During the summer, water parks become a nirvana for Arizonans.

If the heat starts making you (or your family) stir-crazy and your pool has become lackluster, bring swimsuits, towels, sunscreens and the kids to these makeshift paradises at local water parks.

Big Surf

Are you an adrenaline junkie, or more of a relax-and-tan person? Either way, Big Surf’s got you covered. There are attractions for all types of water-park lovers, whether you want to try its seven different water slides or decompress in a wave pool.

Best attractions:

  • The Black Hole: Perfect for the daredevil in the group, this slide is pitch black and enclosed, so the thrill won’t stop until the rider — quite literally — sees the light at the end of the tunnel.
  • Tornado Twisters: This set of slides intertwines as riders race their way down to the pool.
  • Waikiki Beach Wave Pool: Filled with 2.5 million gallons of water, this wave pool is the best place for boogie boarding, surfing or just floating.

Details: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays. “Sunset Fridays” in June and July park is open until 9 p.m. 1500 N. McClintock Drive, Tempe. General admission $32.95. Junior admission $22.95. Free admission for kids ages 3 and younger. Ages 55 and older and those with active military, fire and police IDs $19.95. 480-994-2297, bigsurffun.com.  

Oasis Water Park

Built across seven acres and voted one of the country’s top 10 water parks by the Travel Channel, it’s no wonder why locals and tourists flock here in the summer.

Best attractions:

  • Slide Canyon Tower: This tower holds three water slides and is eight stories high, a dream come true for adventurers.
  • River Tubing: Also known as a “lazy river,” this park has the Valley’s only side-by-side one for simultaneous relaxing with your loved ones.
  • Cabanas: Made for when you start to feel the sunburn develop, or when you just want to take a break with a refreshing drink.

Details: 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m. every day of the week until Sept. 3. 8000 Arizona Grand Parkway, Phoenix. Oasis Water Park is only available to guests staying at Arizona Grand Resort & Spa, and the number of park wristbands included in the reservation type depends on the type of room booked. 877-800-4888, arizonagrandresort.com/oasis-water-park.

Wet ‘n’ Wild Phoenix

Five thrill rides, four kids zones and five family or group rides is enough to keep even the most hyper person in the family occupied and the younger tots who can’t handle larger rides yet entertained.

Best attractions:

  • Monsoon Bay: Waves swell up to 4 feet high in this wave pool, and is the perfect place to relax if you want to settle in the shallow end.
  • Raging River: An imitation of white-water rafting, four people can fill a raft and wind around and down the 600 feet of slide walls.
  • Constrictor: If you looked at this slide from far away, you would undoubtedly see the shape of a giant snake. Full of corkscrew turns, this slide was voted a top 5 water slide by the Travel Channel’s “Extreme Water Parks” show.
  • Soak ‘Em Playground: The splash pad of a toddler’s dreams.

Details: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays (June and July). 10 a.m.-8 p.m. all other days of the week (June and July). 4243 W. Pinnacle Peak Road, Glendale. $40.99 Monday-Friday or $43.99 on Saturdays and Sundays. Discounts available online here. 623-201-2000, wetnwildphoenix.com.

Golfland Sunsplash


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Golfland Sunsplash is two parks in one location, AKA a kid’s most exciting summer day ever. Sunsplash is the go-to park for all your water-slide needs, and Golfland has more traditional park attractions — even some on land, such as laser tag and an arcade.

Best attractions:


  • Master Blaster Water Coaster: Advertised as the park’s “original roller coaster water slide,” this ride is the perfect combination of thrilling and fun. Nothing beats a classic, right?
  • The Cauldron: If any sort of spinning ride makes you feel nauseated, this is not for you. Riders catapult down a four-story slide and into a giant bowl, spinning revolution after revolution until landing in the water at the bottom.
  • Sidewinder: It’s similar to an enlarged skateboarding half-pipe, accelerating riders upward after dropping five stories to the bottom.


  • Bonzi Speed Slides: These slides are the perfect size for kids who aren’t ready for more intense attractions, and they are the ideal setting for side-by-side racing.
  • Bumper Boats: Rev up the water jet “engine” on these boats and “bet on getting wet on this attraction,” according to Golfland’s website.

Details: 10 a.m- midnight Friday-Sunday. 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday. 155 W. Hampton Ave., Mesa. General admission $32 at gate. Discounted prices online, and some ticket prices vary by age. See all pricing here. 480-834-8319, golfland.com/mesa.

Kiwanis Wave Pool

Sometimes avoiding the sun entirely seems like the best option. This indoor wave pool can still provide a day chock-full of fun. On June 15, Kiwanis debuted “The Cloud,” a 5,000 square-foot water play structure. The Cloud also offers misting spray areas and plenty of areas for parents to cool off and keep an eye on their kids.

Best attractions:

  • Wave pool feature: Waves swell to 3 feet high and come in eight different patterns to keep swimmers on their toes.
  • Double spiral water slide: Would it really be a water park without a slide?

Details: 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday; 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. 6111 S. All America Way, Tempe. $5 kids ages 2-12 years old, $7 for kids 13 years old or older and adults. 480-350-5201, tempe.gov.


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