Chill Out!

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There are only so many times you can go to the beach or the pool over the summer without craving something more. So why not take the opportunity this summer to visit these wonderful water parks?

Interactive Water Playground

If you have a Westchester County Park Pass or a valid New York State driver’s license (showing your Westchester address), you can get into this fun local water park. Willson’s Waves is located in Willson’s Woods County Park in Mount Vernon. The water park features a wave pool that has three-foot waves bouncing bathers around for six-minute intervals. There are also two 18-foot-high water slides where riders splash downward into 10 inches of water.

Willson’s Waves also has an interactive water playground with sprays, fountains and cascades to wander through. The spray deck is a popular place to cool down with its level surface and 57 different spray heads. The park also has areas for picnicking and fishing.

Willson’s Waves

8 Bradford Road

Mount Vernon, N.Y.


Days: Open daily the Friday after school year ends then daily through Labor Day.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (No admission after 6 p.m.)

Admission: Westchester County Parks Pass or valid NY State driver’s license showing Westchester address are required for admission. Check website for fees.

Thrilling Water Rides

SplashDown Beach promises fun for the whole family. Located in Fishkill in Dutchess County, it’s an easy drive from Westchester. The park’s largest attraction is the 600-foot-long, nearly six-story-tall Arctic Mammoth. Up to five visitors climb aboard a raft and then twist and turn together down multiple curves and drops!

Another popular thrill ride is the Humunga Half-Pipe, a two-person tube ride that sends riders flying up and down New York’s only Zero Gravity Half-Pipe! There’s also the high-speed Bullet Bowl, where tube riders descend down a steep, dark tunnel and then blast into one giant bowl. No tubes are needed for the three twisty body slides of Cowabunga Falls. On the Arctic Plunge Racer, you’ll ride head-first down surprising, steep curves in a drag race to the bottom!

For those who prefer a more relaxing time in the water, check out the Croc Creek Wavy Lazy River or the Monster Wave Pool. And for younger guests, there is Shipwreck Lagoon, a themed pirate ship with interactive fountains, dumping buckets and four small water slides. Smaller kids can also enjoy the Splash Works area and the Water Whirler, a spinning bucket ride with water guns.

SplashDown Beach

16 Old Rte. 9 W

Fishkill, N.Y.


Days: Open Memorial Day weekend (Saturday, 5/26) through Labor Day.

Hours: See website.

Admission: Full Daily Rates: Guests over 42 inches $38.99, guests under 42 inches $31.99.

Half Day, After 3 p.m.: Guests over 42 inches $25.99, guests under 42 inches $29.99.

NOTE: Infants ages 2 and under enter for free. But you must purchase the SplashDown Beach Reusable Swim Diaper $9, which can be used on another visit.

Water Rides and Amusement Park

The Crocodile Cove water park is just a small part of what’s offered at Lake Compounce. There are eight water attractions, including the Croc-O-Nile lazy river and the Anchor Bay wave pool. Families can ride on a raft together on Mammoth Falls or race each other head-to-head on Riptide Racer. There is also an attraction called Tunnel Twisters with three different twisty tunnel slides to choose from, while Lights Out is a high-speed slide down in the dark outside a replica lighthouse. You can also splash in the waters of Bayou Bay and Clipper Cove.

In addition to the water park, Lake Compounce is home to classic roller coasters, thrill rides, kiddie rides and shows for all ages. According to their website, the park’s Boulder Dash has been voted the world’s #1 wooden coaster. The Phobia Phear Coaster is New England’s first triple launch coaster with speeds up to 65 miles per hour and a blood-chilling cobra roll 150 feet in the air! Your bathing suits come in handy for the park’s Thunder Rapids ride. For the little ones, there is a carousel, bumper cars, Ferris wheel, and more.

Lake Compounce Family Theme Park

186 Enterprise Dr.

Bristol, Conn.


Days: May 5 through Sept. 8. Closed some weekdays in May.

Hours: Check website.

Admission: $40.99 adults (52 inches and taller), $35.99 juniors (under 52 inches), ages 3 and younger enter free.

Fast and Furious Water Rides

Adjacent to the massive Six Flags Great Adventure & Safari theme park in Jackson, N.J., Hurricane Harbor has a dozen water rides for visitors of all ages. As a family, you can ride Boreas, Eurus, Zephyrus and Nortus, four slides named after the Greek gods of wind. Each ultra-fast slide has different, twisting upper sections that lead to bumpy drops into the water. You can also try Big Bambu and Reef Runner, which allow families to ride on jumbo-sized rafts down either an open-topped or enclosed chute, ending with a six-story-tall drop! If relaxing is more your speed, try the 696,000 gallon wave pool called Blue Lagoon.

Thrill rides at Hurricane Harbor include the King Cobra, a terrifying red and white snake towering 56 feet in the air. After riders build up speed moving through the beast’s body, they get shot out into the enormous snake’s mouth! On Tornado, riders share a specially designed four-person raft and travel from a height of 75 feet down a 132-foot tunnel. The real thrill comes after that, when you are shot into a 60-foot-wide funnel, where you get the feeling that you are in an actual tornado!

Little kids can enjoy the Taak It Eez Ee Creek, the shallow water playground Discovery Bay, and the water play area Caribbean Cove.

Of course, Six Flags Great Adventure & Safari is known for its many roller coasters, themed areas for big and little kids, and a Safari off-road adventure featuring 1,200 animals from six continents.

Hurricane Harbor at Six Flags Great Adventure & Safari

1 Six Flags Blvd.

Jackson, N.J.


Days: May 19 weekends only, June 25 to Labor Day open daily.

Hours: Daily 10:30 a.m. to 6 or 6:30 p.m. Visit website to confirm. Admission: $46.99 adults, $36.99 children under 48 inches, ages 2 and under free.

Andrea White is a freelance writer based in Edgemont. She loves the summertime and is looking forward to some lazy river action, as well as some thrill rides.

Updated 12:54 pm, May 21, 2018
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