Awesome Water Parks Near Philadelphia: What's Open in 2020
The theme of summer is always: keep cool. And what better way than by visiting a nearby water park? Water slides, lazy rivers, surf simulators, whirlpools, and even swim-up bars for the adults: we've got a list of great water parks near Philadelphia.
In light of COVID, each park is adapting to keep its guests safe. Families should be aware of some general updates which apply to the majority of parks opening during this time. Guests over 2 years old are asked to wear masks in common areas, excluding water activities. Most venues require advance registration. All have increased sanitation efforts.
So grab your bathing suit, towels, and sunscreen and cool down at one of these water spots.
Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom offers an affordable day for families with kids of all ages.
Top Outdoor Water Parks in Pennsylvania
1. Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom — Allentown, PA
Open in 2020 with online reservations. All guests must complete a health screening questionnaire prior to visiting.
The best part about Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom is you get into both parks for one admission price! Wildwater Kingdom features so many great attractions: Island Water Works, Lollipop Lagoon, and Wild Water Rapids. It also has giant wave pools, serpentine slides, two lazy rivers, and a racing slide.
2. Sesame Place — Langhorne, PA
Reopened in 2020 with online reservations and some ride closures due to social distancing needs.
Sesame Place is the perfect water park for the littlest adventurer. Kids will love playing on the Count's Splash Castle, riding the huge slip 'n' slide, or going down the ever-popular Sky Splash featuring oversized toys like an 8-foot rubber duckie! The best part is, admission gets you into the whole park, so kids can do more than just play in the water.
After a morning on the rides, cool off in Hersheypark's water park.
3. Hersheypark — Hershey, PA
Reopened in 2020 with online reservation requirements.
Hersheypark might be better known for its dry rides, but the water park is plenty of fun, too. It includes a wave pool, coaster ride, multiple water slides, lazy river, and multiple interactive water play attractions. Big kids will love the East Coast Waterworks section, while little ones can enjoy Sand Castle Cove. The 11-acre water park is included in the theme park admission rate. Read our full review of the Hersheypark amusement park in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
4. Camelbeach Mountain Waterpark — Tannersville, PA
Reopened with online reservations for summer 2020. All payment transactions are cashless.
This outdoor water park features lots of great attractions. Thrill rides include SandStorm, a huge funnel tube ride, Triple Venom, a 6-story tall ride that features three different slides all with high speeds, quick turns, and huge drops, Vortex, body-ride bowl slides, and Spin Cycle, tube-ride bowl slides. It also includes lots of fun splash and water play areas for kids and a surf simulator. Camelbeach also has zip-lining. If you're too tired to drive home, or want to make a whole vacation out of it, stay at Camelback Hotel, which also offers an indoor water park to guests.
5. Dutch Springs' AquaPark — Bethlehem, PA
The AquaPark is closed for the 2020 season, but scuba diving lessons are available.
Definitely the most unique water park on this list, the AquaPark at Dutch Springs is an old flooded quarry turned 50-acre lake. This lake features inflatable rides and slides, a water jump trampoline, rafts, snorkeling, and scuba diving. So, you can make a whole weekend out of it!
Bask in the gigantic outdoor pool at Sahara Sam's Oasis in New Jersey.
NJ and Jersey Shore Water Parks
6. Sahara Sam's Oasis — West Berlin, NJ
The outdoor water park and arcade are open in 2020 for online reservations. The indoor water park remains closed.
Boasting indoor and outdoor options, this water park is perfect for year-round adventures. The indoor area has lots of unique slides, the state's only surfing simulator, an obstacle course, and an adorable toddler area. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, the park also offers an outdoor beach area featuring a leisure pool, full-service tiki bar, splash park, and a 12,000 square feet wave pool. Sam's also has an arcade area when kids need a break from the water.
Diggerland's new water park includes a splash area for little ones.
7. Diggerland's Water Main — West Berlin, NJ
Open in 2020 with online reservations.
The construction-themed amusement park debuted a brand-new water park in 2020, The Water Main. There's a main pool, water obstacle course, slides, and even a toddler splash area. Check out the basketball hoops, too! Reserve a cabana ahead of time, so the whole family can spread out. Admission to the water park is included in the ticket price for the theme park.
Shoot down the slides at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor.
8. Six Flags Hurricane Harbor — Jackson, NJ
Reopened with online reservations and new social distancing measures in place.
If you like water rides that thrill, Hurricane Harbor is the place for you. Check out the Big Wave Racer, an 1,800-foot slide with lots of steep drops, Cannonball, Wahini, and Jurahnimo Falls, which features a 75-foot drop, or the Tornado, a 132-foot tunnel. Not into high speeds and big drops? No problem, Hurricane Harbor also offers family tube rides and kids rides. The new Calypso Springs features a 100,000-gallon pool, a spontaneously erupting geyser, huge lounge deck, and oversized umbrellas. Read our full review of Six Flags Great Adventure NJ.
9. The Splashplex — Mt. Laurel and East Hanover, NJ
Reopened for summer 2020 with online reservations. Arcades are also open at both locations.
Splashplex features outdoor attractions such as wave pools, slides, and a boardwalk. Get a break from the sun's rays with inside options include bowling, arcade games, and laser tag. Splashplex is open Memorial Day through Labor Day. Families can reserve a cabana in advance.
10. OC Waterpark — Ocean City, NJ
Reopened for summer 2020
This beachside water park offers water slides, a lazy river, and a few thrill rides, too. Take the younger children to Lil' Buc's Bay for more shallow water play with interactive features.
11. Raging Waters Water Park at Morey's Piers — Wildwood
Reopened for summer 2020 with online ticketing.
Look out over the Wildwood beach from the top of the slides at this water park that is loaded with thrill rides. Check out Shotgun Falls, Rocket Raft Run, speed slides, and rope swings at this water park that's adjacent to all the Morey's Piers' rides, too. An interactive pirate ship and family pool are great for younger kids.
Riders go head first down Patriot's Plunge. Photo courtesy of Breakwater Beach.
12. Breakwater Beach Waterpark at Casino Pier — Seaside Heights, NJ
Reopened but requires online tickets. Some attractions are not open for the 2020 season.
A great place to visit while you're at the shore, Breakwater Beach offers free fall slides, serpentine slides, a mat race slide with plunge drop, an interactive multi-level splash play area, and hot tub springs. Yes, hot tub springs.
Indoor Water Parks
13. Kalahari Waterpark — Pocono Mountains, PA
Another Poconos resort that has reopened, including access to its indoor water park. Cash-free transactions are encouraged to limit physical contact and express check-out is available.
America's largest indoor water park, Kalahari is also connected to a hotel with an outdoor pool and arcade. This park features a bodyboarding and surfing wave pool, water coasters and flume rides, a water play area for kids, a separate toddler area with tiny slides and activities, and a basketball pool. Kalahari also has a swim-up bar and whirlpool spas for parents to relax and enjoy while kids play. There's a seasonal outdoor pool attached to the water park. Day passes to the water park are available even if you don't stay overnight at the resort.
Families can hit the rides together at Great Wolf Lodge's indoor water park.
14. Great Wolf Lodge — Pocono Mountains, PA
This Poconos resort is once again accepting visitors, including to its indoor water park. Masks are required in most shared spaces.
Recently renovated, Great Wolf Lodge offers so many attractions. From relaxing hot springs and cabanas to thrilling water slides and wave pools, everyone in the family is sure to enjoy a visit to this destination. In addition to water fun, guests can expect a rope course, bowling, miniature golf, arcade games, and creation station, a place kids can make their very own stuffed animal. The indoor water park is only accessible to overnight guests of the lodge.
A version of this article was first published in 2016
All photos courtesy the water parks