For us, summer is all about seeing how many water activities we can pack in to a three month span. Neighborhood pools and splash pads are always on our to-do list! We also love a good water park trip during the hot summer months, but sometimes the crowds, long lines for rides, and admission costs make trips to Schlitterbahn or Splashtown something that we tend to only do once or twice per year. Luckily, we recently discovered a hidden gem in Pasadena where we can squeeze in some waterslide fun for a fraction of the cost of a day trip to a bigger water park. We can get our slide and lazy river fix in and our littlest guys even have their very own space to splash and play on a kids structure. We've discovered that this park has so much to offer, and is a great way for families to play together and beat the Texas heat.
The view from our shaded chair area next to the lap pool featuring a volleyball net in the middle and basketball goal at the end.
On our most recent trip, we arrived right as the park opened at 11 a.m. and had to wait in line for about 15 minutes before we could get checked in. There weren't more than 7-10 people in line, but the process of checking resident ID's (Pasadena residents receive discounted admission) collecting payment, and issuing wristbands did take some time. It was nothing compared to some of the lines we've had to wait in at bigger water parks, but just know ahead of time to pack a dose of patience for the entry process.
However, once we were inside, there was plenty of space and we were able to quickly find a shady spot to set up camp. We liked setting our things on the outer edge of the park near the lap pool where there were not a lot of kids splashing and all of the chairs were completely covered by a large shade cover. There are lockers near this area and it's relatively close to the bathrooms at the entrance, which was a definite plus. Many of the chair areas all over the park are covered by massive umbrellas, giving you plenty of options as to where to set up. There are also covered cabanas available for rent that come with four plastic chairs and a table with privacy drapes that can be closed or kept open.
The kids play area, shaded lagoon, and multiple water slides.
As soon as we set our things down, we were ready to hit the water! Our four-year-old loved playing on the kids play structure. Plenty of waterspout features, water cannons, two slides, and a huge apparatus on top that dumps a ton of water down over everyone every 10-or-so minutes kept him thoroughly entertained. Around the play structure, the pool is only about six inches deep, allowing smaller kids the freedom to explore the area without a floatation device if desired. The back side of the water near the kids' area gradually gets deeper (to about three and a half feet) the further toward the main pool area that you go, so it was easy to keep an eye on him and wade into the deeper water to keep myself cool.
While I made sure to keep my eyes on my son at all times, an abundance of lifeguards both in and out of the water gave me a great sense of security as far as swimming kids are concerned. A large, covered lagoon with a bench seating area is located in the central area of the pool. It's right between the large water slides and the kids' play area, so if you have multiple kids going back and forth between the different areas, this is a great spot to sit and observe in the shade. Next to the lagoon, an open pool area gives guests plenty of space to swim and play.
All three slides offer a fun and exciting ride, while the obstacle course is a hit with kids.
Separating the kids area from the slide exits is an obstacle course made of giant floating strawberries that kids can race across. A net hanging overhead helps keep their balance because the floats do not stay put when stepped on. While our little one was just a bit too short to cross, several older kids seemed to be having a blast trying their luck at the course. I even noticed a few adults getting in on the fun.
The three large water slides at Strawberry Park are comparable to any you would find at larger water parks, and each one is a bit different. The dark teal slide is an open slide with three large curves and is the slowest-flowing slide. The lime green slide is completely enclosed and also offers several twists and turns, but flows a bit faster than the teal slide. The multi-colored slide is the fastest of the three and features one large bend that whips the rider around and shoots them out at a high speed into a long, straight pool. I personally loved the lime green slide the best! It was plenty fast and super fun, and although not as fast as the multi-colored slide, my ride lasted a bit longer on the lime green one.
Riders on the water slides must be at least 48 inches tall. No sunglasses, hats, or shoes are allowed on the water slides. The best part of riding these slides was that although I had to climb four flights of stairs to get to the top of the slide, I never had to wait behind more than two people. This is awesome news for anyone with impatient kids (over 48 inches of course) and for my feet because they got a bit hot while climbing the stairs. Being able to slide, climb, and repeat over and over again with little to no wait was absolutely amazing.
Part of the lazy river and shaded seating areas.
Another feature we really enjoyed was the lazy river. It's on the smaller side and only takes about three minutes to complete the loop, but it's wide enough all the way around to not get clogged with people. There are plenty of tubes to go around and because the river isn't super long, it's even fun to swim or float around without a tube for a lap or two. Plus, it passes right by the concession stand, giving you a glimpse at what's available on the menu before walking over to grab a bite. The day we went, the menu featured items such as hamburgers, Frito pie, chicken nuggets, hot dogs, cheese sticks, and nachos. All items were under $4, which I found to be quite the deal. We could stock up on snacks without spending a fortune.
Overall, heading to Strawberry Water Park for a day of fun in the sun is the perfect choice for a low-key water park experience that is ultra-fun, but won't be overly crowded or break the bank. It's family water park fun for all!
What to know before you go:
- Park hours are 11 a.m.- 8 p.m. Friday- Monday throughout the summer months.
- Admission rate is based on height. See admission rates here. Pasadena residents receive discounted admission, and all admission is half price after 4 p.m.
- Outside food and drink is not permitted, but snacks and drinks are available for purchase.
- Children who are not potty trained must wear a swim diaper. The park will close completely if an accident occurs.
- Restrooms are located near the front entrance. Restrooms feature showers and changing areas. A family restroom is available for use upon request.
All photos by the author