Best water parks in Miami
This is the crème de la crème of fancy pools in Miami. Created in 1923 from a naturally occurring coral rock quarry, the 820,000-gallon pool is fed by a fresh-water spring. Surrounded by palm trees, shady fields and beautiful porticos, it’s a lushly fabulous way to beat the Miami heat. Everyone three years of age and older is welcome March through October.
Must ride: Swim up to the waterfall.
This place isn’t technically in Miami but in Broward, the next county north. Although, for the money and the attractions, it’s definitely worth the drive. There are four five-story-tall water slides, an 18-inch deep wade pool with interactive fountains and fun, a 12-inch deep pool for the kids 5 years and younger, as well as a 410-foot tube line. Open daily, it’s summers ultimate hub of activity.
Must ride: The corkscrew slide.
The aquatics area here is far from your average neighborhood pool, boasting zero-depth entry, a kids’ play area (the Tot Lot) and multiple waterslides, as well as a facility for recreational and lap swimming. You need to find a friend in Surfside, however; the center is open only to residents and their guests.
Must ride: All of it because getting in is tough.
The zoo in town offers playground-esque water attractions. Think giant spray fountains, a “whale tail waterfall” and overflowing buckets. Check out Ocean Voyage inside the Playworld Playground, and the Fiesta Fountain at the Amazon and Beyond Village Plaza. Both are great places to take your kid, or the kids you’re entertaining, to stomp around and get totally soaked while you hang back in the shady alcoves.
Must ride: The Fiesta Fountain.
Every true South Florida kid has a memory of Rapids Water Park. The sprawling park has been a favorite birthday party spot for thousands and thousands of kids thanks to its selection of insane water slides and epic lazy river. The commute (an hour and a half from Miami) is far from convenient, but folks keep flocking to Rapids despite the distance, which speaks to the park’s quality.
Must ride: The Lazy River.
This is a public attraction owned and operated by the city that offers a lazy river, a few playground areas, a pirate-themed area and a shipwreck water playground. There are wade pools for toddlers and large recreational pools for more experienced swimmers, plus splashy slides for thrill seekers.
Must ride: The Pirate’s Plunge.
The water attraction set amid the beautiful 17-acre park has so much to offer. There’s a wave pool, waterfall, lazy river, tot lot and party areas. It’s a public park, again, with a water playground, a wave pool, lazy river, waterfall, splash pad, party areas, and a snack bar. It’s absolutely perfect for day parties or birthdays, and the price is right, too.
Must ride: The 1,000-foot lazy river.
Perfect for little ones, Pinecrest Gardens’ mini splash pad offers water features galore and shaded benches for parents who chaperone. When the water play is tapped out, take a stroll through the gorgeous gardens or head to the on-site petting zoo, snack bar or playground.
Must ride: Run through the water spouts.
This Hialeah gem has an activity pool with a slide, and two twin 30-ft water slides for added excitement. There’s also a zero-depth-entry swimming pool, concessions and plenty of room for sitting. The water park is only open on weekends, though, so don't expect any aquatic fun on school days.
Must ride: The twin slides.