Best water parks near NYC
Your kids are probably drawn to this particular amusement park just for the name alone, but we're here to tell ya that the joy of Hersheypark isn't all about the candy. Enjoy the Coastline Plunge, Coastline Plunge Riptide, Coastline Plunge Surge and others, plus East Coast Waterworks, which has more than 600 interactive water toys, and Sandcastle Cove. In 2018, The Breaker Edge Water Coaster (an open-air, multi-person tube ride) and The Whitecap Racer (the longest mat-racing water slide in the world, complete with tunnels and racer timing system) will open at the park. 100 W Hersheypark Dr, Hershey, PA (800-437-7439, hersheypark.com). $28.95—$66.95, children ages 2 and under free.
When the temperatures spike, your kids will breeze right by the three amusement piers on their way to two fun-filled water parks in this town on the Jersey Shore. At Raging Waters, grab an inner tube and float past geysers, waterfalls and more on the River Adventure, whiz down speed slides or play with water cannons in the Shipwreck Shoals kiddie play area. Ocean Oasis Water Park and Beach Club has equally wet-and-wild entertainment in store, with the WipeOut!—a six-lane racer slide where families can duke it out—a rocket raft run and a cliff dive, which sends riders down a wicked-fast water slide that drops five stories in three seconds. 3501 Boardwalk, Wildwood, NJ (609-729-3700, moreyspiers.com). Various prices, see website for details. All ages.
This “go before they grow” spot is perfect for young children and toddlers, and offers plenty of water-themed fun for the whole crew. You’ll find Big Bird’s Rambling River, which offers your typical lazy river tube experience, plus Teeny Tidal Wave splash pool for kiddos that love to splash around. The highlight for most is The Count’s Splash Castle, which offers a 1,000-gallon tipping bucket, water slides, interactive levers, blasters, bongos and water wheels. Ernie’s Waterworks, a splash pad made for kids under 7, offers fountains and spray mazes. P.S. While pregnant or new moms understandably can’t take part in all the fun, take note that there are private nursing rooms, changing stations and even bottle warmers to ensure that all guests are comfortable. Sesame Place is also the world's first theme park to be awarded the title of Certified Autism Center, and parks staff receive extensive training to best-serve guests of all abilities. 100 Sesame Rd, Langhorne, PA (215-752-7070, sesameplace.com). $45–$75, children under 2 free.
At tropical-themed Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, wee ones will want to tackle Discovery Bay, which has enough waterfalls, overflowing buckets and slides to tucker them out for a good stroller nap. Older kids can pile into rafts and shoot down the Big Bambu or Reef Runner water slides, where they’re met with a six-story drop. The whole family can catch waves in the Blue Lagoon one-million-gallon wave pool, then take a breather in the (somewhat ridiculously named) Taak It Eez Ee Creek, a 700,000-gallon lazy river with rapids and geysers. Last but not least, the Caribbean Cove opened back in 2016, which introduced a new beach area with a two-foot-deep pool, spray guns and a massive tipping bucket (great for the 'lil dudes). 1 Six Flags Blvd, Jackson, NJ (732-928-1821, sixflags.com/hurricaneharbor). $40–$44, children 48" and under $38, under 2 free.
During the regular summer season, Dorney Park tickets also offer full access to Wildwater Kingdom Water Park. There are free-fall body slides like Python Plummet (nearly vertical fall), crazy 360-degree loops on the Constrictor and high speed slides like twin Boat Blasters that’ll surely please teens and tweens. In case you were wondering, there are a total of 28 slides to choose from in varying levels of “thrill.” For littler folk, check out the Kids’ Cove, where they’ll climb through a submarine and slip down the tentacles of an octopus. The Lollipop Lagoon also offers low-key fun; families might run under mushroom fountains and geysers or play with squirt guns. 3830 Dorney Park Rd, Allentown, PA (610-395-3724, dorneypark.com). $40, children under 2 free.
Try the 12,000-square-foot wading pool with a dump bucket and climbable playground (Pirate Fort), then head to the awesome water slides like Cannonball and the Black Hole. For older kids, there’s a water slide called Pirate’s Escape where they’ll enter a futuristic chamber and the floor comes out from beneath them, sending them zipping down a long green tube slide. Last, for a totally calm water adventure, try tubing along lazy waterway Blackbeard’s River. 354 Great Meadows Rd (Route 611), Hope, NJ (908-459-9000, lomb.com). $28, children ages 2–18 $30, under 2 free.
It's a stretch to call Luna Park a water park, technically, but it's certainly a spot where kids, tweens and teens can cool off thanks to some classic rides. Fly over a 40-foot ledge in a log boat on the Wild River, try to soak other floating buckets with a water pistol on Watermania or let little ones bob along a flume in a magical vessel on the Mermaid Parade ride. Did you know that good grades can earn your kids free ride credits too? Bring a copy of your child's report card to guest services to cash in. Free park admission, ride and game wristbands various prices.