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Photograph: Mikie Farias

The best water parks near Austin

Need to cool off? Our favorite water parks near Austin almost make us wish it was summer year round. Almost.

By Erin Kuschner

As temperatures rise in Austin, finding the nearest scoop of ice cream, a frozen cocktail or a body of water becomes more than necessary. But for all-day relief, there's little that beats a water park. Though you may have to drive a bit to get to these water parks near Austin, plummeting down a water slide or floating down a lazy river makes the trip worth it. The next time you're looking for things to do during a heat wave in the city, check out our favorite water parks—just be sure to bring the sunscreen.

Best water parks near Austin

Photograph: Courtesy Schlitterbahn

1. Schlitterbahn

Attractions Theme parks

Schlitterbahn’s New Braunfels location is 70 acres of water wonderland, where looping waterslides, tube chutes and lazy rivers cater to both young’uns and adults. An on-site resort means you can head straight from your room to the Master Blaster Uphill Water Coaster, a six-story tall attraction that shoots riders up and down (à la Tower of Terror) before spiraling back to firm ground. Or, you know, there’s the kiddie pool.
Drive time: 1hr 

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Hedy D. 

2. Aquatica

Attractions Theme parks

You’ll have to head down to San Antonio to visit this water park—and push aside any ethical issues you might harbor (the joint is operated by SeaWorld)—but Aquatica is still a mecca on weekends for those wanting to cool down on triple-digit–temperature days. In addition to a handful of family-oriented rides (the Walhalla Wave lets the whole family climb onto a raft before shooting everyone to the top of a zero-gravity wall), there’s a stingray pool in which kids can wade for the chance to pet and swim around the animals (reservations are required).
Drive time: 1hr 30mins

Rock'n River Water Park
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Heather G. 

3. Rock'N River Water Park

Attractions Theme parks Round Rock Express

Welcome to Splashville! No, seriously, welcome to Splashville, Rock’N River’s newest play area that includes four water slides, tipping buckets, water guns and anything else you might find necessary when running around in your swimsuit. Be sure to check out the Quarry, too, where kids can scramble up a rock wall before jumping back into the water. A cavalcade of food trucks arrives each day; seek them when it’s time to refuel.
Drive time: 30mins

Typhoon Texas
Photograph: Courtesy Typhoon Texas

4. Typhoon Texas

Attractions Theme parks Greater Austin

Formerly known as Hawaiian Falls, Typhoon Texas in Pflugerville has been amped up with new attractions like the Gully Washer, a playground with seven slides, 100 spray areas and an 800-gallon bucket that periodically dumps its contents onto the play area. An interactive splash play pad is perfect for families with young children who’d rather stay away from the twisting slides.
Drive time: 30mins

Volente Beach Water Park
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Kimberly V. 

5. Volente Beach Water Park

Attractions Theme parks Greater Austin

Now under new ownership, Volente Beach on Lake Travis has spruced up its small but beloved attractions, including the Pirate Ship and Gator’s Crossing, and has been beautified with new landscaping, a beach area and short-term rental units next door. It has also incorporated live-music performances within the water park, and it’s starting Adult Nights (pools and slides just for adults) for when the kids pass out at the end of a fun-filled day.
Drive time: 45mins

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor
Photograph: Kevin Brown

6. Six Flags Hurricane Harbor

The Six Flags water park is a bit of a trek—about three hours away, to be exact—but it's well worth the haul for a day spent careening down the Bonzai Boggan or barreling down the Tsunami Surge. Family rides range from Suntan Lagoon and Surf Lagoon for the little ones to maneuvering as a group along Raging Rapids. Fuel up at the Beachside Grill before heading back out into the water.
Drive time: 3hrs

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