WOW! We’re just one month into summer vacation, and we’ve already had some scorchers! Swimming is a great way to cool off. Just about every community center in the Portland/Vancouver Metropolitan area has a pool, some fancier than others. Great memories can be made at our local community centers.
But what about when you want a larger than life experience? Something you and your friends or family will talk about for years to come?
Wings and Waves, Wild Waves, and Great Wolf Lodge can all deliver.
Here’s the rundown on each of these three water parks to help you decide which is right for you.
Wings and Waves
This is the smallest park featured, but it packs lots of fun and features in its well designed indoor space. It also has the lowest prices, and is closest to downtown Portland, Salem, and Lincoln City.
Where: McMinnville, OR (1 hour from Portland)
(Located on Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum campus, but separate entry fees apply.)
Hours and Days: 10am-6pm, Sat-Thurs, and 10am-7pm, Fridays.
Prices: $10 Non-swimmer/$20 swimmers under 42”/$29 swimmers over 42”
Specials: Mondays are BOGO for admission price, through 7/31/17. Twilight specials are run every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of July, which allows admission at 50% price starting at 4pm.
Short description: This aviation themed indoors water park has areas suitable for all age ranges.Includes a wave pool, a leisure pool, a vortex pool, an aqua play area, tot slides, kiddie slides, and four full sized slides (for those 42” or taller). Food is available. Dressing rooms are provided and lockers rentals ($5-$7) are available. Bring a towel. Life jackets and tubes are available free of charge. Lifeguards are on duty. No outside food or drink allowed inside the waterpark. You can exit the building for a picnic/snack break, and return if you would like.
This park is the furthest away from Portland, but covers the greatest area, and boasts the largest number of rides and slides. It is also the only outdoor park featured.
Where: Federal Way, WA (2 ½ hours from Portland)
Hours and Days: 10am-7pm, Sun-Thr; 10am-8pm, Fri-Sat through August, then days and hours vary. Sept-Dec, only the theme park portion of the park is in operation. The entire park is closed Jan-Apr.
Prices: July/August $40.99 General Park Admission (48″ & Over)/ $21.99 Child or Senior Admission (Under 48″, 60+)
Specials: online/discounted price is $29.99 General Park Admission/ $21.99 Child or Senior Admission. Season passes available for $64.99.
Short description: This park is a outdoor dual park – a theme park and a water park both on the same grounds, for one admission price. Water and theme park attractions are available for all age ranges. Food and gift shops are available. Tubes can be rented for $8-$10. Dressing rooms are provided and lockers rentals ($12-$20) are available. Bring a towel and wear sunscreen. Life jackets are available free of charge, on a first come first serve basis. No outside food or drink allowed inside the water park. You can exit the park for a picnic/snack break, and return if you would like. Prices, dates, and hours vary greatly depending on time of year, and online discounts are available, so check the website before visiting the park..
Great Wolf Lodge
Admission to the park is only given to those staying at the Great Wolf Lodge. As such, it is the most expensive. That said, if you plan to stay in a hotel and go to a waterpark, the prices can be quite reasonable.
Where: Grand Mound, WA (1 ½ hours from Portland)
Hours and Days: waterpark hours are 9am-9pm, 7 days a week.
Prices: Room list prices are from $249.99. Specials and deals are available, especially if you plan in advance. Four park wristbands come with each room rental, and additional bands can be purchased if your party has more than 4 people.
Specials: online/discounted price are available, especially if you book your stay in advance.
Short description: your stay offers you access to attractions and activities available for all age ranges. There is a large indoors water park, with a wave pool, swim and splash areas, play areas, and small, medium, and large slides. There is also an attached, fenced splash and play area outdoors popular with smaller children. Life jackets and tubes are available free of charge. Lifeguards are on duty. In addition to the water park, many dryland attractions and activities, dining, and shopping options are offered to the guests staying at the lodge. The cost of dryland attractions and food are in addition to your room price, but the activities (primarily aimed at younger children) are included.
So, if you are looking for a little more than your local public pool has to offer, check out our local water parks. Beat the heat, chill with the friends, or have fun with the family. However you spend your time, we just hope you enjoy yourself and make lots of memories.