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The best water parks in Miami to keep you cool

Our favorite water parks in Miami are the perfect option for those looking for some fun in the sun away from the beach

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Rapids Water Park
Photograph: Courtesy Rapids Water Park

June 2019: Our list of the best water parks in Miami gets a timely update this month. Just in time for summer, we welcome two newcomers: Aventura’s highly anticipated Tidal Cove, a compact amusement park inside the JW Miami Turnberry Resort with all the bells and whistles of a major aquatic attraction, and Jungle Splash, a pop-up waterpark inside Jungle Island exclusively for the younger set. 

The best water parks in Miami can offer refuge in a place that gets hot—and stays hot—just about every month of the year. So when you find yourself in the city, far from the best Miami beaches and without a Miami swimming pool in sight, find refuge at one of these water parks. Inexpensive and accessible from most neighborhoods, these water parks are a perfect family outing, slightly cheaper and less stressful than rounding up the crew for a trip to one of the many kid-friendly restaurants in Miami. Whether you’re looking to wade or work out, ride a slide or lounge in style, the best water parks in Miami provide tons of way to stay cool in style.

RECOMMENDED: The best things to do in Miami

Best water parks in Miami

1
Tidal Cove
Photograph: WorldRedEye.com
Things to do, Play spaces

Tidal Cove

Aventura

This huge new addition to Aventura’s JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa is about the best hotel perk any kid could ask for. Free to guests, and open to the public, Tidal Cove packs in all the water-park essentials—slides, a lazy river, a FlowRider surf simulator and a splash zone for the kiddies. Plus, it boasts two full bars and cabanas for the grown-ups to chill under and sip frozé.

Must ride: The Boomerango for a brief, but terrifying, moment of near-weightlessness. 

2
Paradise Cove at C.B. Smith Park
Photograph: Courtesy Paradise Cove at C.B. Smith Park
Things to do

Paradise Cove at C.B. Smith Park

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.

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3
Rapids Water Park
Photograph: Courtesy Rapids Water Park
Things to do, Play spaces

Rapids Water Park

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.

4
Venetian Pool
Photograph: Shutterstock/Marco Borghini
Things to do

Venetian Pool

Coral Gables

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.

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5
Surfside Community Center
Photograph: Courtesy Surfside Community Center
Things to do, Play spaces

Surfside Community Center

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.

6
Zoo Miami Ocean Voyage
Photograph: Courtesy Zoo Miami/Ron Magill
Things to do

Zoo Miami

Miami

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.

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7
Grapeland Water Park
Photograph: Courtesy Grapeland Water Park
Things to do

Grapeland Water Park

Grapeland Heights

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.

8
Jungle Splash
Photograph: Courtesy Jungle Island
Things to do, Event spaces

Jungle Splash

Miami

What is it? Jungle Island’s pop-up water park opens June through September, featuring a slew of waterslides and paddle boats for kids ages 2 to 13. Major bonus: It’s BOGO! Admission to Jungle Island includes access to the aquatic area. So, even if a trip to the waterpark wasn’t in the plans, you’ll appreciate the option to cool off at Jungle Splash during your visit. 

Must ride: Bounce down the trio of inflatable slides. 

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9
McDonald Water Park
Photograph: Courtesy McDonald Water Park
Things to do

McDonald Water Park

Hialeah

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.

10
Pinecrest Gardens, Wildlife and attractions, Miami
Photograph: Courtesy Pinecrest Gardens
Things to do, Games and hobbies

Pinecrest Gardens Splash’N Play

Pinecrest

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.

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