Silliman Aquatic Center: Crazy Fun Indoor Water Park - 510 Families
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Silliman Aquatic Center: Crazy Fun Indoor Water Park

No matter the weather, it is 72 degrees in Newark’s 32,000-square-foot Silliman Activity and Family Aquatic Center. With a combination of large slides, a lazy river, basketball hoops, an open lap pool, and a children’s activity pool with a spraying play structure, kids of all ages will have a blast at this indoor water park. And, since it’s a city-run facility, the cost of admission is affordable at $13 per person over age 3.

Parents can relax poolside or join in the fun. Obviously, don’t walk away from your toddler, but my grade schoolers were quite content to roam freely.

Be Sure To Call Prior To Your Arrival To See What Amenities Will Be Offered (Sometimes the Lazy River isn’t open due to maintenance issues). Call 510-578-4668 to speak directly with staff. Check seasonal hours here>

We drove about 30 minutes south of Oakland to arrive at the aquatic center in Newark. Public recreation swim was open at 12:30 so we got in line about 15 minutes before then. Though we still waited about 30 minutes in line, we got into the facility with the first crush. It was about as crowded as one would be able to tolerate so, in that sense, I’m glad they limit capacity.

Silliman Family Aquatic Center
Silliman Family Aquatic Center little kid splash area is called Ollie’s Splash Pad | Photo: Heather Flett

The downside is that if you arrived on the wrong end of the capacity threshold, waiting times can be 90 minutes or more. Imagining one and a half hours of starting through the smudged glass window in what passes for a cafe with my eager child sounds like a fifth level of hell to me. So plan accordingly!

But once you get in, it is public pool nirvana!

Newark Indoor Water Park
Silliman Aquatic Center | Photo: Kelly Gravett

The fabulous facilities at Silliman Aquatic Center include:

  • One main play pool — about 3 feet deep — with a basketball hoop on one end and a rope separating it from the main children’s play area.
  • Zero entry small children’s activity area. Little kids play on a cool slide structure with many water sprayers, shooters, and fountains (some of which can be controlled by hand-cranks and steering wheels and some that surprise you); expect to get soaked.
  • Two tall water slides. In my expert opinion, the blue slide is fun and the purple tube slide is more thrilling and wedgie-inducing but short. You must be 48 inches to ride the big slides.
  • A lazy river enclosing the water slides with its own water dumping and spray features. At the time of my visit, and confirmed by a recent visit from another contributor, there were only 14 floating inner tubes for hundreds of people. Tubes are free to borrow, you just have to wait your turn. You can also swim, float, and bonk your brother around the river without a flotation device.
  • One lap pool for boring grown-ups, probably.

Our children, ages 3, 8, and 10 had a fantastic time. In fact, the three-year-old has asked repeatedly since our visit if I could just drop him off and he promises to stay in the “safe” pool and stick to his age-appropriate slide.

More Silliman details adults will want to know:

  • The locker room was adequate.
  • Remember your own towel.
  • Life vests are available to borrow. Only USCG-approved life vests are allowed. No floaties.
  • Bring a locker lock or rent one for about $2.50.
  • No outside food allowed.
  • Ample free parking in the surrounding parking lot.
Silliman Water Slides in Newark
Silliman Aquatic Center in Newark | Photo: Kelly Gravett

Plan your visit to Silliman Aquatic Center

You can buy tickets online and go straight to the line in the hallway to wait to be allowed in. What you want is “Recreation Open Swim” (access to play structure, splashing pool, lazy river, and big slides) at the George M. Silliman Community Activity Center. Check the hours and then double-check them here. Call the number below to confirm which features are operating.

Rates for single-day drop-in

Infants/Toddlers (0-2 yrs.) $4 and includes a swim diaper
General Admission (3-54 yrs.) $13
Discounts available for Newark residents and season pass holders.

Website >>
Address: 6800 Mowry Ave, Newark, CA 94560
Phone: (510) 578-4620

Check seasonal hours here>

[Photos exclusively for 510families]

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3 thoughts on “Silliman Aquatic Center: Crazy Fun Indoor Water Park”

  1. Hello. I see the general admission up to 54 years old is $12. Is there a general admission if you are older than 54?

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