By Bryan Carey

Houston is known for its sweltering summers and one of the best ways to beat the heat is by diving into a swimming pool. Water parks take swimming to a new level and many of them feature large wave pools, steep slides, and thrill rides that keep you cool and get your adrenaline moving. Houston is fortunate to have several such parks, each with its own personality and unique appeal. Here are the five best water parks in Houston:

Wet ‘N’ Wild Splashtown
21300 Interstate 45 North
Spring, TX 77373
(281) 355-3300

Located just north of Bush Intercontinental Airport, Wet ‘N’ Wild Splashtown is the Houston area’s largest and best water park. Thrill rides like the Tornado and Texas Free Fall are certain to get your heart pumping while the lazy river is perfect for winding down. Wet ‘N’ Wild has a separate area for kids, complete with smaller, safer rides and adults will like the private cabanas, which can be rented for a small fee. It’s Houston’s most popular water park for a reason, and definitely a place everyone should visit to beat the heat.

Typhoon Texas
555 S. Katy Fort Bend Road
Katy, TX 77494
(832) 426-7071 

Head to the west suburb of Katy, Texas and right next to the Katy Mills Mall you will discover a newer water park known as Typhoon Texas. Stat your visit by grabbing a tube and taking a slide on the Snake Pit, a twisting, turning tube slide that will have you wondering which way is left and which is right. Get the entire family together and have fun on the Twister, a ride that combines the fun of a water slide with white water rafting. Typhoon Texas is a little smaller than other water parks, but that means its easier to get around and try out every one of the rides at this Katy, Texas attraction.

Pirates Bay
5300 East Road
Baytown, TX 77521
(281) 422-1151

East of downtown Houston lies a popular water park known as Pirates Bay. It is located in the suburb of Baytown and offers loads of fun for the family at a lower price than other water parks. Start your visit with the Colorado Raft Ride, featuring a 40 foot drop on a raft built for two. Follow this with a competitive ride, the Mat Racer, where four people slide head first down a slide to the finish line. Pirates Bay is an affordable place for everyone and is easily the best water park on the east side of town.

Related: Best Places to Picnic in Houston

Schlitterbahn Galveston Island
2109 Lockheed Road
Galveston, TX 77554
(409) 770-9283

If larger size and non- stop action are more your style, then you will want to pay a visit to Schlitterbahn Galveston. Located on the famous barrier island, Schlitterbahn Galveston Island is the place for family fun and many who visit will spend a good deal of time on the lazy river. The Kristal River, Torrent River, and Whitewater River connect to form the largest lazy river in the Houston area, so it’s not surprising that so many guests rate it so highly. But it’s only the beginning at Shlitterbahn Galveston Island and you certainly would not want to miss the thrill rides like the Cliffhanger and Monster Blaster. Folks of all ages will love Schlitterbahn Galveston Island and it is the only water park in the area that remains open year round, making it great for non- stop fun any time of year.

Palm Beach Moody Gardens
1 Hope Blvd.
Galveston, TX 77554
(800) 582-4673

Galveston Island is a popular place for summertime thrills close to home and for those who would rather forgo the large size of Schliterbahn, the island offers you Palm Beach Moody Gardens. This is a smaller, simpler water park that sticks to the basics like a wave pool, lazy river, and water slides. There is a sand beach here as well and since Palm Beach is right on the grounds of Moody Gardens, the entertainment and education can continue well into the evening. Palm Beach is great for those who prefer the simple to the grandiose making it one of the Houston area’s best small scale water park attractions.

Related: Top Hidden Destinations to Visit in Houston


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