Filed under: Attractions, Family Friendly, top-feature
Splishin’ and Splashin’
Cooling off just might be the #1 summer pastime in Houston.¬† It is positively tropical during the summer months, with temperatures staying firmly in the 90-100¬†¬įF range and humidity well over 90%.¬† Travelers will surely have a pool at almost any hotel they choose, but there are plenty of great water attractions for families to visit.¬† Here are three of my top picks for the Houston area.
Splashtown Water Park
Located in¬†Spring, Splashtown is about 20 miles north of the city.¬† In addition to pools and slides, the park features several different “raft rides”: Space Rapids are enclosed tube rides, the Thunder Run ride is for family rides, and the Zoom Flumes allow tandem riding with a friend in either a 95-ft. tandem tubing slide, or you can choose one of two semi-enclosed slides.¬† There are also four Family Ride features¬†to suit all ages and abilities: the Tree House Island, the slower-paced Guadalupe River Adventure, pirate-themed¬†Crocodile Island, and “Leaky Pipes” designed specifically for smaller children.¬† Adults will appreciate the opportunity to rent cabanas for added privacy and family fun.
SplashTown is located at 21300 I-45 North, Spring, TX (map).¬† General admission tickets are $38.99, with discounted pricing for children and seniors.¬† Parking is free for the entire 2010 season, which means a savings of $30 right up front!¬† Season passes and group rates are available; see the Splashtown online ticket counter for additional information, or call them at 281.355.3300.¬† Splashtown is open through September; see their summer calendar for their hours of operation during your visit.
Schlitterbahn Water Park
If you are looking to get out of the city for the day you can head an hour southeast of Houston to the Schlitterbahn Water Park in Galveston.¬† Schlitterbahn has an attraction to suit everyone’s needs, from the youngest children to the wildest of water speed demons.¬† The Wasserfest features speed slides, a “sensory deprivation” slide that is entirely in the dark, a tidal-wave river, and more.¬† The Blastenhoff area includes a hot tub with a swim-up bar for adults, whitewater attractions, and even a freefall “Cliffhanger Speed Slide” where you can reach speeds up to 40 mph.¬† For surfers there is the Surfenburg area where body sliding/surfing is the theme.
Schlitterbahn is located at 2026 Lockheed Street, Galveston, TX¬†(map).¬† Online ticket prices offer a small discount, but tickets can also¬†be purchased at the gate upon arrival.¬† General admission is $37.99 online and $39.99 at the gate, with discounted tickets available for children and seniors.¬†¬† Schlitterbahn welcomes picnic lunches (no glass, no alcohol) and offers free parking, tubes, and lifejackets.¬† Their 2010 summer season¬†opens in April and will close on September 19, but the park also has an indoor, heated season in the fall¬†(September 25-January 2, 2010).¬† You can contact the park by phone at 409.770.WAVE (9283).
Houston Zoo Water Playground
If you are looking for a less time-consuming trip for cooling off, try the Houston Zoo’s Water Playground.¬† The park is designed to look like a coastal fishing village and is the perfect way to entertain kids on a hot summer day.¬† In-ground and fountain features are included,¬† and¬†they are all on timers¬†so that fountains and pop-up jets go off unexpectedly, adding to the fun and excitement for kids.
The Houston Zoo is located at 6200 Hermann Park Dr. (map).¬† General admission to the zoo is $11 for adults, with discounted prices for children and seniors.¬† Zoo summer hours are 9 AM-7 PM, seven days a week.¬† See their website for complete information on hours and pricing.¬† You can contact the Houston Zoo by phone at (713) 533-6500.