People generally treat theme parks and waterparks like they’re exclusively built and run for children and parents. But the adult fascinations with Disneyland and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter show that there are plenty of people looking to hit up an amusement park solely for their own enjoyment, kids be damned! (Not literally damned, don’t @ us.) Though the single, grown waterpark enthusiast isn’t quite as well known (and wrongly loathed) as the adult Disney-goer, they’re definitely out there and ready to hit some slides.
To help people get straight to slipping down waterslides of the man-made variety (we also stan for the natural ones), we collected ten waterparks that are actually just as fun for adults as they are for kids. You can still watch your skin pucker in the water, get drunk on the smell of chlorine, and feel your heartbeat increase when the wave pool buzzer sounds. On top of that, a lot of these places have adults-only hours, so you get all the fun you remember as a kid without there being… you know… kids.
Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park (Orlando, Florida)
By day, Typhoon Lagoon is a solid water park. It boasts North America’s largest wave pool, a raft ride that feels like a coaster, and a slide with a near-vertical five-story drop that you take in the dark of an enclosed tube. Plus, they offer surfing lessons. Point being: there’s plenty for grown people to do during a visit. And although we totally support you slapping on some sunscreen and braving the park under the summer sun, it’s even more fun to join in on a glow party at the park. Over 25 select summer nights between May 30 and August 24, 2019, Typhoon Lagoon holds H2O Glow Nights. Obviously, these events aren’t gonna be exactly like a foam party at a Vegas club, but you are going to get your fill of glowing elements like wristbands, backdrops, specialty rafts, and even an inflatable Partysaurus Rex.
A DJ-hosted dance party takes place on the sandy beach alongside the surf pool, and there’s a designated area for adult partygoers. The Warf is only for people over 21, and it offers specialty cocktails served with glowing ice cubes as well as glasses of champagne in light-up flutes. As far as water parks go, it really is hard to beat enjoying all the rides in a genuine party atmosphere.
Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park (Denver, Colorado)
Sometimes you’re in the mood for a theme park, but sometimes you feel like a true, full-on water park. It’s the classic Mounds/Almond Joy nut dilemma but in recreation form and with less potential food allergies. Elitch Gardens gives people the option of rendering the dilemma moot by taking in both for the same cost between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day. Any person presently trying to manage student loans and rent appreciates a deal. They also appreciate the Friday night Dive-In Movies that are also included with admission. The water park closes up shop at 6 pm, but they leave the Wave Pool open, and people can hang there until the movies start at 7:30.
It’s worth noting that Elitch Gardens is the home to one of the most hyped attractions in the nation: Meow Wolf’s Kaleidoscape, which is called a “thrill ride for the mind.” USA Today and the Los Angeles Times both called it one of the most anticipated rides of the year because this installation from the Santa Fe art collective Meow Wolf is freaking cool and a little trippy. Follow that up by hitting the water park and getting in on the Mega Wedgie (Colossal), a 62-foot long enclosed tube that makes for a corkscrew speed slide, or the Mega Wedgie (Epic), a 65-foot tall high-speed free fall. As you can tell from the juxtaposition of a modern art innovation and a bunch of rides named Mega Wedgie, this is a complex place.
Summer Fun Water Park (Belton, Texas)
Summer Fun Water Park sits roughly 60 miles north of Austin and offers the kind of awesome adult water park action that makes that drive seem totally worth it for the sake of getting in on the fun. With over seven acres of park, there’s a lot of room to play. During the day, you’re going to have to fight your way through throngs of screeching young people. Luckily, this is another water park that offers an adult night. Between June and August, every other Saturday night is reserved for guests over 21 years of age. Between 8 pm and midnight, live music, watery thrill rides, and DJ-hosted dance parties are all options for adult guests.