Attractions: Water Parks in Dallas-Fort Worth / 13 water parks and destinations for families
Dallas-Fort Worth is packed full of water parks, so we’ve collected a few of our favorite destinations, including wake parks, stand-alone surfing rides and the biggest parks with the most daring slides. Stay the weekend at one of the local resorts with spectacular water parks of their own, get more out of your day with special events like outdoor movies over the water, or take it easy with a spa-water park hybrid experience.
Go Big Time
Six Flags Hurricane Harbor
Hurricane Harbor has plenty of rides for those who don’t fear gravity (the Dive Bomber) or the dark (the Black Hole), and for families? There’s even more for you with the boogie boarding ride, lazy river, wave pool and several slides open to kids 36 inches and taller. For the younger ones, you could easily spend the entire day at Hook’s Lagoon. Complete with a tree house, water cannons, water sprayers and slides, but this is one of the biggest and baddest water parks in the state. Don’t miss their newest slides, including the Wahoo Racer that's bound to bring out your competitive streak. Admission: $34.99; $29.99 for kids under 48 inches; free for ages 2 and younger; buy your tickets online for discounts.
With a variety of slides, and play pools, Water Works entertains kids of all ages. Test the waters in the lazy river or children's play pool before making a splash in the Pike Slide or Kahuna Slide. Day camp classes are available for kids 8 and up. Admission is $13 for adults, $9 for kids under 48 inches, $5 for non-swimmers and free for kids under 2. Denton residents save $2 on admission.
Water Wars, Riptide Slide and Coconut Cove will have your family splashing in the sunlight. With six main attractions, this modest park provides a less crowded feel compared bigger name parks in Dallas-Fort Worth. Cabanas, tables and umbrellas can be rented for additional fees. Open from from Memorial Day weekend to mid-August. Kids and adults 48 inches or taller are $15. Kids under 48 inches are $11. Kids under 2 are free. Find additional discounts online.
Make it a Weekend
Great Wolf Lodge
This guests-only retreat is an eight-story woodlands-themed resort with an equally towering 80,000-square-foot indoor waterpark. Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine has it all: a giant water fort, a floatable river, rides, slides and pools for all age groups, plus an outdoor water park. Amenities like lazer tag maze, kids’ spa and interactive movie theater will keep the entire family busy, and for some parents-only playtime, head to the 24-hour arcade, which becomes adults-only after midnight. Multiple room packages are available. Go online to check their nightly rates calendar for deals on suites. Book one night and get nearly two full days of resort access.
Paradise Springs at Gaylord Texan
The town within a town that is Grapevine’s Gaylord Texan Resort is already impressive, but from Memorial Day to Labor day, the resort's Paradise Springs waterpark boasts family fun for all. With its 6,000-square-foot family lagoon on a 10-acre western-themed water playground, the resort lives up to the “everything’s bigger in Texas” trope. Resort guests can get properly waterlogged in the lazy river, waterslides, horseshoe-shaped hot pools and another pool designated just for toddlers. The kicker: Swimmers who have a reach height of 72 inches can zip line over the 11-foot-deep plunge pool. Room rates vary so call for current prices.
Go for a Special Event
Hawaiian Falls Waterparks
At each of the five locations in Dallas-Fort Worth, kids enjoy rides, slides and water adventures. Teens and tweens will enjoy The Torpedo, The Waikki Wipeout and Whirlwind 360 slides. All slide amusements require heights of 36 inches or taller. Younger kids can explore the Water Walkway, Kona Kooler and Keiki Kove. Private picinc or cabana areas are available for reservation. An additional park in White Settlement offers non-water activities like a ropes course and zip lines. Day admission starts at $27.99 for 48 inches or taller and $20.99 for shorter than 48 inches.
The Colony, 972/370-4327
White Settlement, 817/591-1159
[Editor's note: The White Settlement location will not open this fall.]
Slide rides like Great White and Blue Twister boast high thrills for bigger kids. If the Frogstein’s Splashatory shaded playground, Tadpole Swimming Hole for tots and a load of thriller rides aren’t enough to draw you and the kids in for a whole day of romping in the water, stay through the evening for one of the park's special events. Fireworks shows, Drive-In Movies and Doggie Beach Bash events are held throughout the summer. Admission: $26.99; $20.99 for under 48 inches; free for ages 2 and younger.
North Richland Hills, 817/427-6500
Get on Board
Hydrous Wake Parks
Once you’ve suited up with a rented helmet, life vest and board, get in line for a spin around a manmade lake for a sport that’s similar to snowboarding. Grab on to the handle bar and an overhead cable system will tow you down the straightaways and around the curves. It takes some practices and beginners can try it out on a smaller lake. The thrill seekers behind Hydrous Wake Parks have two locations in DFW: one at Allen Station and one in Little Elm on Lake Lewisville. Admission: One-hour cable passes are $25 for teens and adults. Passes are available for one hour, two hours and four hours. Bring your own equipment or rent for small fee.
Little Elm, 214/310-1105
If you want all of the water but not all of the sun, head inside The Shops at Willow Bend for Aqua Shop, the surf shop and home to a FlowRider. Admission is $20 per person for a 30-minute session. If you want to bring a group of your kid’s friends, a maximum of 20 per session can take turns. There’s only one FlowRider so make your reservations in advance. To test your balance on a surfboard and stay dry at the same time, try out the Big Wave, a surfing ride with a mechanical bull-type setup.
Take it Easy
This new water attraction is part classic water park, part spa. Indulge in a therapeutic massage or sauna experience while the kiddos splash around in the play pool and enjoy other favorite water park staples like the lazy river and waterslide. Or sit and soak in the Bade Pool from 9am–noon for a water jet massage, no appointment necessary. If your brood gets hungry, visit the food court on the upper level. Day passes are $30 for ages 13 and older and $20 for kids 12 and younger; each day pass includes spa and sauna admission.
Irving Water Fun
Lake Carolyn in Irving is no water park, but if you’re looking for a leisurely time out on the water, rent a pedal boat from the same company that operates the gondola rides through Irving’s Mandalay Canal. These are easier to pedal than your typical paddleboats, everyone gets a life jacket, and attached canopies will help shield you from the sun. Ride in a single or take the kids out in the three-seater. Boats are available on a first come, first served basis so come early. A 45-minute rental is $25 for the first two people and $5 for additional people. Children under 5 are free. Reserve in advance online.
If you’re hesitant to step foot into a murky lake, you must visit this serene spot in Fort Worth. The spring-fed lake has water park features including diving boards, slides and even a trapeze, but the water is filtered and chemically treated so it feels more like a pool. From Mother's Day to Labor Day, you can walk on the sandy bottom, spread out your towels on the beach under shade trees, and bring your own picnic or grab a snack from the concession stands. Admission is $15 for adults, $5 for ages 1–6 and free for kids under one.
Fort Worth, 817/737-3414
Are your kiddos not yet ready for big time water parks? Try one of these free splash pads and spray parks in Dallas-Fort Worth.
For more water parks and pools near you, visit our DFWEverything directory.