Area waterparks beat the summer heat
By Annie Alleman June 21, 2013 11:14AM
Deep River Waterpark in Merrillville, Ind., offers activities for kids and parents. | File photo
Summer is heating up, the kids are going nuts and the lawn sprinkler isn’t cutting it anymore.
There are plenty of water parks in the area to slip-slide your summer away, and here’s a few suggestions to get you on the path to a wet ‘n’ wild summer.
So grab a good read and your sunscreen and hit the parks. Before you go, check the websites for rain-out policies and other rules including regulations on flotation devices, swim masks, swim diapers, coolers and outside food and drinks.
Chicago water parks: The Chicago Park District operates several pools and water playgrounds across the city. While most of the water playgrounds are adjacent to outdoor swimming pools; there are few free-standing at parks across the city. Features may include: slides, tire swings, and sprays from all angles. Check www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/facilities/water-playgrounds to find one in your neighborhood.
Coral Cove Water Park: Dive in to summer at Coral Cove Water Park, owned by Carol Stream Park District. New this year is a play area and structure that replaces the sand area at the water park. The beach-themed water park features two of the tallest tube waterslides in DuPage County, a deep-water plunge pool with a drop-slide and diving board, a large walk-in swimming pool, an interactive water playground, a spray-n-playground for tots, a grassy sun hill and large patio deck with chairs and a cafe operated by RoccoVinos Restaurant. Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays. Pass holders can get in 30 minutes early. Cost: $9/$5 for residents; kids 2 and under free. Five- and 10-visit punch cards available. 849 W. Lies Road, Carol Stream. (630) 784-6100. Coralcovewaterpark.com.
The Oasis: Owned and operated by the Bloomingdale Park District, the Oasis Water Park features three different attractions: ‘Cuda Cove, Mango Bay and Otter Island. ‘Cuda Cove is an eight-lane competitive pool with a drop slide and one- and three-meter diving boards. Mango Bay is a zero-depth entry leisure pool with geysers, spilling buckets, sprayers and water slides. Otter Island is an interactive water playground. Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. weekdays; 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekends through Aug. 11. Pass holders admitted half hour early; ‘Cuda Cove competitive pool open 12 to 7 p.m. Postseason (Aug. 16-18, 23-25, 30-Sept. 2) hours are 4 to 7 p.m. Fridays, 12 to 5 p.m. weekends and Labor Day. Cost: $9 adult/$7 child and seniors non-resident. $7 adult/$5 child and senior residents. 170 S. Circle Ave., Bloomindale. (630) 529-3650. Bloomingdaleparks.org.
Raging Waves Waterpark: Prices haven’t increased from last summer. Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily in June; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. in July and Aug. 1 to 3; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 4 to 18, 24, 25, 31 and Sept. 1-2. The Cowabunga Zip Line is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (until 7 p.m. in July) and is available to people over 48 inches tall and between 70 and 270 pounds. Zip line is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekends through Sept. 29. Cost: $28.99 adult/child taller than 48”, $18.99 seniors and children under 48”, free kids 2 and under. After 3 p.m. $19.99 adult/child taller than 48 inches, $13.99 seniors and children less than 48 inches. Zip line costs $10 with park admission; zip line only, $25. Lockers cost extra. 4000 N. Bridge St. (Illinois 47), Yorkville. (630) 882-6575. Ragingwaves.com.
Centennial Beach: The former quarry property was purchased as a part of the city’s centennial celebration for $16,500 back in 1931. Nowadays, more than 135,000 visitors come between Memorial Day through Labor Day to enjoy the sandy beach, shallow-end slide, diving complex, bathhouse and concessions. Water attractions include depths of zero to 15 feet and water buckets. Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday and July 4 through Aug. 18. Open 11 a.m. to dusk Aug. 24 and 31, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 25 and Sept. 1-2. Cost: $6 resident/$10 non-resident; $3 after 5 p.m. 500 W. Jackson Ave., Naperville. (630) 848-5092. centennialbeach.org.
Otter Cove Aquatic Park: New for 2013, the Splash Park is no longer a separate amenity with a different entrance fee; it is included with admission to Otter Cove Aquatic Park. Youngsters can enjoy the spray loops, dumping buckets, water wheels and the Frog Bog Toddler Pool. Older children and adults may slither down Salamander Slides, take a ride around Turtle Creek Lazy River and use the spray cannons for some water combat. Don’t forget to build a sand castle. Aquatic park hours: 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday; and 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday through Aug. 9; 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Aug. 10-20, 4 to 7 p.m. weekdays and 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Aug. 21 to Sept. 1, 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 2. Cost: $13, $9 for residents. Twilight, lap swim and group rates available; 10-time passes available. 3615 Campton Hills Road, St. Charles. (630) 513-4377. Ottercove.org.
Harold Hall Quarry Beach: Hall Quarry Beach occupies a former stone quarry owned by the Batavia Park District. It features a sand bottom swimming area covering 60,000 square feet that includes concessions, islands, sandy beach, slides and a diving area. There’s a playground and plenty of picnic tables as well. Hours: 12 to 6 p.m. daily, with extended hours until 7 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays through Aug. 18. Cost: $11, $8 resident. “Way Back Wednesdays” pricing is $6/$3. Twilight specials from 5 to 7 p.m. 400 S. Water St., Batavia. (630) 879-5235. Bataviaparks.org.
Phillips Park Aquatic Center: This park co-owned by Fox Valley Park District and the City of Aurora offers two drop-off slides into a plunge pool, one twisting enclosed body slide, two winding body slides, kid-friendly areas with spray guns, waterfall, a small slide and dumping coconut tree; two regulation sand volleyball courts, a full-service concession stand with umbrella tables, a sand play area with seating and shade and lap-lane swimming at designated times. Check the web site for special events, themed days, concessions menu and admission prices. Hours: 12 to 7 p.m. daily through Aug. 18 (season pass holders admitted at 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday) and Aug. 24-25 and Aug. 31 to Sept. 1. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 4 and Labor Day. 828 Montgomery Road, Aurora. (630) 851-8686. Foxvalleyparkdistrict.org
Splash Country Water Park: Splash Country features six-lane zero-depth pool with children’s play features, the second-largest lazy river in Illinois with 1,100 feet winding through dumping buckets, sprayers, jets and a bubbling rapids; one winding, enclosed tube slide, one winding, open tube slide, an enclosed kid-friendly area with spray guns, waterfall and other interactive features for kids under 48 inches tall; two regulation sand volleyball courts, full concession stand with umbrella tables, sand play area with seating and shade, and lap-lane swimming at designated times. Look for special events and themed days throughout the summer. Hours: 12 to 7 p.m. daily through Aug. 11; pass holders admitted at 11:30 a.m. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 4. See web site for full concessions menu, themed days, special events and admission prices. 195 S. Barnes Road, Aurora. (630) 906-7981. Foxvalleyparkdistrict.org.
Splash Station Water Park: Joliet’s Splash Station opened in 2002 on a site that was originally a gravel strip mining operation dating back to 1903. A railroad line moved the gravel across the property along U.S. Route 6 for processing; therefore, the railroad motif for the park was developed. Nowadays, visitors can enjoy the Midwest’s only 200-foot, six-lane racing slide; a 865-foot lazy river, and enclosed body slide, an open body slide, an open tube slide, an enclosed tube slide, a zero-depth pool, a sandy play area and a full concession stand. Hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday through Aug. 11. (Pass holders admitted at 10:30 a.m.) Open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 4. Cost: Non-resident $13, $9 kids 48 inches and under. Resident $9/$6. Kids ages 3 and under free. Twilight and senior swim discounts available. 2780 Channahon Road, Joliet. (815) 741-7275. Jolietsplashstation.com.
Hidden Creek AquaPark: Hidden Creek features a winding water slide and a drop slide, water playground with dump bucket, sand area, lap pool, concession stand and special events throughout the summer. Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday through Aug. 18. Open 11 a.m. to 10:15 p.m. July 4. Open 4:30 to 8 p.m. Aug. 19 to Sept. 1, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 2. Cost: $13; $8 residents. Free for kids 3 and under. Twilight rates and 10-time resident punch cards available. 1220 Fredrickson Place, Highland Park. (847) 433-3170. Hiddencreekaquapark.org.
Oak Brook Park District Family Aquatics Center: This indoor park offers a water playground with geysers, a 105-foot long slide, six lap lanes, 10-person whirlpool and zero-depth entry. Hours: 6 to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 4 to 8 p.m. Friday; noon to 3:30 p.m. weekends. Water slide is closed Monday through Wednesday. Cost: Non-resident $12; $8 kids 3-17 and seniors. Resident: $10; $6 kids 3-17 and seniors. 1450 Forest Gate Road, Oak Brook. (630) 990-4233. Obparks.org.
Pelican Harbor Indoor/Outdoor Aquatic Park: This indoor/outdoor park offers a lazy river with an adventure channel, four speed slides, diving well, spray playground, a zero-depth entry pool, beach volleyball, sand playground area, picnic area, concessions and family changing areas. The indoor park has a lap pool, two water slides, tumble buckets, Parkie the Pelican tot slide; drop slide and 10-person hot tub. Hours: 12 to 8 p.m. weekdays, 12 to 6 p.m. Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Pass holders admitted half hour early. Twilight hours/rates available. Cost: $15, $8 resident, free kids under 2. 200 S. Lindsey Lane, Bolingbrook. (630) 739-1705, (630) 739-0272. Bolingbrookparks.org.
Atcher Island: Schaumburg Park District’s Polynesian-themed water park has water slides, a unique circular drop slide, children’s sprayground and more. Concessions are available on site. Hours: 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. weekdays and 12 to 8 p.m. weekends through Aug. 18. Cost: Non-resident $9/$7 kids. Resident $7/$5 kids. Kids under age 2 free. 730 S. Springinsguth Road, Schaumburg. (847) 985-2135. Parkfun.com
Cypress Cove Family Aquatic Park: This water park features a sprayground with geysers, water curtain and oversized dumping bucket; a zero depth pool, a 600-foot lazy river, three body slides, a tube slide, a kiddie slide, a tot flume slide, a sand play area and concession stands. Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily through Aug. 16. Open 11:30 to 5 p.m. July 4. Check web site for modified post-season hours Aug. 17 to Sept. 2. Cost: Non-residents $14, $7 seniors, kids under 1 free. Residents: $8; $4 seniors. Discounted price after 5 p.m. 8301 S. James Ave., Woodridge. (630) 985-5620. Woodridgeparks.org.
Dolphin Cove Family Aquatic Center: The Discovery Fountain in the Sandcastle Beach area has bubblers, a flushing funnel, flow gates and paddle wheel. There is a zero-depth beach area with geysers and slides for small children. There is also Rip Tide body slide and the Typhoon tube slide as well as the Sand Bar Cafe and gift shop. Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays, 12 to 6 p.m. weekends through Aug. 13. Weekends only Aug. 14 to Sept. 2. Cost: $7.50, $6.50 age 3-9 and seniors. Residents $5, $4 kids age 3-9 and seniors. Reduced rates in evening. 300 N. Kennedy Dr. (Routes 25 and 68), Carpentersville. (847) 836-7946. Dtpd.org.
Sea Lion Aquatic Park: Sea Lion Park features a zero-depth/lap pool, drop and flume slides, zero-depth tot pool, sand play area and splash playground. Hours: 11:30 to 8 p.m. daily through Aug. 18. Open 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 4. See web site for modified post-season hours Aug. 19 to Sept. 2. Cost: Non-resident $13, resident $7. Seniors discounted $1. Kids under age 2 free. 1825 Short St., Lisle. (630) 964-3410. Lisleparkdistrict.org.
Stingray Bay Family Aquatic Center: This park features two 138-foot-long water slides, two tot slides, rain drop, large sand play area, sand volleyball court, diving boards, swimming lanes, zero-depth simulated beach area, four floating animal features and a cafe. Hours: 11:15 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11:15 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, 12:15 to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Park opens 15 minutes earlier daily for season pass holders. Last day of the season is determined by staff availability; weekend hours will continue through Sept. 2. Cost: Children under 3 admitted free. Resident/nonresident youth ages 4 to 17 is $6/$8; adults (18 to 54) $8/$10; seniors (55 and older) $7/$9. After 5 p.m. for all ages: $4/$6. 12219 Lois Lane in Betsey Warrington Park, Huntley. (847) 515-7665. Huntleyparks.org.
Mayan Adventure Indoor Water Park: The Waverton Hotel has an indoor water park with a tube slide, body slide, lazy river, family activity pool with water basketball and 300-gallon dumping basket. Hours: 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. through August. Cost: $30 full-day pass, $20 half-day pass. Kids under 2 are free. 624 N. York St., Elmhurst. (630) 834-2329. http://waverton.htkdev.com/mayan-adventure-waterpark.
Hurricane Harbor: The water park at Six Flag Great America features a plethora of water rides for all thrill levels — from the mild Buccaneer Bay and Castaway Creek lazy river; to the maximum-thrills of the six-story Tornado and the harrowing, aptly-named Mega Wedgie. Hours: 12:15 to 6 p.m. daily through Aug. 11; then daily hours vary through Sept. 2. Cost: $63.99/$43.99 for child under 48 inches. Buy tickets online and save $20. Weekday ticket purchased online costs $38.99 (excluding July 4.) Your ticket gets you into Hurricane Harbor and Six Flags Great America, Gurnee. (847) 249-4636. Sixflags.com.
White Water Canyon Water Park: White Water Canyon Water Park encompasses 5 acres of family fun. The main pool features a zero depth entry with an interactive children’s play area, a 1-meter diving board, and a 3-meter drop slide. There is also a 600-foot long lazy river; a sprayground with interactive fountains, water cannons, arches that spray, flowers that squirt and dumping buckets. There is also a sand play area full of buckets, scoops, shovels and a triple sand and water play table. Don’t miss the full service concession stand. Hours: 12 to 9 p.m. daily, 12 to 8:30 p.m. during July, 12 to 6 p.m. July 4. Late summer hours begin Aug. 19 and are 4 to 8 p.m. daily and 12 to 8 p.m. weekends through Labor Day. Cost: $13/$7 residents. 8221 W. 171st St., Tinley Park. (708) 342-4200. Tinleyparkdistrict.org.
Deep River Waterpark: Family waterpark featuring The Dragon and 10 other rides and water play activities. Waterslides, wave pools, child’s activity area, sand volleyball, cafes and more. Hours: 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily to Aug. 11; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 17, 18, 24, 25, 31 and Sept. 1 and 2. Cost: $22.95, $13.95 under 46 inches, $16.95 seniors. $19.95, $11.95 under 46 inches, $14.95 seniors after 2 p.m. From Aug. 12-15 only 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily: $15.95, $11.95 under 46 inches, $12.95 seniors. $13.95, $8.95 under 46 inches, $10.95 seniors after 2 p.m. 9001 E. US Hwy. 30, Crown Point, IN (219) 947-7850. deepriverwaterpark.com.
Annie Alleman is a local free-lance writer.