Family fun

11 top DFW water parks, splash pads, and more places to get wet this summer

11 top DFW water parks, splash pads, and more places to get wet

Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark in Grand Prairie
Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark in Grand Prairie is one of many great options to cool down and get wet in Dallas-Fort Worth. Photo courtesy of Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark

Now that summer is here, many people will be looking for ways to cool off and have fun at the same time. Those lucky enough to have a pool are the envy of all, but the Dallas-Fort Worth area offers plenty of water parks, public pools, splash pads, and more to provide endless summer fun. Below is a list of some of the best options around the area.

Hawaiian Falls
With four DFW locations — Garland, The Colony, Mansfield, and Roanoke — Hawaiian Falls has parks in almost any direction you travel. Each offers a variety of slides like the ultra-steep Torpedo and the two-person Hawaiian Halfpipe, wave pools, and kids areas. But for sheer bang-for-your-buck, the Roanoke location is tops, with a whopping 20 attractions, compared to 10 or 11 at the three other locations. Prices range from $17.99-$31.99 depending on when you go and how you get your tickets.

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor 
Hurricane Harbor in Arlington is the standard-bearer, with thrill slides like the free fall of Der Stuka, the twisting darkness of Black Hole, and the high altitude Dive Bomber, among multiple other attractions. They also offer several rides for families to enjoy together, dive-in movies every Friday through August 9, a variety of great dining options, and more. Prices run from $34.99 online to $41.99 at the park, but you can drastically drop that price with a membership, which also includes access to Six Flags Over Texas. Hurricane Harbor stays open through September 22.

Located in North Richland Hills, NRH2O has a reputation for being one of the best water parks for the price in the area. Boasting 10 attractions that range from "High Thrill" to "Calm," it has something for everyone in the ride department. It also features dive-in movies every Friday from June 28-July 26, including JawsIncredibles 2, and Aquaman. Tickets are $15.99-$19.99 online, with discounts for North Richland Hills residents.

Hydrous Wake Park
Featuring locations in both Allen and Little Elm, Hydrous lets you test your wakeboarding skills in a controlled environment. Each park is designed for both experienced riders and beginners so that everyone can go at their own speed. They even have an Aqua Park with a floating obstacle course in Little Elm, for when you want to take a break from wakeboarding. Prices are $20 for one hour, $30 for two hours, and $50 for four hours, with equipment rental extra. There are deals available on Groupon for a bit of a break.

Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark
The newest water park in the area is also the only public indoor water park in Dallas-Fort Worth, meaning you can enjoy it rain or shine and throughout the year. It features six appropriately epic slides emanating from the same central location, along with a kids area, a Flowrider boogie board ride, and the new Epic Waves Outdoor Wave Pool, which is open through Labor Day. Prices range from $29-$34 for non-Grand Prairie residents and $17-$22 for residents, with season passes available for $79 for the summer.

Bahama Beach
Run by the City of Dallas, Bahama Beach features a kids area, lazy river, the "Bermuda Triangle" with three twisting slides, two high speed rides, and even a Water Wars area where you can compete in the ultimate water balloon game. And with a planned expansion in 2020, this water park will be getting even better in the future. Tickets run $11-$15, with discounts for Dallas residents.

Splash Dayz
Located in White Settlement, this water park was originally a Hawaiian Falls location before being taken over by the city in 2016. It features nine attractions, ranging from the soothing Lazy Dayz River to the terrifying Atomic Wedgiez. Prices range from $17.95-$19.95, and the park will stay open through Labor Day.

City pools and splash pads
Many cities around Dallas-Fort Worth offer recreation centers with slides attached to their indoor pools, as well as splash pads at parks. Splash pads are always a bonus since, being located in public parks, they're always free. Admission to city pools varies, but usually pales in comparison to regular water parks. Dallas just debuted The Cove Aquatic Centers at three area parks with a variety of attractions. One of the best options in the area is the outdoor Jack Carter Pool in Plano, a mini water park with two slides, a Flowrider, a high dive, pool with volleyball and basketball areas, a lazy river, and a kids area, all for only $5 for kids and $9 for adults.

Altitude H2O
This attraction located on Grapevine Lake at Meadowmere Park debuted last year, but it's currently closed due to high lake levels. Should the waters recede later in the summer, it will reopen. It is the largest floating aqua park obstacle course in Texas, an enormous floating playground that features attractions like monkey bars, slides, trampolines, and balance beams. Unlike other water parks, you only pay if you're participating, so adults/chaperones can sit in a special area while the kids have fun.

Grapevine hotels
If you're looking for nice staycation, Grapevine offers two great options. Great Wolf Lodge has an 80,000-square-foot indoor water park that rivals any of the outdoor ones. Just down the road, the Gaylord Texan has Paradise Springs, one of the best hotel pools around, featuring a giant lagoon, lazy river, interactive water features, and three winding waterslides. The water areas usually are available only to registered guests. However, Great Wolf Lodge has just begun offering day passes to the water park, starting at $50 per person.

Crystal Lagoons at Windsong Ranch
The buzziest water attraction in the Dallas-Fort Worth area is also its most exclusive. Crystal Lagoons at Windsong Ranch in Prosper is a huge oasis with five acres of pristine beaches and clear waters for swimming, stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, and more. Alas, it's only available for residents of Windsong Ranch and their guests, so it's time to start making friends who live in Prosper.