Family travel 5: Water parks offer exciting ways to keep your cool

Dallas Morning NewsJuly 5, 2014 

Cool off. Splash around. Here are five places to enjoy water park fun with your family:

1. Holiday World & Splashin' Safari in Santa Claus, Ind.

Located in what is described as a "Mayberryesque" locale, this award-winning park provides a super splash for every member of the family. New this year is the Mayflower, a family thrill experience that swings riders on a 54-foot arc over a pool of water.

Check the website for evening and weekend special events and discounts, as well as upcoming announcements regarding a 2015 expansion.

Contact: 1-877-463-2645;

2. Atlantis Resort at Paradise Island, Bahamas

With more than 141 acres of water rides, slides and pools, who has time to hit the beach? From the Mayan Temple to the ominous Power Tower to fun-filled Splashers Island, water lovers will find 18 adrenaline-pulsing slides for kids of all ages.

Ride the waves and rapids in the Current. Lounge around your choice of 11 pools. The thrills never end in this water-filled fantasy park.

Contact: 1-888-877-7525;

3. Arizona Grand Resort in Phoenix

Splash the day away in a 7-acre water park that includes a giant wave pool and an eight-story slide tower. Recover from the adrenaline rush while floating through the winding, river-style waterway on your inner tube.

The younger set will enjoy playing under the cooling arched jets at Wildcat Springs.

Poolside cabanas provide relief from the summer sun and suite-style accommodations provide extra rooms for families.

Contact: 602-438-9000;

4. Noah's Ark in Wisconsin Dells, Wis.

Will you be willing to ride the Scorpion's Tail, known as the first "near vertical loop" water slide?

If such super high-octane fun is not on your bucket list, consider Time Warp, the "world's largest bowl ride," or the Black Anaconda, a splash-filled water coaster.

To dial the excitement down, spend time in wave pools or floating the endless rivers.

Contact: 608-254-6351;

5. El Conquistador Resort in Puerto Rico

The Coqui Water Park is considered among the largest in the Caribbean. Kids like to travel to and from their favorite splash zones via a rope bridge.

An 8,500-square-foot, infinity-edge main pool serves as the centerpiece for family fun.

Check out the lazy river, relax with the little ones at the kid's pool and speed- or tube-slide. Later, take an eight-minute boat ride to a private island for beach time and snorkeling.

Contact: 787-863-1000;

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