Water Fountains, Kid Style
I was talking to a friend this week...about fountains, of course. We were talking about how children are so drawn to water fountains, drinking fountains, etc. Anything with water, basically. Especially moving water. This conversation made me think about being a kid again, looking at the world with wonder and naivety. So, this week, we deviate from the norm and talk about the biggest and baddest of all water fountains for kids: water parks!
Being from Florida, I have to start with Orlando's Wet'n'Wild water park. I can remember going there as a kid and being so excited I didn't know what to do with myself. I remember being scared of the "big kids" rides. Wet'n'Wild is still going strong, with the classics like the wave pool, the Mach 5 (the one where you lay on a mat and zoom down a huge slide), and Der Stuka. They have over 15 full on water slides to go crazy on. Seriously makes me feel like a kid again and it's great. One of my favorites, and kind of a scary one, is the new Aqua Drag Racer, the tallest and fastest of its kind in Florida. This is like the Mach 5, but on steroids. You start at the same time as your friends, go through a bit of winding, enclosed slide, then you're out in the open, flying down this fairly steep, gigantore slide on your stomach. Makes my belly feel funny just thinking about it. As for prices, this is a typical water park. Make sure you save up your pennies, because after admission ($60), parking ($13), locker (few bucks), and any other add ons, you're looking at around $100 a person. I recommend packing your lunch!
One of my family's favorite parks is Water Country in Portsmouth, NH. We used to go there when we were visiting family in the upstate New York area. It was fun, over the years, watching our kid go from not being able to ride on the slides we wanted to go on, to being tall enough and we were the ones having to keep up! Our favorites were the Screamer, Thunder Falls, and the Triple Giant Slides. The Screamer is so simple, you're in just enough free fall that you catch a second of air that totally freaks you out. Scream?...yes, I did. A park favorite is the Geronimo. These slides are 50 feet tall, give or take, and you shoot down at the same time as another person. The best part is seeing who can splash the onlookers the most. Good stuff. The walking around gets a little tiring on wet feet, so be sure to bring flip flops.
I would never have guessed that America's largest water park was in Wisconsin. Well, Noah's Ark is in the heart of Wisconsin Dells, and has bragging rights for their 70 acre water park that is home to over 40 water slides. Wait, what?!? You read that correctly. On top of all those slides, there are several special play areas for kids, mini golf, three arcades (!), and so much more. Never been to this one, but it is officially on the list now.
Another "I wish..." water park, for me, would have to be White Water in Atlanta, Georgia. Not only becuase it's close to home and so many other cool Southern attractions, but mostly because of this one ride I've heard about. They have this family ride called The Runaway River. It's a 735-foot tunnel ride with exciting dips and turns - and the rafts hold up to four people! This is when I have the most fun at water parks...throwing my whole family into one raft and lettin'er rip! So much lauging, screaming, and smiling. It's the best.