Breaking News Bar
updated: 6/23/2014 11:18 AM

Summer splashdown Sun, fun, thrills and chills await at suburban water parks

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Video: Six Flags' Hurricane Harbor

  • Tyler Herling of Evergreen Park and Dayna Hann of Orland Park splash down at the end of the Bahama Mama extreme rafting ride at Great America's Hurricane Harbor in Gurnee.

       Tyler Herling of Evergreen Park and Dayna Hann of Orland Park splash down at the end of the Bahama Mama extreme rafting ride at Great America's Hurricane Harbor in Gurnee.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • Thrill-seekers experience the final drop of the Bahama Mama extreme rafting ride at Hurricane Harbor.

       Thrill-seekers experience the final drop of the Bahama Mama extreme rafting ride at Hurricane Harbor.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • A daring diver gets ready for the final plunge at the "Sinbad and the Search for the Golden Pineapple" show at Raging Waves in Yorkville.

      A daring diver gets ready for the final plunge at the "Sinbad and the Search for the Golden Pineapple" show at Raging Waves in Yorkville.
    Courtesy of Raging Waves

  • Park visitors float along Castaway Creek at Hurricane Harbor in Gurnee.

       Park visitors float along Castaway Creek at Hurricane Harbor in Gurnee.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • Park visitors wind down one of the many slides at Raging Waves in Yorkville.

      Park visitors wind down one of the many slides at Raging Waves in Yorkville.
    Courtesy of Raging Waves

  • Two park visitors ride through a turn on the Bahama Mama extreme rafting ride, lower left, while other patrons enjoy Hurricane Bay wave pool in the background at Great America's Hurricane Harbor in Gurnee.

       Two park visitors ride through a turn on the Bahama Mama extreme rafting ride, lower left, while other patrons enjoy Hurricane Bay wave pool in the background at Great America's Hurricane Harbor in Gurnee.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • Kids make a splash at Skull Island play area at Great America's Hurricane Harbor.

       Kids make a splash at Skull Island play area at Great America's Hurricane Harbor.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • Coco Key water resort's guests splash through the interactive water playground.

      Coco Key water resort's guests splash through the interactive water playground.

  • Raging Waves water park in Yorkville offers splish-splashing fun in the sun for the whole family.

      Raging Waves water park in Yorkville offers splish-splashing fun in the sun for the whole family.
    Courtesy of Raging Waves

  • Raging Waves water Park in Yorkville hosts the high-dive show "Sinbad and the Search for the Golden Pineapple" three times daily.

      Raging Waves water Park in Yorkville hosts the high-dive show "Sinbad and the Search for the Golden Pineapple" three times daily.
    Courtesy of Raging Waves

  • A lifeguard stands watch over visitors floating along Castaway Creek at Gurnee's Hurricane Harbor.

       A lifeguard stands watch over visitors floating along Castaway Creek at Gurnee's Hurricane Harbor.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

 
By Megan Swindell
mswindell@dailyherald.com

Summer has officially started, which means it's time for sunshine and swimsuits -- and local water parks are a great way to enjoy both.

You'll find all the water park basics at each, including slides, swimming pools and lazy rivers. But a number offer something more.

Raging Waves water park in Yorkville hosts "Sinbad and the Search for the Golden Pineapple," a high-dive act. Guests have the daily opportunity to watch daring divers plummet from as high as 80 feet in search for the golden pineapple.

See the show at noon, 2 and 4 p.m., leaving plenty of time for Raging Waves' giant sandbox, a lazy river called Kookaburra Kreek, the waves of the Great Barrier Reef Wave Pool and everything from body slides to multipassenger slides.

Six Flags Great America's Hurricane Harbor in Gurnee brings on the thrills with the Mega Wedgie body slide. If you muster the courage to step inside the launching capsule five stories above the ground, brace yourself. Once the floor drops beneath you, you'll shoot down a near-vertical drop at 40 miles per hour that will get your heart racing.

Hurricane Harbor also boasts an authentic surfing experience with Surf Rider, an interactive water playground perfect for the little ones, a wave pool, slides of all sorts and many more ways to take a dip and cool off.

• At the Otter Cove Aquatic Park in St. Charles, you don't even have to get in the water to catch a break from the sun.

In the interactive splash park, the water comes to you splashing from all over with its water play features.

When it's time to get in the water, though, the orange and yellow Salamander Slides are the most scenic routes to get into the Frog Bog swimming pool and the Turtle Creek lazy river. The slides exit into the other attractions, which both have a zero-depth entrance as well.

Otter Cove also has a toddler pool, Dragonfly Den, specifically geared for children 5 and younger.

Splash Country Water Park in Aurora is home to the second-largest lazy river in Illinois where guests can relax, but the river itself is anything but lazy. Grab a raft and wind through 1,100 feet of river with dumping buckets, jets, sprayers and bubbling rapids.

The park is a family-friendly aquatic center with a six-lane, zero-depth entry pool that has children's play features, plus an open and enclosed tube/flume slide.

Note: Each water park's website has a list of features and amenities. Other policies to check are weather, height requirements, flotation device and life jacket regulations, plus swim masks, swim diapers, coolers and outside food and drink.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here