area.
A summer visit to Wisconsin Dells should include a visit to Noah’s Ark. Take the drive early and spend the day in the park lounging in the lazy river or ascending the stairs to the Point of No Return (a giant drop ten stories straight down). Or try their newest attraction, the Scorpion’s Tail, a 400-foot-long enclosed tube slide. noahsarkwaterpark.com
For Spalsh-tastic fun, drive into northwest Indiana’s Deep River Waterpark. Located in Crown Point, Indiana, the drive is less than an hour from Chicago. There’s a wave pool, numerous slides and a kid’s play zone. Specials include Tubin’ Tuesday. deepriverwaterpark.com
If you want a taste of the Outback, try Raging Waves, touted as Illinois’ largest water park. Located in Yorkville, the drive is only forty-five minutes from downtown. Aussie-themed attractions include slides named Tasmanian Twisters and Crocodile Mile. Daily specials include a reduced rate from 3pm to closing. ragingwaves.com
For those who want more than water rides alone, go to Six Flag’s Hurricane Harbor. Park admission grants you access into Great America. Get wet at the newly expanded Riptide Bay and then dry off on Batman the Ride or the classic American Eagle. sixflags.com/greatamerica
Or if staying in the city is more your speed, try your local park. The Chicago Park District offers twenty-six indoor pools and fifty-one outdoor locations. Whichever park is closest to you, be it Hamlin, Holstein, Douglas, McGuane or McKinley, there’s a neighborhood park waiting for you. Check in with each park for open swim, adult swim or swim classes. chicagoparkdistrict.com
You’ve got all summer to make the rounds. There’s no excuse not to go out and get soggy. Pack your nose plug, sun block and trucks and hit the slides. (John Wawrzaszek)