Best Water Parks Near NJ
Looking to get wet, but don't like the sand? Try one of these out of this world water parks.
Courtesy of Caribbean Cover Hurricane Harbor
200 Rte. 94, Vernon
This Essex County water park reopened two years ago and is a haven for kids who’ve outgrown the sprayground circuit. Don’t miss the Tarzan-style swing that flies 23 feet in the air into a big pool, and the Zero-G trap-door slide dubbed the “world’s tallest double looping slide.” The Bombs Away Body ride culminates in a heart-stopping 18-foot free fall at the end, and the Colorado River attraction is just like real whitewater rafting. There are also little kid rides, a lazy river (when you’re ready to wind down from all the excitement), an alpine mountain coaster, the Soaring Eagle chair ride and mini-golf nearby for a few extra bucks.
The Details: $30 for adults, $24 for kids under 48 inches and children under four are free.
Camelback Mountain Resort
301 Resort Dr., Tannersville, PA
More than just a water park, this mini-vacation destination has options for every forecast. Aquatopia, which opened last year, is a giant indoor venue boasting a dark and twisty raft ride, Venus SlydeTrap, the Bombora FlowRider (a high-intensity surf simulator), a huge wave pool and an indoor/outdoor hot tub. The outdoor Camelbeach Mountain Water Park features a vortex ride—a bowl slide where you spin around a watery hole without a raft and plummet into the pool below. Both sites are packed with racing slides, wave pools and splash zones guaranteed to exhaust kids (in the best way). There’s a new lodge attached to Aquatopia if you want to extend your trip, a sky ride (which makes use of the ski-lift chairs), an adventure course in the woods, ziplines and an awesome mountain coaster.
The Details: Camelbeach tickets are $44 for adults and $34 for seniors and kids under 48 inches. Kids ages two and under are free. Aquatopia is only open to resort guests.
188 State Rte. 10, East Hanover
If you didn’t make it to Splashplex last summer, check it out this year. The newly revamped water park is a good option for those who don’t want to travel a long way to have some fun. They’ve added four new water slides, including two fast tubes, a 580-foot-long lazy river, a pool with a cascading waterfall and a five-story tower with water-dumping fun. All this in addition to its new five-foot-deep pool, a wet and wild playground (think lots of squirting fountain action), plus hoses and blasters. If it rains, head inside for a game of laser tag at the arcade.
The Details: "Summer Splash" wristbands are $26. Cabanas are available at an additional cost.
Great Wolf Lodge
1 Great Wolf Dr., Scotrun, PA
While there are newer indoor/outdoor resorts in the Poconos gaming for your attention, this spot remains our favorite for little kids. It’s filled with lots of zero-depth pools, small slides and splash areas, and has MagiQuest available (an interactive game with wands that will keep them running around once they’re out of the pool). They’ve upped their outdoor area with a new restaurant, Grizzly Jack’s, and the Racoon Lagoon (an outdoor pool with water slides and aquatic basketball) has been stocked with more outdoor games (think giant Jenga). Don’t forget to tackle the new outdoor Howler’s Peak ropes course, where kids do mini-ziplines and walk on bridges 50 feet in the air. The ultra brave can try the Quick Jump, a leap of faith off the platform and into thin air down (slowly) 40 feet.
The Details: Rooms start at $219.99 a night.
1 Six Flags Blvd., Jackson
This already massive water park is expanding with the new Caribbean Cove water play section. The climbing zone offers lots of chances to get really, really wet (including a huge tipping bucket). And while you dip your toes in the shallow water, the kids can try King Cobra (a big raft slide where you ride up into a snake’s mouth) or do a ridiculous plunge off Jurahnimo Falls, a 76-foot-steep drop body slide that takes you from zero to 40 miles per hour in a heartbeat. There are family raft rides like the Big Bambu, the Blue Lagoon wave pool and the shallow-water Discovery Bay play area, too. Pro tip: If you can, head down on a weekday for shorter lines.
The Details: Tickets are $47.99 for adults and $37.99 for kids under 48 inches. Kids ages two and under are free.
250 Kalahari Blvd., Pocono Manor, PA
The newest addition to this mecca in the Poconos is this sprawling African-themed resort that’s still impressive, even though stage two of the park hasn’t opened yet (look for an even wetter, wilder run in early 2017). There’s a large retractable roof, which means the fun continues rain or shine. Kids can learn to bodyboard on the FlowRider or try out the Anaconda, a giant water roller coaster. An adorable and super safe tiny tyke splash-and-play area is ideal for toddlers even as they’re learning to walk.
The Details: Day passes during the summer start at $99.
100 Sesame Rd., Langhorne, PA
Though you probably think of Sesame Place as an amusement park first (thanks to its sweet rides and adorable shows), we love it for its perfect-for-preschoolers water park. There’s no cuter water play area around than The Count’s Splash Castle, filled with bubbler jets, tipping buckets and water wheels. Our favorite is the big Sky Splash raft ride, which has a gigantic eight-foot rubber duckie on top and room for the whole family in each car as it takes you (gently) down six stories.
The Details: Weekday tickets for ages two and up start at $70 and weekend tickets for ages two and up start at $75, but you’ll find better deals if you buy online.