Indoor and outdoor water parks in Texas appeal to all ages with thrilling, steep water slides and mellow lazy rivers. Many offer areas just for toddlers with gentle splash pads and zero-entry pools, while others boast relaxing soaking areas with swim-up bars for adults. Some of the best water parks in Texas are stand-alone attractions, and others are family-friendly hotels with water parks or water-based attractions that are part of larger Texas theme parks. We’ve rounded up some of the best water parks in Texas – whether you’re planning a splash-filled adventure for the day or wanting to make a vacation out of a longer stay at a water park resort.
(Note: Some water park activities and amenities may be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and mask requirements and capacity restrictions may be in place. Check directly with the water park for more details.)
Great Wolf Lodge: Grapevine
(Courtesy of Great Wolf Lodge)
This Texas indoor water park in the Dallas-Fort Worth area pulls out all the stops for families. Attractions range from the mellow Cub Paw Pool for kids and the four-story Fort Mackenzie water play structure to the thrilling Howlin’ Tornado raft ride and the whirling vortex of Coyote Cannon. Day passes are available at the Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, but many travelers make a vacation out of a visit to the water park by booking on-site lodging. Family-friendly accommodations include standard suites with sleeper sofas; themed cabin, tent or cave suites with bunk beds; and premium suites with multiple bedrooms. Previous lodgers recommend taking advantage of the water park as long as possible: Hotel policy allows guests access to the water attractions as early as 1 p.m. on the day of check-in (rooms are typically ready at 4 p.m.) and after checkout at 11 a.m. until the water park closes. Complimentary entertainment at Great Wolf Lodge includes story time, character appearances, dance parties and arts and crafts. Certain activities and attractions, such as an on-site ropes course and arcade, cost extra.
Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark: Grand Prairie
(Courtesy of Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark)
The largest indoor water park in North Texas entertains with steep and twisty slides, plunging raft rides and a wave rider that’s especially appealing to teenagers who want to give surfing a try, say recent reviewers. You can also shoot hoops in the swimming pool equipped with basketball nets and race your friends on side-by-side chutes. Meanwhile, the park’s smallest swimmers can play in Rascal’s Round Up, an area equipped with water sprays, geysers, mini slides and a 300-gallon tipping bucket. What’s more, a 10,000-square-foot outdoor wave pool is open between Memorial Day and Labor Day. An on-site cafe serves kid favorites, such as pizza, hot dogs, burgers, chicken tenders, mozzarella sticks and nachos. And adults can order beer, wine and cocktails at the Longboards Bar & Lounge. When visitors get waterlogged, they can play classic and contemporary games in the 4,000-square-foot arcade. Cabana rentals are also available. If you’re traveling to Epic Waters, consider staying at the Courtyard by Marriott Dallas Grand Prairie, conveniently located across the turnpike just a mile away from the park.
Six Flags Fiesta Texas: San Antonio
(Courtesy of Six Flags Fiesta Texas)
The water park at San Antonio’s Six Flags Fiesta Texas is called White Water Bay, and access to the seasonal water-based rides is included in your park admission. All ages can have fun in the Texas-shaped pool: The Lone Star Lagoon is a massive wave pool that also has a shallow area with smaller ripples for younger guests. Families with small children may also appreciate the Paradise Cove swimming pool, which is connected to the Bamboo Chutes – two slides made just for littles that require no minimum height. Meanwhile, bigger kids and adults can get their adrenaline fix on exciting water coasters, body slides and raft rides. There are complimentary shower facilities, and you can store belongings in rented lockers at this outdoor water park. Recent visitors note that Six Flags Fiesta Texas can get quite crowded on the weekends; if you can, plan a mid-week trip to avoid long lines for both the water rides and the other amusement park rides. Nearby accommodations include La Cantera Resort & Spa, Éilan Hotel And Spa Ascend Resort Collection and the Home2 Suites by Hilton San Antonio at the Rim, which includes daily hot breakfast in the room rate.
NRH2O Family Water Park: North Richland Hills
(Courtesy of NRH2O Family Water Park)
This city-owned water park is open in the warm-weather months, typically May to September. It’s one of the cheaper water parks in Texas, with weekday tickets for children starting at less than $20. There are also season passes available and especially affordable discounts for North Richland Hills residents. And, unlike many of Texas’ top water parks, NRH2O Family Water Park allows guests to bring in their own food and drink (except alcohol) in coolers with no size restrictions. Attractions include the Tadpole Swimming Hole with tiny slides for young swimmers; Frogstein’s Splashatory, a five-level interactive water playground; a large swimming pool and sandy beach with volleyball court at Beachside Bay; and Green Extreme, an 81-foot-high uphill water coaster. Recent visitors say paying for a cabana is worth the money at this outdoor water park, because the daily rental includes discounted entry tickets, attentive wait service and free drink refills, among other perks. Candlewood Suites DFW West – Hurst, an IHG Hotel is a budget-friendly option that sits just a mile away from the water park. Suites here have full-sized kitchens, and free laundry facilities are available.
Splashway Water Park & Campground: Sheridan
Splashway Water Park & Campground in Sheridan is open seasonally, generally May through September. Rides and attractions at the outdoor water park include racing slides, steep body slides, twisting raft rides, a lazy river and two different wave pools. Areas designed for the littlest swimmers include Toddler Bay and Minnow Pond. These attractions feature shallow water, short slides and gentle water sprays. Cabanas and tables are available for rent. Season passholders and day visitors say they appreciate the wristbands that allow you to load money on a plastic band with a QR code that on-site vendors scan for purchasing food, drink and souvenirs, eliminating the need to have cash on hand for the day. The adjacent campground offers tent sites, RV sites and cottages that can accommodate up to 10 people. If you’re traveling with multiple families, consider one of the roomy bunkhouses that sleep up to 20. Note: Water park admission is not included with a campground reservation.
Wet ‘N’ Wild Waterworld: Anthony
(Courtesy of Wet ‘N’ Wild Waterworld)
Wet ‘N’ Wild Waterworld, located north of El Paso close to the New Mexico border, is home to the biggest wave pool in Texas. The park also claims to have the most shade of any water park in the world – recent visitors say the number of large trees providing natural shade is a big bonus on sunny, sultry Texas summer days. Open seasonally, this outdoor water park offers picnic tables, cabanas and personal tubes for rent. While this is not one of Texas’ biggest water parks, it does offer popular attractions like multiple raft rides, body slides, and a spinning speed slide dubbed the Alien Vortex that’s recommended for experienced swimmers only. You can race your friends on the Slippery Rock Challenge climbing wall then jump (or fall) into a pool. For a convenient place to stay overnight nearby, you can’t beat the Best Western Anthony/West El Paso, just a half-mile away. Room rates include breakfast.
Hawaiian Falls: Mansfield
(David Alvey/Courtesy of Hawaiian Falls Mansfield)
Set on 14 acres in the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area, Hawaiian Falls Mansfield has thrilling raft rides, twisting and turning tube slides and an adrenaline-charged body slide called The Torpedo. More mellow areas at this outdoor water park include a lazy river, a gentle wave pool designed for young children and the Methodist Mansfield Keiki Kove, which features rope ladders and water buckets. Parking, floating tubes and life jackets are always free, but if you want to bring in a cooler it will cost $15. Some recent visitors say it’s worth paying the fee to bring in your own food and drink, as the on-site cafe can have long lines and high prices. SpringHill Suites by Marriott Dallas Mansfield is the closest family-friendly hotel; it’s less than a 10-minute drive away from the water park, and suites have both a sofa bed and trundle bed. There are four other Hawaiian Falls water-park locations in Garland, Waco, Roanoke and The Colony.
Schlitterbahn Waterpark & Resort: New Braunfels
(Courtesy of Schlitterbahn Waterpark & Resort)
This giant outdoor water park between San Antonio and Austin draws families with more than 50 rides and attractions that range from mild to wild. Sprawling across 70 acres, the park operates a free tram that shuttles visitors between the east and west sections that are separated by a couple of city blocks. Plunge head first on a foam mat down chutes to race friends on the Downhill Racer, or hop on a two-seater tube with a buddy for a totally enclosed, dark ride down the twisty Black Knight. There are plenty of places to relax, including a heated pool with a swim-up bar, and Kristal Cove, which features a sloping beach area for lounge chairs. Where Schlitterbahn shines is its variety of accommodations: Choose from basic hotel rooms, cozy cabins, or treehouse luxury suites with full kitchens, among other options. Recent travelers share there are perks that come with bedding down at the property, including pools and play areas that remain open late after the park has closed to day visitors. Sister property Schlitterbahn Waterpark is located in Galveston; it’s smaller, on 26 acres, and does not have on-site lodging.
Kalahari Resort & Convention Center: Round Rock
(Courtesy of Kalahari Resorts)
Opened in 2020, the indoor water park at the Kalahari Resort & Convention Center in Round Rock is dubbed “America’s largest indoor water park resort,” with 223,000 square feet of water rides and attractions. Day passes to the cavernous park are available, but overnight guests who are staying in the water park resort’s 975 rooms and suites can access the Africa-themed water park for free. Consider the exciting back-to-back curves of the Serengeti Spinner inner tube ride or the free-fall into a deep pool from the Tanzanian Twister. Tiko’s Watering Hole has interactive water features for little ones, while the Grotto Swim-Up Bar is just for adults 21 and older. Other things to do here that cost extra include an indoor adventure park with ropes courses and escape rooms, 12 bowling lanes and a giant arcade with 250 games. Resort accommodations include traditional guest rooms, two- and three-bedroom suites and a king bunk suite featuring a separate kids’ sleeping area with twin bunk beds and a colorful jungle animal wall mural. Previous visitors recommend keeping track of the towels that are provided to overnight guests, noting that you’re charged if they’re not returned to the water park at the end of each day. Of course, you can bring your own towels to use in the water park, as well.
Aquatica: San Antonio
(Courtesy of SeaWorld San Antonio)
Aquatica is located within SeaWorld San Antonio’s gates, but it operates as a stand-alone outdoor water park; your single-day ticket to SeaWorld won’t grant you access to Aquatica’s water rides. To do that, you’ll need to purchase a separate Aquatica ticket or a two-day pass with access to both parks. Typically open from March to mid-October, Aquatica boasts the tallest drop slide in Texas: You stand in a tube and the floor gives out underneath you for a thrilling drop at an almost 80-degree angle. The Tonga Twister is a new body slide that features an unusual light and sound experience. There’s also a 400,000-gallon wave pool, an area just for toddlers and a relaxing pool with waterfalls. Recent visitors note that shaded areas are minimal at this water park, so you might consider renting a cabana or lounge chair with an umbrella. Nearby accommodations include the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa and the Hilton San Antonio Hill Country.
Typhoon Texas: Katy
The Houston-area Typhoon Texas outdoor water park is open in the warm-weather months. Buckaroo Bayou is the place for little ones to frolic in splash pads, while older kids might like getting drenched by the 800-gallon tipping bucket at The Rain Fortress. Tidal Wave Bay produces 3-foot-tall waves every 10 minutes in its deep end, but you can also relax in the calmer shallow area. Typhoon Texas is conveniently located near a shopping mall (in case you forget to pack any essentials), as well as several budget-friendly hotels, including the Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Katy (Houston West), TX. Rooms are equipped with microwaves and minifridges, and complimentary breakfast is served. Typhoon Texas has a second location with similar rides and attractions – and a slightly lower price tag – in Pflugerville, northeast of Austin.
Six Flags Hurricane Harbor: Arlington
(Courtesy of Six Flags Over Texas/Hurricane Harbor)
If it’s thrills you’re after, Six Flags Hurricane Harbor between Dallas and Fort Worth should be at the top of your list. The number of exciting rides at this outdoor water park is vast. Consider the Black Hole, a coiled slide that’s completely enclosed in darkness, or the seven-story Der Stuka (meaning “attack plane”), a steep body slide that promises riders an adrenaline-fueled plummet. Little ones aren’t left out, with four small slides and multiple water sprayers at Hook’s Ship. There’s also a lazy river, a surfing simulator, a wave pool and a giant swimming pool, among other attractions. One key tip from past visitors: Bring water shoes to wear in the park, as the ground can get quite hot on sunny days. Six Flags Hurricane Harbor is located across the highway from the Six Flags Over Texas amusement park, but each park requires a separate admission ticket. A hotel conveniently located to both parks is the Hilton Garden Inn Dallas/Arlington.
Pirates Bay Waterpark: Baytown
(Courtesy of Pirates Bay Waterpark)
Operated by the Baytown Parks & Recreation Department, Pirates Bay Waterpark earns high marks from visitors for its reasonable prices and manageable size (it measures less than 8 acres). The outdoor water park isn’t one of the largest in Texas by any means, but if you’re looking for a place to cool off east of Houston in the summer months, this family-friendly park might fit the bill. Thrilling attractions include the Space Bowl, a spinning flume ride that propels riders up to 40 mph, and Boomerango, which features a steep drop before shooting riders upward vertically in a two-person raft. The lazy river winds through half of the park, and a play structure lets little ones cool off with pint-sized water sprays and small slides. Guests can bring in coolers, parking is free, and locker rentals are available. For budget-conscious lodging, consider Candlewood Suites Baytown, an IHG Hotel less than 2 miles north.
Paradise Springs Water Park: Grapevine
An exclusive amenity just for overnight guests at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center in Grapevine, Paradise Springs Water Park boasts 10 acres of family-friendly fun. Attractions at this Marriott outpost include a zip line, a lazy river, a multilevel water playhouse, two hot tubs, multiple water slides and an area just for toddlers. Shady cabanas are available to rent. In addition to the water park, families staying at the Gaylord Texan Resort in the summer months can enjoy special Summerfest programming, including acrobatic shows, arts and crafts, escape rooms, live animal encounters and dance parties (all available for an extra cost). Some of the rooms and suites overlook the iconic center atrium, an indoor garden whose temperature is set year-round at 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Recent visitors note that on-site restaurants can be pricey, so consider taking the free Grapevine Visitors Shuttle downtown for more affordable dining options.
Big Rivers Water Park: New Caney
(Courtesy of Big Rivers Water Park)
Open seasonally, Big Rivers Water Park sits northeast of Houston and features a variety of outdoor attractions and activities. Up to four people can face an engulfing current in the Storm Surge raft ride, or you can race up to four friends down twisty tubes on the COLORado River Racer. The park claims to have the largest interactive play structure in Texas, with more than 300 different water-play elements – a “water park within a water park.” Unique to this outdoor water park in Texas is Wild Isle, a floating challenge course, where you try to slide, bounce and crawl through inflatable obstacles without falling in the lake. Wild Isle is included in the admission fee to the Big Rivers Water Park. Fans of this water park also appreciate the “dry land” extras that are included with a daily entrance ticket or season pass, including a petting zoo, ax throwing, archery and a forest maze. Families with campers might like staying at the Grand Texas RV Resort, which is located next door. New Caney’s Best Western Premier Executive Residency Grand Texas Hotel, which offers suites with kitchenettes, is just down the road.
Bahama Beach Waterpark: Dallas
(Courtesy of Dallas Park and Recreation Department)
If you’re in the Dallas area and need a place to cool off in the summer months, Bahama Beach is a small outdoor water park with enough attractions to entertain the whole family. In fact, travelers say this water park’s manageable 8-acre size makes it especially suited for families with young children. A lazy river and splash pad are ideal for the littlest swimmers, while the Riptide Slide and Bahama Bullet are one- or two-person high-speed tube rides. Cabanas and tables with umbrellas are available to rent if you’d like to be assured of some shade during your visit. Bahama Beach is operated by the Dallas Park & Recreation department. Affordable accommodations located nearby include the TownePlace Suites by Marriott Dallas DeSoto, which offers suites with full kitchens, as well as a complimentary breakfast buffet.