In Connecticut the water parks we have are located in larger amusement parks. The water parks themselves provide a day's worth of fun. If you’re planning a day trip, you might want to focus on the water park area only (otherwise you could become overwhelmed by too many fun options!) Thankfully for our wallets, a few of the parks have water park only tickets available. For more water fun check out our CT Beach and Water Fun Guide. Mommy Poppins Theme and Water Park Guide and our post on Brownstone Park (not a theme park, but lots of fun.).
Lake Compounce Family Theme Park - Bristol
Lake Compounce is the oldest, continuously-operating amusement park in North America. Among other famous attractions, Lake Compounce is home to Boulder Dash, which has been voted the world’s #1 wooden roller coaster, as well as Connecticut’s largest water park.
The water park is the perfect size—not too big, but the amusement park area doesn’t have lots of big roller coasters, which might disappoint older kids. Check out Anchor Bay, a lazy river to float along with a cool water slide, Clipper Cove, a giant 300-gallon water bucket, with water cannons and slides, Mammoth Falls, a high speed family raft adventure, Lake Plunge, a slippery tube slide into the lake, the Wave Pool & Pirate Ship, and Tunnel Twisters, which are three twisting and turning tunnel slides.
There is no separate water park-only fee here, but children under three are free. Be aware there is no outside food allowed. There is free soda available, but ice is often hard to find.
Quassy Amusement Park - Middlebury
Quassy Beach & Saturation Station is the interactive family water play area at Quassy Amusement Park. From cascading fountains, to water cannons and bucket waterfalls, Saturation Station provides fantastic interactive water play fun for all ages. At center stage of the multi-tiered complex is a huge tipping bucket that sends more than 300 gallons of water onto the guests below. And conquer the gigantic "Tunnel Twister" waterslides - the newest addition to "Saturation Station." They incorporate more than 400 feet of twisting, turning water action.
When you need to take a break from all the water park excitement, you can relax and take a dip in the cool, refreshing Lake Quassapaug. This small park is probably best for kids before they hit their teen years. Overall, this is an old-school amusement park, which means some visitors will enjoy the traveling carnival type feel while others may feel the ambience is a bit run-down. Changing areas and lockers to store your personal items are available. Lifeguards are always on duty.
Ocean Beach Park - New London
If what you are looking for is less amusement park and more low-key beach vibe, then check out this half-mile of pristine “sugar-sand” beach, which gives you plenty of room to spread out and enjoy your day in the sun. Along the side of the boardwalk opposite the beach, you’ll find all the rest Ocean Beach Park has to offer: a nature trail, a picnic area, amusement rides, arcade, mini golf, playground, a pool, a gift shop, food and drink (with a sidewalk cafe feel).
When you’re ready for the active water fun, your kids will enjoy Ocean Beach Park’s 50-meter, Olympic-sized pool with changing rooms and token-operated lockers and the brand new free sprayground. The price of parking includes park admission for everyone riding in the car. The Kids Spray Park is free.
Overall, this is a good deal if you’re mainly interested in a nice beach and a simple spray park, but the rest of the park gets low marks for its cleanliness and general run-down feeling.
Six Flags New England - Agwam, MA
New England’s largest water park is Hurricane Harbor. This family-friendly waterpark boasts two 500,000-gallon wave pools, more than a dozen slides, a children's play area, and the recently added water coaster, Typhoon. Best of all, Hurricane Harbor is free with admission to Six Flags New England.
There is a large selection of rides to choose from for all different ages. Check out their website to review which rides are appropriate for your children before you go, and plan ahead using their Fun Planner.
Tube down the 1,000-foot Adventure River, encountering waterfalls, water bursts and geysers along the way. Hop on the Big Kahuna, a four-slide inner tube complex to get propelled down a criss-crossed course into a pool below. Cannonball Falls features three aqua-tube body slides that tower over Hurricane Harbor. Commotion Ocean is a 500,000-gallon wave pool that’ll send waves crashing over you. Geronimo Falls and Zooma Falls is a turbo slide complex. Hurricane Bay has tidal wave action, or you can just float around on a lazy lagoon. Slip and slide your way to fun on four different slides on the Hurricane Falls Slide. Catch a wave or some rays at Monsoon Lagoon.
For the younger kids, be sure to check out Hooks Lagoon, which is the children’s interactive play area with Kiddie Octopus and Kiddie Pirate Ship, children’s water play structures. The Lagoon Slides are six smaller slides that make up the Lagoon Slides complex. Try them all for a thrilling water adventure. Splash Island is a water area especially for kids.
Two and under are free. No separate passes for the water park. And there’s an additional fee for parking. Other downsides are long waits for rides and overpriced concessions.
Originally published August 1, 2011.
Photo Courtesy of Quassy Amusement Park.