Are you ready for your best summer ever? Head to these East Coast water parks near NYC for your ultimate adventure. The picks on our list have everything you could possibly want: steep slides and tube slides of all shapes and sizes, relaxing lazy rivers to float down, rides with rapids and even splash parks for littler ones. Some of the parks offer large water playscapes as well, and many offer swimming pools of various depths for kids who just can’t get enough waves.
Best water parks near NYC
Chocolate-loving kiddos will. first and foremost, want to head to Hersheypark for its name alone. However, it isn’t all about sugary treats here; Depending on the kind of day you’re after, you can spend your time on dry land zipping between family-friendly rides, or you can make the day all about water and stick to Hersheypark’s water experiences. You can hop on inner tube rides like the Coastline Plunge, Coastline Plunge Riptide, Coastline Plunge Surge and others (with varying intensity), plus there’s East Coast Waterworks, complete with more than 600 interactive water toys, and Sandcastle Cove, perfect for toddlers. Don’t forget your sunscreen! 100 W Hersheypark Dr, Hershey, PA (800-437-7439, hersheypark.com). May–Sept; hours vary. Tickets $64.95, ages 3–8 $41.95, 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). May–Sept; hours vary. 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. 100 Sesame Rd, Langhorne, PA (215-752-7070, sesameplace.com). Park open May–Dec, hours vary. Ages 2 and up $50, children under 2 free.
Six Flags Hurricane Harbor
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. 1 Six Flags Blvd, Jackson, NJ (732-928-1821, sixflags.com/hurricaneharbor). May–Sept 7; hours vary. Tickets $41.99, children 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). May—Nov; hours vary. Adults and children taller than 48 inches $39, under 2 free.
The Land of Make Believe and Pirate’s Cove
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 sure sign that summer's on the way when the rides at Coney Island open for another season of rollicking good times. In addition to iconic coasters like the Cyclone and Thunderbolt, kids will want to hit up water rides to cool off. Fly over a 40-foot ledge in a log boat on the Wild River, try to soak other floating cars with a water pistol on Watermania or let little ones bob along a flume in a magical vessel on the Mermaid Parade ride. Kids who get good grades can even earn bonus credits towards amusement park rides when they present a copy of their report card at guest services. 1000 Surf Ave, Coney Island, Brooklyn (718-373-5862, lunaparknyc.com). March–Nov; hours vary. Free admission, ride and game wristbands various prices.