We’ve made it through the June heat wave, but there’s still a lot of sweltering summer heat ahead of us and you’re going to need to find a way to cool off. Of course, you have the standard options: the beach, lake, river, or if you’re lucky, a friend with a backyard pool. But if you still have the nerve and you want something that will cool you down and giving you the 40-second adrenaline rush and neck ache combo of a roller coaster, a water park is the way to go.
While most water parks are definitely geared towards families, there are of course some slides that kids may not be tall enough to go on or may not want to ride out of sheer terror. If you’re not tied down by kids, that means a less shouty experience with slightly less urine in the water. If you do have kids, well, there’s no reason you should have to be confined to the kiddie pool this summer. A kid-free day at the water park for you and your friends can provide a much-needed break and allow you to give your inner child some thrills, without your actual child tagging along.
Here are some water slides that you’re probably going to want to check out if adventure is your thing.
World Waterpark — Edmonton, Alberta
If only more malls put in water slides like the West Edmonton Mall. Heading to the mall to pick up a new pair of khakis while wearing your bathing suit might seem odd, but that’s probably just because you’ve never laid your eyes upon the largest indoor water park in North America. While the park has a wave pool just like every water park ever, the real highlights are its nine stories tall double looping Cyclone and 80-feet high Sky Screamer slides. For those who aren’t rattled enough by the slides, one of the park’s newer attractions is the Hurricane, which is two inflatable balls, one filled with water, that gives the rider the feeling of being in a giant hamster ball (while wet!). A surfing pool and climbing wall round out the park’s offerings.
If you’re looking to continue the grownup fun after the water park, the mall boasts three nightclubs, a comedy club, and a casino.
Water park price: $45.
Sandcastle Water Park — Lancashire, England
Sandcastle is another indoor park that aims to pull in tourists who are exploring the area’s Blackpool seaside community. The focal point of the water park is its Master Blaster tube slide. The massive slide takes over a minute to go through and lays claim to the title of the longest indoor water coaster in the world. Its pumps move over 9,000 gallons of water a minute through the slide’s run — stretching 820 feet and including six drops.
The Master Blaster is just one entertainment option to be found in the popular Blackpool resort. The area attracts around 10 million visitors annually who come for its beaches and nightlife. Everything from cabaret bars such as Funny Girls to dance clubs and wine bars like the Flamingo and Scrooges offer a variety of nightlife options.
Water park price: £21.75.
Beach Park — Aquiraz, Brazil
If another water park with a lazy river sounds like a snooze fest, Brazil’s Beach Park has an alternative — the Insano. The massive white slide stands above the beach town’s palm trees, taunting those who think they’re brave enough to climb its summit. The towering slide stands 14 stories high and boasts that it’s just as tall as the country’s iconic Christ the Redeemer statue. You don’t have to be insane to take the Insano’s plummet, but with a drop that sends riders down at 65 mph, being a little crazy might make the decision to ride easier.
The beach town on the northern coast is a popular tourist spot with dozens of restaurants, golfing, and both luxury and affordable hotel options.
Water park price: $195 BR or $60 U.S.
Schlitterbahn Water Park – Kansas City, MO
There are four Schlitterbahn water parks throughout Texas, but none of them can match up to the Kansas City location for one reason — the Verrückt. Opened in 2014, the slide is geared toward teens and adults and currently holds the title of the world’s tallest water slide coming in at 168 feet and seven inches. To put that kind of height into perspective, the park’s website says the slide is “taller than Niagara Falls, taller than the Statue of Liberty from her toes to the torch. And twice the height of the tallest wave ever surfed.” A four-person rubber raft sends riders down the slide at 65 mph in 18 seconds. The slide’s vertigo-inducing height has been so popular that the park advises riders to make a reservation beforehand to avoid waiting in line.
Water park price $45 Sun-Fri, $50 Sat.
Bad 1 — Bremerhaven, Germany
Bad 1 isn’t so much a water park as it is a pool house. While it might offer patrons diving pools and saunas instead of slide after slide, it makes up for it with the most unusual water slide on our list.
Known as the Black Hole, the slide opened in 2012 and is probably the closest you’ll get to a water slide acid trip experience without actually dropping acid (although…). The 256-foot-long slide is equipped with various LED lights that take its riders down a portal that looks like a special effect straight out of a sci-fi movie. While the slide may be too much for young children or those with a lingering fear of being sucked into a black hole, it’s sure to offer a water slide experience like none other.
Water park price: € 7.00.
Atlantis Paradise Island — Bahamas
More than a water park, Atlantis is a full-scale luxury resort, with numerous hotels, restaurants, and nightlife options. A definite focal point of its water activity offerings is the Leap of Faith slide. The slide was constructed to look like an ancient Mayan Temple stands 60-feet and essentially turns its riders into a human torpedo, propelling them through a tube that takes them straight through a lagoon. If the slide’s drop wasn’t enough to raise your adrenaline levels, the sharks circling in the lagoon’s waters should do the trick. While visiting Atlantis is more of a full-scale overnight vacation than a day experience — it is on an island off the coast of Nassau after all — the resort is open year-round should you get a water slide itch come January.
Water park price: varies depending on the time of year.
Mountain Creek — Vernon, NJ
Non-New Jersey natives might think of Mountain Creek as just another resort, but for those who visited the park in the ’80s and ’90s, its reputation is a bit sketchy. Back in the day the park was known as Action Park, later earning the nickname “Traction Park” for its numerous deaths and neck injuries. Hold up, it’s not all bad. The park — which was closed for 18 years and the subject of a documentary The Most Insane Amusement Park Ever — has undergone another face-lift and new management is focused on safety without forgoing thrills.
Today, the re-branded Mountain Creek park offers visitors water activity options like its 10 story Zero G slide, double looping Aqua Looper slide, as well as cliff jumping, and a 1,600-foot-long man-made white water rafting experience. Treetop cabanas, mountain biking, a zip-line, and German beer garden round out the entertainment options.
Water park price: $46 for a full day, $25 for a half day.