Six Flags Hurricane Harbor (used to be Waterworld Concord)
For my daughter’s eighth birthday, we took her and three of her friends, to the largest water park in the Bay Area, Hurricane Harbor, which is in Concord, about 30 minutes east of Berkeley. We were wowed by the large-scale water slides, including several types I had never seen before. And now, with the addition of the Caribbean Cove play area, Hurricane Harbor is even more fun for little kids.
Hurricane Harbor is now open for the 2023 season!
Visiting Concord Water Park: Hurricane Harbor
Concord is nearly guaranteed to be hotter than any part of the (510), which is critical because standing in line for a slide when you are soaking wet from a previous slide is no fun in 70 degrees. Even 80 degrees is not quite warm enough, as the water in the slides and pools is not heated. We learned that the hard way.
It’s probably best to save a trip to Hurricane Harbor for a spontaneous hot day, preferably mid-week, for the best chance of short lines. Having told all the girls we were going there weeks in advance, there was no backing out when we realized the temperature was moderate. My recommendation: Wait for a 90-degree day, which is consistent for July in Concord.
Side note: When I was a kid in Los Angeles, I had a waterpark birthday planned for my 11th or 12th birthday, and when my eight friends arrived at my house in the morning, and it began to sprinkle, my parents quickly shifted gears and took us all to Disneyland. Looking back, I cannot believe it. Best Parents Ever.
Hurricane Harbor is quite large. There is a lazy river in the middle of the park, best enjoyed with a rented tube. Kids under 8 likely need to stay with their adults as navigating the park is probably too big a task for a younger kid.
There are tons of lounge chairs and picnic tables around the park so you can set up camp, leaving your towels and flip-flops at your chairs. Some have shade and many do not. Plenty of people brought their own shade tents and set up camp on the ground as well.
There’s plenty to enjoy for kids of every age. However, 48 inches in height is a big cliff to get access to a whole lot more rides, which may be frustrating to kids who are 7 or 8 years old, but only 47 inches tall, and I had three girls in this petite category.
Two areas are specially designed for kids under 48 inches: Toddlers and preschoolers will enjoy mini-slides and splashing teeter-totters in Caribbean Cove, the little kids’ area, and the ages 5-10 crowd will enjoy climbing and spraying water in the large play structure called Splashwater Island, plus the wave pool and the lazy river with the company of an adult.
Preteens and teens have tons of aggressive slides to choose from.
All but one of my 8-year old companions was thrilled by The Big Kahuna, a mega slide in which up to four riders sit in a multi-person raft together. It was like an artificial river rafting experience.
Discounts: How to save money at Hurricane Harbor
Regular admission is $34.99 per person for a one-day ticket (but many add-ons will increase the price). Children under 2 are FREE.
- A season pass pays for itself on the second visit. If you think you’ll go back even once, go for it because the price of a season pass is about $55- $90 + It includes a couple of bring-a-friend days (free on select days during the season) AND is also a season pass to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, including free parking there. Parking is $30+, so that’s nothing to shrug at.
- A membership is a multiple payment model, starting around $30-50 per month for in three to six payments, and offers even more benefits, such as discounts on food at both parks (Hurricane Harbor, Discovery Kingdom, and in fact most Six Flags parks around the country), and free parking at all parks. Every guest would need their own membership, and of course, only the parent really needs the free parking and food discounts, so you can do the math on how the benefits might materialize for you.
- Eat dinner in Concord. We left the waterpark just before it closed, and went to the nearby chain restaurant, Rubio’s. This way the kids were freshly fed for the “long” ride home and it being a birthday party, we did cupcakes at home. This was a totally affordable party concept, and I’d do it again. A 510 mom tipped me off to eating in Concord after a day at the water park because it’s generally cheaper than eating out in the Oakland or Berkeley area. I’m not sure what level restaurant she was comparing, but Skipolini’s is a popular Concord pizza place and it’s close to Hurricane Harbor. Related: Veranda is a Concord destination with restaurants and a cool play structure >
Plan your visit to Six Flags Hurricane Harbor
We have been back on warmer days and enjoyed it much more, especially after my daughter and her friends surpassed 48 inches.
Hours: 10:30am – 5 pm M-F; 10:30 am – 6 pm weekends June – early August. Check the calendar here>
No outside food or drink is allowed in Hurricane Harbor and concessions are your standard amusement park fare.
Location: Hurricane Harbor is located at 1950 Waterworld Parkway Concord, CA 94520. Reach them at 925-609-1364.