Nothing says “Cascadia summer” like a line-up of shivering kids waiting for the water park slides. So I created a list of Pacific Northwest water parks large and small, indoor and outdoor, Westside (cooler) and Eastside (dry, hot) to keep the kids chilled-out this summer. Do you have a favorite?
Washington Water Parks
Washington offers indoor water parks and outdoor water parks near big cities and out along the coastline, in both Western Washington and Eastern Washington. Have you tried them all?
Great Wolf Lodge: Grand Mound, Washington
Make a splash: This indoor Washington water park resort features toddler-friendly pools and big-kid slides. The five-person circular rafts slips down the River Canyon Run, with drops from six stories high.
Splash Down Family Water Park: Spokane, Washington
Make a splash: Ride down the 400-foot Spokane Falls slide at this Eastern Washington water park.
Slidewaters: Lake Chelan Waterpark: Lake Chelan, Washington.
Make a splash: rip down 8 slides, including the 420-foot “Purple Haze” slide that envelops you in darkness at this Washington State aquatic park, located in Washington State’s inland community.
Wild Waves: Federal Way, Washington
Make a splash: Try any one of the thrilling flumes, including the Python Banzai or Konga Banzai. One of the most popular water parks in Western Washington — plan accordingly!
Birch Bay Waterslides: Birch Bay, Washington.
Make a splash: This low-key four-slide park in North Washington (near the U.S.-Canadian border) covers all your bases, from tame to torrential.
Oregon Water Parks
It’s a lot warmer in Oregon, but for some reason, the state doesn’t have quite the same water park offerings compared to Washington State and British Columbia.
North Clackamas Aquatic Park: Milwaukie, Oregon.
Make a splash: This indoor Oregon municipal park features three water slides, an 85-degree wave pool and free lifejacket rentals.
Emigrant Lake: near Ashland, Oregon.
Make a splash: Not really a water park, but a fantastic, unique way to mix fresh-water fun and a 280-foot twin flume waterslide at a campground facility.
Splash! At Lively Park: Springfield, Oregon.
Make a splash: This all-indoor facility offers an indoor wave pool, a 144 foot slide, and year-round water activities. Read more at Pitstops for Kids.
Jamison Square: Portland, Oregon.
Make a splash: At this municipal, downtown water spot, kids can sit on steps while fountains of water cascade down, filling the bowl below. Then, mysteriously, the jets shut off, the water drains out — and the flow start all starts over again. A free, kid-friendly Portland water park!
British Columbia Water Parks
Canadians really love water parks, so you’ll find a bevy of beautiful chutes, slides, and wave machines throughout British Columbia.
Cultus Lake Water Park: Fraser Valley, BC.
Make a splash: You’ll find over 12 features at the Cultus Lake water park, including a spray Pirate’s cove, Valley of Fear, and a slide that shoots you at 60 km per hour (about 30 miles per hour).
Bridal Falls Waterpark, near Chilliwack, BC.
Make a splash: This BC water park offers over eight slides for the whole family, with long, straight shots down super-fast slides, including one that shoots you down a pitch-black tunnel.
Big Splash Water Slide Park: Tsawwassen, BC.
Make a splash: Gentle rivers, intermediate rides and advanced body slides, including the with 425-foot Oliver Twist drop at this water park near Vancouver, BC and the Washington State border.
Splashdown Vernon: Vernon BC.
Make a splash: This BC water park offers 10 looping, swooping slides and flumes, many with views of beautiful Lake Okanagan. Located on the dry side of BC.
Variety Kids Water Park: Vancouver BC.
Make a splash: This free Stanley Park water playground or “sprayground” isn’t fancy — no slides — but it is efficient at cooling off kids. Cannons, sprinklers, and splashable streams galore at Vancouver’s largest outdoor spray park.