NOTABLE MENTION: Spring Lake in Santa Rosa (VIDEO)
By Randy Yagi
With record-breaking temperatures reported in some parts of the Bay Area, one of the best ways to stay cool over the summer is visit a water park. But what may be a surprise to some people while not surprising to others, is that San Francisco doesn’t really have a traditional water park, with waterslides and lazy rivers. On the other hand, the City by the Bay doesn’t really get the scorching hot temperatures that cities across the bay experience. Whether you’re visiting the area or just looking for a new place to cool off, here’s a look at the best water parks in the Bay Area.
Aqua Adventure Waterpark
40500 Paseo Padre Parkway
Fremont, CA 94538
Located in the Bay Area’s fourth largest city, Aqua Adventure is a popular spot for children of all ages. Covering three acres within the City of Fremont’s 450-acre Central Park, this municipal water park features a four-story slide tower with four waterslides, a 700-square foot lazy river, a splash pool and a 25-yard lap pool equipped with five swim lanes. Also onsite are locker rooms, water tubes and locker rentals, cabana rentals, spacious public shaded areas and convenient options for food and beverages. Additionally, this highly rated East Bay water park also offers private and group swim lessons, summer camps and classes. Tickets are available online and there is no charge for parking. Aqua Adventure is also available for birthdays, wave parties, field trips and picnics. Fremont’s Aqua Adventure is open daily through August 26 and again on weekends beginning September 2 through September 24, in addition to being open on Labor Day. The last of the Aqua Adventure Family Fridays will be held on August 18.
Related: Best Water Slides In The East Bay
Boomerang Bay At California’s Great America
4701 Great America Parkway
Santa Clara, CA 95054
Heralded as California’s first water park to be included within an amusement park, Boomerang Bay is located within California’s Great America in the heart of Silicon Valley. Covering an estimated 11 acres, Boomerang Bay features an impressive number of family-friendly rides and attractions, such as Castaway Creek, the area’s longest lazy river, the crowd pleasing Jackaroo Landing, with seven slides and a giant water bucket, the Kookaburra Cay interactive fountain and the Great Barrier Reef, an enormous wave pool capable with plenty of room to move through the simulated ocean waves. Island Oasis cabanas are available for rent at the Great Barrier Reef, in addition to the Wave Pool and Lagoon Cabanas in Boomerang Lagoon. Admission to Boomerang Bay is included with the admission to California’s Great America. Owned and operated by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, California’s Great America covers 100 acres and features 57 amusement rides including eight roller coasters, an outdoor amphitheater, several dining and shopping options and an 18,000-square foot multipurpose facility adjacent to Levi’s Stadium, the home venue of the San Francisco 49ers.
Raging Waters San Jose
2333 S. White Road
San Jose, CA 95148
Located on 23 acres near the shores of Lake Cunningham, Raging Waters San Jose is the largest water park in the South Bay. Founded in 1975, it’s also the Bay Area’s oldest waterpark, although it is no less a popular and well-visited attraction than others and once was the largest of its kind in Northern California. Raging Waters San Jose features a lazy river, activity pool, a 350,000 gallon wave pool, a Pirate’s Cove water play structure, complimentary use of lifejackets and more than 10 rides and slides, including favorites like the Sidewinder and Bombs Away, as well as kiddie slides for smaller children. Tickets, seasonal passes and cabana rentals are available online, including the discounted 4-Day Advance Tickets, the new All Season Dining Pass and a VIP Season Pass. The 2017 summer season runs daily through August 9 and then on weekends only from August 12 through September 10 and parking starts at just $6. Raging Waters San Jose is also available for group sales, corporate events, birthday parties and school and youth groups.
The Wave at Emerald Glen Park
4201 Central Parkway
Dublin, CA 94568
Officially opened over Memorial Day Weekend, The Wave is the Bay Area’s newest waterpark and a particularly welcome addition to East Bay residents and its visitors. A gorgeous, 31,000-square foot aquatics facility, it features a six-slide Slide Tower, a Splash Zone for toddlers and their parents, a Natatorium with water temperatures between 82-84 degrees and the outdoor Sports Pool that’s open to the public during Waterpark hours when local swim team practices and swim meets are being held. A Daily Admission Tickets includes access to the Slide Tower and Splash Zone, as well as the Natatorium and Sports Pool when available. The Wave is open daily through August 13, then on weekends only from August 19 to September 24. One of the most popular public spaces in Dublin and the entire Tri Valley area, Emerald Glen Park currently covers 40 acres and also features lighted basketball and tennis courts, picnic areas, a skate park and four sports fields.
1950 Waterworld Parkway
Concord, CA 94520
With more than 35 water attractions across 30 acres, Waterworld California is by far the largest waterpark in the Bay Area. Recently reacquired by Six Flags Entertainment Corporation, Waterworld California is located 18 miles from Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo and a Ride & Slide Combo Season Pass allows ticket holders unlimited visits throughout the current season. In addition to being the Bay Area’s largest waterpark, Waterworld California boasts Breaker Beach, the largest wave pool in the entire region and Kaanapali Kooler, at 1,300 feet long, the longest lazy river in Northern California. Additionally this very popular East Bay waterpark offers an assortment of moderate and extreme slides and rides, attractions for smaller children, adult and children’s life jackets available at no charge and luxury cabana rentals, in addition to food and beverage services, shower and locker facilities and an award-winning lifeguard service. Along with the the new Ride & Slide Season Pass, Waterworld California has a host of other ticket options, like advance purchases at an added discount and group admissions. Open daily through August 13, then weekends through September 24, the waterpark is also available for birthday parties, school groups, summer camp groups and other organized events.