Northeast Ohio Water Parks: 8 Faves for Cooling Off with the Kids
Hey guys, so guess what? It’s mid-July and summer showed up. Yup, all 90° and hot-and-steamy and stuff.
You know what this means: get thyself to the pool, quick! By my stellar math calculations, most of us have less than six weeks to do this before 1) it’s back-to-school, 2) the pools are drained, or 3) it snows.
So here we go, my top eight picks for best water parks in Northeast Ohio. They come in a variety of price ranges and with various amenities, and are listed in (mostly, but not quite) descending order: from “staycation” material to same-price-as-a-McDonalds-value-meal-so-why-the-heck-not.
Kalahari: We took the boys to Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, Ohio, a couple of years ago, kicking and screaming (me, not them), but guess what? I……….LIKED it. Please don’t let this get around. It’s a seriously fun and quality experience, perfect for an overnight or weekend trip with the fam. They have a great outdoor waterpark (smaller, though, than their more well-known indoor extravaganza), not to mention rock climbing walls, zip-lines, ropes courses, and an animal park. KIDDO BLISS.
Even better? You can include this stop in a Shore Islands ‘getaway’ – think Put-in-Bay, Kelley’s Island, Lakeside, Cedar Point, etc.
Collyn’s Tip: Grab dinner off-site, especially if you plan to drink. Holy jacked-up prices!
Expect to spend $200+/night on a room plus $24.99/pp for an all-access “Adventure Pass.” Not cheap, but Kalahari delivers a resort look-and-feel. And they throw in lots of fun freebie activities in the resort, too!
Soak City at Cedar Point: If riding roller coasters isn’t your bag, good news! Cedar Point has a water park…and you can still SEE the rides from the pool. Being Cedar Point and all, they deliver a more ‘extreme’ experience than Kalahari, as well as some gentle options for your littles. As for me, I’ll be at Bubble’s Swim-Up Bar sipping sangria while Futureman does the ‘Aggressive Thrill’-rated Zoom Flume with the boys….
$32.99/daily for adults
$18.99/daily for juniors/seniors
Mongoose Lagoon Waterpark: Also in the Port Clinton/Sandusky area is Mongoose Lagoon. For the budget-minded, this is a good option: only $17.50/pp Mon-Thurs and $22 on weekends, which includes a smaller-scale water park (but still plenty of slides/pools/lazy rivers/etc), go-carts, mini-golf, bumper boats, and more. I can see my boys liking the variety, and I like the prices!
I apologize for subjecting you to their website…(Mongoose, talk to us, we know people who can help.)
Getting away from the Shore Islands area and into MY TURF (Cleveland/Akron/Canton) is Wildwater Kingdom in Aurora, Ohio. Extreme-slide-this, extreme-slide-that, wave pools, lazy rivers, etc. – it all sounds like fun to me. EXCEPT….Aurora is also home to Aurora Farms Factory Outlets, so I’m torn? Shop or swim? Hmmm. At any rate, Wildwater Kingdom provides a fantastic experience for the whole fam, and is a short drive for us Akron/Canton folks.
Pioneer Waterland: Putting aside the fact that they use COMIC SANS on their homepage, Pioneer Waterland in Chardon, Ohio, has a pretty cool operation: several SIX-story high waterslides, a lazy river, fun pool areas, little-kiddie attractions, and more. PLUS, they have batting cages, a driving range, mini-golf, and go-karts. If you’re a CLE East-sider, this makes for a super-affordable and fun day.
All for $14.95/pp
For something totally different, try Clay’s Park in Orrville, Ohio. It’s part campground, Countryfest venue, and water park. However, the ‘water park’ is actually a 10-acre, sand-bottom, man-made lake. Think floating inflatable islands, smaller waterslides, canoeing, water volleyball, etc. If you’re a camper-type, you’ll totally dig. I myself prefer massive chlorination, but it still looks likes fun. Hitch up the camper to the SUV for the weekend, or head out for the day – both are options!
$12, weekdays, $15, weekends
Cuyahoga Falls Waterworks Aquatic Center: This is an Akron area public pool that makes me green with envy when I think of MY local public pool. I mean, Aquatic Center? Who does C-Falls think they are? I kid. But seriously, for an extreme value, they offer tube slides, enclosed slides, a lazy river, zero-entry pool, and lots for the little ones. Perfect for several hours of affordable fun.
$7, residents $12 non-residents
Kids 2-12 $5/$8
Uhrichsville Water Park: Last July, when I was eight months pregnant and couldn’t travel, the boys asked if we could go to Hilton Head. I said “SURE!” and took them to Uhrichsville Water Park instead. They were a little confused, but had a great day. I just hope no one remembers my maternity tankini. Anyhoo, this little treasure, about 40 minutes south of Canton, is super affordable and perfect for toddlers and grade schoolers. It’s a public pool with two decent water slides (with tubes!) and all sorts of climb-y things and a zero-entry pool. I highly recommend.
Under 18: $6/pp. 18 and over: $9/pp.
Did I miss some good ones? Let me know in the comments. And in the meantime, get swimmin’ and slidin’. Time’s almost up!