5 Old-School Water Parks to Try This Summer
Enjoy water sports and rides at these iconic amusement parks.
Summertime for most Americans means vacation time with the family and large scale theme parks. But less crowded and equally fun options are a number of old school amusement parks with family-friendly water rides and sports to beat the heat.
Here are five iconic amusement parks in the U.S. (most have been in operation for decades) and some of the enticing aquatic attractions they offer: everything from giant water slides to rollercoaster-like log chutes.
Located in Rochester, New York, Seabreeze began as a lakefront picnic destination in 1879 but was operating as an amusement park by the early 1900s. Today Seabreeze is acknowledged as the fourth oldest amusement park in the U.S. but you wouldn’t know it from the modern rides and attractions like the Screaming’ Eagle and the Time Machine. A key part of the venue’s allure is their Waterpark, which includes the Helix, a high speed water ride, Hydro Racer, inner tube slides, the Soak Zone and a huge state-of-the-art wave pool.
2. Canobie Lake Park
Canobie Lake Park started as a pleasure resort in 1902 but over the years this Salem, New Hampshire institution evolved from a place where you could picnic, canoe and play the penny arcade to a large scale amusement park with state of the art rides, midway concessions and family activities. Their water park is a particular favorite and includes the Log Flume, the Tall Timber Splash, the Boston Tea Party with a 50 foot drop into water and Castaway Island, an interactive experience with geyser jets, water curtains, spray guns and water wheels.
Often billed as Pittsburgh’s best amusement park, Kennywood has been a local institution since 1898. Of course, a lot has changed since then even though the park has been designated a National Historic Landmark. There are no shortage of thrill rides for daredevils like The Exterminator and the Cosmic Chaos but you’ll want to cool off with a white water raft experience like the Raging Rapids or get splashed on the Log Jammer or Pittsburg Plunge featuring a 50 foot chute drop.
4. Jolly Roger Amusement Park
This famous Ocean City, Maryland attraction first opened in 1964 as the Arnold Palmer Putting Course and Driving Range but soon expanded into a full-blown amusement park with rides, a go-cart track, a petting zoo and live entertainment. By the early 1970s Jolly Roger also became a major water park destination with the opening of Splash Mountain, which includes a dizzying array of water activities. Adults and older kids can experience extreme water slides like the Eye of the Hurricane, the Stealth and the Aqualoop (a 360 degree, semi-transparent waterslide). Small tots can enjoy the wave pool, the Splash Pad, the Kiddie Pirate Ship pool and the Rainforest playground.
5. Lake Winnepesauka
Carl O. Dixon first opened this Chattanooga lake property to the public in 1924 renaming it after the Native American term for “beautiful lake of the highlands.” A swimming pool was eventually added along with various rides and attractions and today Lake Winnie offers something for everyone - kiddie, family and thrill rides - plus the Soakya Water Park. Among the many fun aquatic attractions are Coke Float Cove, Crazy River, the Zoom Flume, and Twist-N-Shout, an exhilarating tube slide through giant helices into complete darkness!