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Photograph: Shea Roggio/Hershey Park

The best water parks for toddlers near NYC

Cool off at the best water parks for toddlers this summer! See our favorite picks near NYC.

By Allie Early

Ditch the neighborhood kiddie pool for a visit to the best water parks for toddlers this summer! While not all local water parks offer a wide variety of attractions for young kids, the picks on our list offer plenty for your smallest adventurers—including splash pads, interactive water features, water playscapes and other sweet options to enjoy as a family.

Beyond our favorite water parks for toddlers, there are also some other great ways to cool off right here in town. Visit our favorite water playgrounds, indoor swimming pools and ice cream shops to beat the heat this season!

Best water parks for toddlers near NYC

Keansburg Amusement Park & Runaway Rapids

Attractions Theme parks Midtown West

Runaway Rapids, adjacent to Keansburg Amusement Park, offers plenty for families with toddlers! You'll find a massive water mushroom to splash under, a small light green slide to zoom down—as well as a frog slide—and a Toddler Reef complete with water toys that include dolphins, sand castles and more.

Photograph: Courtesy Dorney Park

Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom

Attractions Theme parks

Where do we begin? While there are plenty of rides here for kids, tweens and teens, the selection of attractions suitable for toddlers is totally on point. Island Water Works has bubblers, spray jets, water guns and other water play elements, while Splash Landing has a zero-depth pool complete with a mushroom water feature and geysers. You'll also definitely want to visit Kids Cove (specifically for children under 54")—there's a submarine and an octopus! Complimentary life jackets are available upon entry to the water park.


Land of Make Believe

Attractions Theme parks

At Blackbeard's Pirate Fort, kids can climb a multilevel structure that resembles a wood fort/ship and has a massive dump bucket! The amusement park is also home to America's largest wading pool (deepest point is 18"), which is filled with all kinds of climbable faux critters like alligators and snakes. Children under 44" can also ride (accompanied by an adult) on the Action River Ride.

Hershey Park
Photograph: Shea Roggio/Hershey Park


Attractions Arcades and amusements

Hersheypark's 11-acre water park has plenty of thrills for kids big and small. Visit the Sandcastle Cove to explore a massive sand castle complete with climbable areas and a dump bucket, as well as the park's splash pad Shoreline Sprayground. East Coast Waterworks boasts 600 water toys in addition to ropes, crawl tunnels and slides.

Photograph: Courtesy Jason Lindsey

Sesame Place

Attractions Theme parks

Tots can zoom down Slimey's Chutes (a tube water ride) with an adult, or splash to their heart's desire in the Teeny Tiny Tidal Wave area, a 10,000-foot wave pool. Our favorite spot is The Count's Splash Castle, where 90+ play elements (including a 1,000-gallon tipping bucket, bongos, water wheels and spray guns) are sure to please the pint-size set.

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