What Parents Should Know About Bay Area Water Parks - 510 Families
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What Parents Should Know About Bay Area Water Parks

Bay Area Water Parks for Families 2023 Season

Whitney and I have done the hard work of visiting the Bay Area’s amazing collection of water parks over the years in the hopes that we could form very strong opinions and break down all the options for you! Here are some splashy, thrilling water parks to seek out when the temperature passes 85 degrees.

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, Concord

Hurricane Harbor Concord view from a giant slide
Hurricane Harbor Concord view from a giant slide | Photo: Hurricane Harbor facebook

Description: Mack daddy water park for thrill-seekers and big kids. Hurricane Harbor is quite large. 48″ is the magic height to try to bigger slides. There is a lazy river in the middle of the park, best enjoyed with a rented tube. Children’s sprayground for smaller people. Kids under 7 likely need to stay with their adults as navigating the park is probably too big a task for a younger kid.

Best ages: Older preschooler to teen and beyond. Price structure is all about height.
Prices: Many deals are available online, and a season pass is well worth it. Save money when you buy tix online a week in advance. Regular admission is $34.99 per person. Children under 2 are FREE; tube rental extra for lazy river; Parking $25/car, which is best to pay for in advance.
NOTE: An annual pass to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo also works for Hurricane Harbor.
Food situation: No outside food; snack bar; ample shade structures and tables for picnics. Pre-pay for food packages for savings.
Location: Concord

Antioch Water Park, Antioch

Antioch Waterslides at Prewett Water Park
Waterslides at Antioch Water Park | Photo: Whitney Moss

Description: Water activities for every age from baby on up: Five slides including a super shallow tad-pool, toddler and preschooler waterslide, big kid slides, lily pad for balancing (pictured). UPDATE as of 7/20/23: The two largest slides are expected to be closed for the rest of 2023 season.

Best ages: Infant to tween. Wristbands are handed out based on height to restrict the littlest ones from going on the bigger slides and vice versa.
Prices: Weekdays – $14; Weekends/Holidays – $16; After 4pm – $8; Children under 2 – FREE
Food situation: Snack bar with lots of treats; ample grass outside for picnic; outside food OK.
Location: Antioch

Aqua Adventure Water Park, Fremont

Aqua Adventure Water Park with families
Fremont’s Aqua Adventure Water Park with families | Photo: Heather Flett

Description: Lazy river, splashy water play structure, a few big water slides. Lots of fun; kids over age six can navigate the park while you relax.

Best ages: Toddler to tween. Price structure is all about height and residency
Prices: Over 4′ Non- Resident $25.99, Fremont Resident $23.99; Under 4′ Non-Resident $20.99, Fremont Resident $18.99; Children 3 and under – $4 includes swim diaper. Save $2 per ticket by buying two days in advance.
Food situation: No outside food; snack bar with lots of treats; ample grass outside for picnic
Location: Fremont

The Wave Waterpark, Dublin

The Dublin Wave four waterslides
The Dublin Wave Waterpark has five waterslides | Photo: The Dublin Wave via facebook

Description: In addition to a full-service aquatic center for swim lessons and lap swim, The Wave has a massive Slide Tower with six ways to reach the bottom, including a near-vertical drop through a trap door (OMG!). The Splash Zone is for toddlers and others who aren’t ready for a thrill slide, and it’s packed with knobs and cranks for spilling and splashing.

For the 2023 Season, the Waterpark will be open Memorial Day Weekend, May 27 – 29; and daily from June 3 through August 6. Once school resumes in August, The Wave will be open weekends only, August 12 – September 4.

Best ages: Toddler to Teens will enjoy this sparkling new facility
Prices: Non-residents of Dublin pay $19 for over 40″ tall; $17 for under 40″ tall. Children under 2 are $4. Prices are $2 cheaper after 3 pm. You can buy tickets in advance here.
Food: No outside food. Concession stand that sells meals, snack items and beverages. Wristbands include in and out privileges, so plan to bring a cooler and tailgate.
Location: Dublin, CA

Silliman Aquatic Center (indoor!), Newark

Silliman Water Slides in Newark
Silliman Aquatic Center in Newark | Photo: Kelly Gravett

Description: Lazy river, two mid-size water slides, lap pool, massive play structure for littles, in-pool basketball.

Best ages: Toddler to tween.
Prices: General admission $12; Children 2 and under – $3 includes swim diaper (Discounts for Newark residents)
Food situation: No outside food permitted
Location: Newark

South Bay Shores at Great America, Santa Clara

Boomerang Bay at California's Great America
South Bay Shores at California’s Great America

Description: Lazy river, massive water play structure, several big water slides, wave pool, zero-entry baby pool refreshed from what was Boomerang Bay water park. Cabanas and lockers for rent. So much fun, but how do you fit this into a full day at an amusement park?

Best ages: Toddler to teen and beyond.
Prices: Included with admission to Great America
Food situation: All food okay; lots on sale.
Location: Great America in Santa Clara

Great Wolf Lodge, Manteca (Open year-round)

Great Wolf Lodge | Photo: MOMSLA.com

Description: This is a hotel AND indoor waterpark that will entice you to Manteca, CA, about an hour from the East Bay. Part of a national chain that’s popular because of it’s year-round operating schedule, Great Wolf Lodge is new to the Bay Area, and includes a large-scale indoor adventure park with a ropes course, arcade, and more.

Best ages: All ages
Prices: Stay overnight in a suite at Great Wolf Lodge to get access to the park. A family suite is about $600 for an overnight trip, but look for discount codes to knock it down to the $400s.
Food situation: Bring whatever you like to enjoy in your room which will have a fridge (or bring a cooler) or in the outdoor areas. There are numerous onsite restaurants and a deli/shop.
Location: Manteca, CA

The best Bay Area Water Parks for any age

The Dublin Wave waterslide in Dublin, CA
The Dublin Wave waterslide in Dublin, CA

Other East Bay pools with play structures or slides:

Hunt around for bargains on admission prices, consider a season pass if you live close, and always double-check that the water park is open before you pack up your kids and gear!


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5 thoughts on “What Parents Should Know About Bay Area Water Parks”

  1. Simona Alexander

    Raging Waters in San Jose was also a good one that opened last weekend (May 20, 2022. Tickets were $34.99 for adults and $32.99 for children. I got a gold season pass for $65 that gave 2 buddy passes, so I brought the two of us in, and can go back another time. Parking is $6 to the City of San Jose.

  2. There is a sprayground at Meadow Home park in Concord. El Cerrito Splash Park has now limited entry to young kids (6 and under or something like that).

  3. Pingback: San Francisco Amusement Parks: Complete Northern California Theme Park Guide - Trips With Tykes

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