Area waterparks hold promise of late-summer fun

Texas Typhoon

Hall of Fame rockers The Lovin’ Spoonful said it best in 1966: “Hot town, summer in the city.” We are now nearing the end of July, and temps will consistently be in the upper 90s.

Local businesses have already begun to advertise “back to school” sales, with entire aisles dedicated to school supplies. Cheerleading camps, as well as drill/dance team camps are underway, and following that comes volleyball, football and band practices, which start at the first of August.

With temps soaring and time running out on those old school weeklong vacations, how about a day trip to a waterpark?

Of course, Schlitterbahn Galveston is the mecca of waterparks in this region. You can pack a picnic and stay all day, enjoying longer rides, thrilling slides, and free tubes for use in the amazing lazy river and wave pool. And this year, you can help the park celebrate its 10-year anniversary. One day tickets start at $38.99 for children and seniors and $50.99 for adults. The park is open every day, rain or shine, from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. until Aug. 13, after which the hours grow shorter.

Schlitterbahn is an obvious choice, but there are a few other options to choose from, including a brand new one in Katy.

Let’s start nearby. Paradise Water Park is just north of Lumberton on North Highway 96, just after the Village Creek Bridge. Pricing is $16.95 and under, but the park is only open on Saturday (10 a.m. – 7 p.m.) and Sunday (noon – 7 p.m.).

For attractions, there’s the Hawaiian Twister and the Cliff Hanger, plus the Kahuna Lagoon kids area. For food, there are concession kiosks and the Paradise Tiki Hut Café.

More information can be obtained at pwoftexas.com.

The $50 million Texas Typhoon next door to the Katy Mills Mall off I-10 west of Houston opened in late May and has been a big hit. The venue sits on 50 acres, holding 300 million gallons of water.

It has 35 waterslides, a lazy river as long as 500 yards, a Texas-sized wave pool, and large kids area. They have it all plus plenty of food options.

Park hours for July from Monday-Wednesday and Saturday are from 10:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday hours are 10:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Children under 2 are free and daily admission prices start at $32.99.

The area’s largest is Wet’n’Wild Splashtown in Spring (30 minutes north of Houston on I-45), which has seven thrill rides, spacious kids zone, and several family rides.

Park hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week through Aug. 7, then it varies.

Daily admission fees start at $35.99. Complete information can be viewed at wetnwildsplashtown.com.

Many forget about Pirates Bay at 5300 East Road in Baytown, just south of I-10. Hours are Monday-Thursday (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.) and Friday-Sunday (10 a.m. to 7 p.m.) and daily fees are $20 and under.

What’s there to enjoy? The Lazy Long River (671 feet), wave pool, Flowrider (simulated surfing wave), body slides, Space Bowl (pipe-style, spiral flume ride), tube slides (innertube racing down 300 feet water slides into a waiting 3 1/2-foot-deep catchpool), Colorado Drop Slide (40-foot drop on a two person raft), Mat Racer, kids area and the Boomerango.

The Boomerango is a high-speed ride where patrons first experience a steep drop down, and then they are propelled uphill vertically. Then they will experience another unforgettable path, this time in reverse, taking them back and forth.

In nearby Sulphur, Louisiana, is the Sulphur Parks & Recreation Waterpark (SPAR) at 933 W Parish Road, just a minute or two north of I-10.

The park features plenty of slides, lagoon pool, lazy river, splash and play island for the kids, and much more. They also have a snack bar that sells hot dogs, burgers, nachos and more.

Daily admission fee is $12, and children under 2 are admitted free. For detailed information, view sulphurparkswaterpark.com.

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