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Summer Swimming: Outdoor Pools and Water Parks Around Seattle, Tacoma and Beyond

Where to cool off with kids around Puget Sound this summer

Kali Sakai

Published on: June 17, 2021

Summer Swimming: Outdoor Pools and Water Parks Around Seattle, Tacoma and Beyond

Wild Waves and Enchanted Village, Raging River
Wild Waves and Enchanted Village

Water parks around the state

Wild Waves Theme & Water Park, Federal Way

Open: Opens for the season June 18, 2021

Water temp: Varies among the different attractions.

Overview: Located just off I-5 in Federal Way, Puget Sound's biggest water park features water attractions for every level of ability and comfort. Check out ride names and height/ability restrictions. Highlights include the Mountain Dew Slide Complex, a triple slide with three dynamic tube slides offering riders a range of heights and experiences through the twists and turns of Slide Alley. There is also a 500,000-gallon wave pool and the Konga Lazy River. There are over 60 rides, slides and attractions within the park. For little ones, try Hooks Lagoon, a large pirate-themed water play area with fun spray features that's perfect for kids 36–54 inches tall. (Note: To experience the Hooks Lagoon Slides, children must be at least 42 inches and under 54 inches in height.)

Tips: Weekdays in June are less crowded. It is definitely recommended to bring your own stroller, as they don’t provide rentals and the park is 70 acres. Rent your own cabana 24 hours in advance. 

Reservations: Season pass holder reservations are available on the website. Reservations are required for all guests, so be sure to make reservations prior to your visit. 

Deals: It pays to purchase online (but do it before you are at the park because discount tickets are not available for purchase via mobile devices if you are within the park property). Other deals include group tickets and season passes available. Season pass prices increase as the season progresses so buy early to save the most.

View of the wave pool at Slidewaters water park in lake Chelan outdoor water parks and pools for Seattle Washington Northwest families
The wave pool at Slidewaters

Slidewaters, Lake Chelan

Open: Open now through Sept. 6, 2021

Water temp: 70–80 degrees, depending on the pool

Overview: If you're headed to the Lake Chelan area for a summer getaway, don't miss this fun, family-sized water park that takes advantage of the natural topography for its slides (it's built on the side of a hill). Rides and attractions range from the Bug-a-boo slide and Aqua Zoo for toddlers to intermediate slides and the lazy river ride for older kids to the Thunder Rapids and enclosed pitch black slide for the ultimate thrill-seekers. There's even a 60-person hot tub. For tots: There is a zero-depth wading and Aqua Zoo activity pool by the Lazy River.

Tips: Tuesdays tend to be a little slower than the rest of the week and the best times to come are late June or the last week of August. Note: Any goggles or sunglasses must have a strap to be worn on slides. 

Reservations: Season passes are available for purchase online, or daily passes available on location.


Courtesy Birch Bay waterslides
Courtesy Birch Bay waterslides

Birch Bay Waterslides

Open: Park opens for the season on June 30, 2021

Water temp: Between 80–84 degrees

Overview: Located in Birch Bay, Wash., about two hours north of Seattle and near the Canadian border, this family-friendly water park features nine slides, a 40-person hot tub (ages 7 or older), kiddie pool, volleyball, basketball and activity pool. For snacks, there is a concession stand. The black slides include the Black Hole and a slide with a 60-foot drop (kids must be at least 12 years old and 100 lbs. to go on the drop). For tots: The kiddie pool, for ages 8 and under, has three slides.

Tips: Check online for special deals. Reserve a covered spot online. Outside food is allowed but no competitor-restaurant food allowed (fast food and pizza). No coolers, alcohol or glass allowed.

Reservations: Covered and picnic areas available for reservation online beginning June 1, 2021. 

Surf n Slide waterpark, Moses Lake
Surf n Slide waterpark, Moses Lake

Surf 'n Slide Waterpark, Moses Lake

Open: Open now through Sept. 6, 2021

Water temp: 80 degrees

Overview: Located in Moses Lake, Wash., about three hours east of Seattle. Surf 'n Slide is known as clean, affordable and toddler-friendly with zero-depth beach entry to the pool, a children’s splash pad with a variety of spray fountains, plus a Treasure Island water play structure and baby octopus slide. Kids and teens interested in more exciting water play will love the Flowrider (surfing simulator, one of only a few in the region), 200-foot slides and sand volleyball courts.

Tips: Use a season pass or punch card to enter via VIP entrance to bypass the line. Eat at the Hang Ten Grill or bring your own coolers or picnic basket (no glass containers, tobacco or alcohol allowed).

Reservations: With a max capacity of 1,000 people, it is recommended that you reserve your spot online in advance. You can reserve online up to a week in advance. 

Splash Zone, Ephrata

Open: Opens June 14, 2021

Water temp: 80 degrees 

Overview: Located about three hours east of Seattle in Ephrata, Wash., at Splash Zone enjoy the two diving boards, Frog Slide (tiny slide), Lily Pads (rope ladder across pool inner tubes), tube slide, water basketball hoops, dry playground and concessions stand. Covered areas with grills can be rented at this park. For tots: Little ones can ease into the pool with the zero-depth entry section of the leisure pool; the tiny Frog Slide is a perfect beginner slide for young kids under four feet tall.

Tips: Since temperatures get into the 90s and 100s in Ephrata, bring lots of sunscreen and water, then seek shade under the giant umbrellas or nearby trees. Feel free to bring outside food and drink but no glass containers or alcohol. Come and go as needed with unlimited daily in-and-out privileges.

Reservations: Season passes and day passes available. 

Editor's note: ParentMap staff contributed to this article, which was originally published in 2013 and updated most recently for 2021.

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