From the Hollywood Walk of Fame to the world-famous Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles is home to some of the best landmarks in America. Of course, it’s also home to some of the country’s hottest summer temperatures, which makes it the perfect location for world-class water parks. 

If you’re looking to escape the SoCal summer heat and enjoy some family fun at the same time, Villaway has compiled a list of the top Los Angeles water parks. We used the following criteria to compile this list: 

* Average customer ratings from Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google
* Abundance of attractions
* Uniqueness of attractions
* Family-friendliness
* Amenities (including shopping, dining options, access to lockers, etc…)
* The collective experiences of the Villaway team
* Without further ado, here are the top water parks in LA. 

5. Buccaneer Bay at La Mirada Splash

Address: 13806 La Mirada Blvd, La Mirada, CA 90638
Price: $23 general admission; $18 for guests under 48” tall 

Website

Buccaneer Bay at La Mirada Splash

@splashlamirada | source

Of all the smaller regional water parks in the LA area, Buccaneer Bay is the most impressive. The pirate-themed park features three waterslides, a lazy river, aquatic jungle gyms, and a warm-water spa. Tickets are available for as little as $18, making this one of the more cost-effective water parks in the area.

Dining: There are no restaurants at the facility, and outside food and drinks are not permitted outside. However, there are picnic tables just outside where families can gather and eat.

Parking: Parking is always free in the facility’s spacious parking lot. 

Essential attractions:

The water slides: All three waterslides are the same height, but each offers a different level of thrill. The yellow slide spirals at a leisurely pace while the green slide propels riders at a faster downward tilt. For thrillseekers, the blue slide offers a near freefall experience.

The spray pads: Buccaneer Bay offers two spray pad areas where guests can splash, relax, and cool off beneath the cascading waters.

For the kids: This smaller park is ideal for bringing younger guests because the whole place is kid-friendly. You won’t have to leave the little ones behind while seeking out adults-only slides. 

The cons: This is designed as an affordable local attraction, so the water park is on the smaller side. Think less “theme park” and more “parks and rec.” In addition, the park closes at 5:30 every evening, so it’s not the best bet if you’re looking to splash into the evening.

Pro tip: If you plan to visit on multiple occasions, a season pass is worth the cost. For as little as $59, you can gain unlimited access to the park all summer long. 

4. Great Wolf Lodge

Address: 12681 Harbor Boulevard, Garden Grove, CA 92840
Price: Free for hotel guests; $75 for non-guests

Website

Great Wolf Lodge

@greatwolflodge | source

If you have young kids and are looking to beat the heat, Great Wolf Lodge is worth a visit. This spacious indoor water park, hotel, and activity center features an array of tubes, slides, obstacle courses, waterfalls, and other kid-friendly attractions.

Spin around a six-story funnel in the Howlin’ Tornado or ride the rapids with the entire family on River Canyon Run. Great Wolf Lodge has more than a dozen water attractions to choose from in addition to shows, crafts, bowling, yoga, miniature golf, and more. 

Dining: In terms of dining options alone, Great Wolf Lodge is #1 on our list. The hotel has a steakhouse, a pizzeria, a family kitchen, a bar and grill, and even a Dunkin’ Donuts. Kids can enjoy character breakfasts, and the parents can sneak away for romantic food and wine pairings.

Parking: Valet parking is available for $30 per day. Self-parking is $20 per day. This applies to hotel guests as well as non-guests. 

Essential attractions:

Alberta Falls: This four-story tube ride sends riders on a trip outside—and then back inside—the building. It’s thrilling, scenic, and fun for the whole family.

Coyote Canyon: A four-story drop into a water-jet-powered whirlpool. What more do you need? 

For the kids: One of the great things about Great Wolf Lodge is that it’s all kid-friendly. However, there are still kid-centric areas worth exploring. Most notably, head over to Racoon Lagoon, featuring a pool with a four-foot deep end and an array of water games, fountains, and geysers. 

The cons: The biggest issue here is the price. If you’re a hotel guest, your pass is free. However, if you just want to buy a day pass, the cost is $75. That’s more than you’d typically pay for much larger water parks. The fact that it’s indoors does sweeten the deal a bit, but it can still be cost-prohibitive for some. 

Pro tip: Bring your own towels and pool supplies. The gift shops are pricey, and visitors have reported that their borrowed towels often get taken by other guests. For every towel you lose, you’re charged $15. 

3. Knott’s Soak City 

Address: 8039 Beach Blvd, Buena Park, CA 90620
Price: $28.99 general admission; $17.99 for children and seniors

Website

Knott’s Soak City

@knottsberryfarm | source

If you venture over to Orange County, and specifically Buena Park, you’ll find yourself at Knott’s Soak City. Adjacent to Knott’s Berry Farm, this 15-acre water park offers 22 slides, a massive lazy river, and plenty of attractions for the kids. 

Rides like Banzai Falls and Beach House Slides are satisfying enough for thrillseekers while still being suitable for younger guests. Thrill rides like Old Man Falls (with its 63-foot freefall) and Malibu Run (with its rapid, pitch-black flumes) are guaranteed to test anyone’s bravery. 

Dining: Dining options include Longboard’s Grill and Portside Pizza, both of which offer standard—albeit varied––American fare. 

Parking: Parking is $20 for cars and motorcycles. Buses and RVs pay $25.

Essential attractions:

Shore Break: A winding series of dark tube slides that send riders free-falling through the dark from a height of seven stories. It’s easily one of the most thrilling rides in the park. 

Banzai Falls: Soaring 41 feet into the air, Banzai Falls features six side-by-side waterslides that plunge riders on their bellies into a massive pool. It’s great for racing with friends and family.

For the kids: Parents can bring the kids to Gremmie Lagoon, featuring slides, obstacle courses, and splash pads set in just one foot of water. Children can interact with the Gremmie Lagoon octopus or play in the submarine. 

The cons: This is one of the smallest of the major water parks in Southern California, and it only takes a few hours to see everything. In addition, there are no towel rentals available, so be sure to bring your own. 

Pro tip: AAA members can purchase discount tickets at any AAA branch. This not only saves you money but also saves you from having to wait in the crowded ticket line at the park. 

2. Six Flags Hurricane Harbor

Address: 26101 Magic Mountain Pkwy, Valencia, CA 91355
Price: $44.99 general admission; $36.99 for kids under 48” tall; kids under 2 get in free

Website

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor

@sixflagsmagicmountain | source

Developed as an extension of Six Flags Magic Mountain, Hurricane Harbor offers more than a dozen slides for riders of all sizes. Thrillseekers will love Reptile Ridge with its 35-foot turbo slides and Python Plunge with its fast-winding tubes. 

Dining: Dining and shopping options are plentiful, whether you’re looking to grab a slice of pizza at Red Eye’s Kitchen or shop for sundries at Cabana Bros. Export Trading Co.

Parking: Parking is $25 per vehicle. 

Essential attractions:

Black Snake Summit: A 75-foot-tall thrill ride with 500 feet of pitch-black turns. Two of the four slides comprise the tallest enclosed water slides in Southern California. 

Taboo Tower: Choose from among three waterslides modeled after ancient ruins, and escape via an exhilarating 65-foot freefall. With a 45-degree drop, Daredevil’s Plunge is the fastest and most intense of the three slides.

Tornado: This ProSlide Tornado shoots you down a 132-foot tunnel from a 75-foot elevation, propelling you into a 60-foot-wide funnel where you swirl and race up walls and through 5,000 gallons of water rapids. It’s truly a one-of-a-kind experience.

For the kids: The youngest guests will love Castaway Cove, a play area complete with mini water slides, aquatic jungle gyms, and waterfalls. Slightly bigger slides and obstacle courses can be found at Splash Island, a 30,0000-gallon oasis with rain curtain waterfalls and relaxation areas for the parents. 

The cons: If you need to rent a locker, it can get a bit pricey. They start at $15 for the smallest options. Parking can also be an issue, as guests parks in a gravel lot that’s easily a 10-minute walk from the park. 

Pro tip: Cabana rentals are available and highly recommended if you’re staying for the day. With a cabana, you can enjoy the park at your leisure and take relaxing breaks throughout the day. 

1. Raging Waters

Address: 111 Raging Waters Dr, San Dimas, CA 91773
Price: $45.99 general admission; $35.99 for kids and seniors

Website

Raging Waters

@ragingwatersla | source

Raging Waters isn’t just the best water park in the Greater Los Angeles area. It may be the best water park in the country, period. With 60 acres of land and over 50 rides and attractions, it’s the largest water park in California. Thrill rides like Ragin’ Racer, Aqua Rocket, and Dragon’s Den have raised the bar for water park exhilaration. 

Dining: Dining selections are mostly limited to fast food offerings like Carl’s Jr. and Pink’s Hot Dogs, but there are enough choices to appeal to every taste. Anyone with a sweet tooth will want to try their famous funnel cakes. 

Parking: Parking is $20 per vehicle. 

Essential attractions:

Drop-Out: A seven-story slide that sends you free-falling at nearly 40 miles per hour.

Dr. Von Dark’s Tunnel of Terror: A rapid tube ride complete with 360-degree spins and a gravity-defying 40-foot drop...all in total darkness. 

Neptune’s Fury: Jump into a four-person raft and hold on for dear life as you zip along a 600-foot tube and plunge 60 feet at 30 miles per hour. 

For the kids: Thankfully, Raging Waters isn’t just thrill rides. The park also features Kid’s Kingdom, a 30,000 square foot water playground where young children can float through aquatic mazes, swing, slide, and splash around in the waterfalls. For the youngest visitors, there’s Little Dipper Lagoon, built specifically for children under 48 inches tall. 

The cons: Because it’s among the most popular water parks in California, the lines can get long in the summertime. It’s not unusual to wait 45 minutes to an hour to get on one of the top thrill rides during peak hours, so plan accordingly. 

Pro tip: If you want to save money on your Raging Waters trip, check Groupon. You can often find discount tickets there. 

Honorable Mentions

@unistudios | source

While we’ve touched upon all of the major water parks that are LA-adjacent, there are plenty of smaller local attractions worth visiting as well. Here are the honorable mentions.

Splash Zone in Rosemead. Featuring two slides, a massive pool, and lots of splash pads, Splash Zone is a family-friendly getaway that can be enjoyed for as little as $1. 

Hansen Dam Aquatic Center in Lake View Terrace. Featuring a large pool and two winding water slides, Hansen Dam Aquatic Center is a small and relaxing escape in the heart of the San Fernando Valley. Admission is just $4 for adults and $1 for kids.

Buccaneer Cove in Riverside. In terms of quality, this should be higher on the list, but since it’s about 55 miles outside of Los Angeles, it loses a few points. Located inside of Castle Park, Buccaneer Cove offers five slides, a lazy river, splash pads, and more. 

Super Silly Fun Land at Universal Studios, Hollywood. While not technically a water park, this Minion-themed section of Universal Studios has over 80 water features for kids of all ages. No thrilling slides, but a great place to cool down. 

DryTown Water Park in Palmdale. If you happen to venture toward the Antelope Valley area, you may want to check out DryTown, a modest six-acre park with thrill rides like Rattler’s Revenge and Devil’s Punchbowl, as well as kid-friendly attractions like Little Miners’ Camp.

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