A relaxing day spent at a waterpark? Could it be? Crikey! For those moms and dads that dread a day at a chaotic, overcrowded waterpark, just say g’day to Aussie-themed Raging Waves. Sneak in one more (or maybe two!) weekends of wet fun before we round the corner to fall and bid farewell to pool time.
Located in far west suburban Yorkville, less than an hour away from Chicago, this Aussie-themed waterpark is spacious — it sits on over 45 acres — clean and almost never overcrowded. Plenty of attractions are just right for both the little and bigger kids in your family, while parents will appreciate the many lifeguards on duty, comfy, shaded and sun-filled lounge chair areas and private cabanas. Here’s our guide to Raging Waves Waterpark, Illinois’ largest outdoor waterpark.
How to Get There
Raging Waves Waterpark is Yorkville on Route 47, about 45 minutes west of Chicago via I-88. General parking is free, but there is also preferred parking (which is closer to the entrance gate) available for $7.00/car.
Raging Waves has certified lifeguards posted at each and every attraction. For safety’s sake, some of the slides have height restrictions: For guests 48″ tall or taller, there are no restrictions (except in areas designed for young children). For those less than 48″ tall there are slide restrictions and the admission price is reduced.
The tots in your family will want to head straight to Koala Kove, where two slides, a minimal-depth pool and tipping toucans are ready for hours of splashworthy fun. You could spend an entire afternoon at this mini-waterpark within a waterpark. Kangaroo Falls is a four-story water fort where kids can race down the slides, hop across the bridges, and play in the squirting fountains; beware of the ringing bell which signals that the giant bucket holding 750 gallons of water is about to tip over! Little ones are invited to test their sand digging and castle building skills at Brock’s Giant Sandbox, a huge sand play area that also features mini New Holland construction diggers for budding sand builders.
Kids 48″ or taller will want to make a beeline for the Cyclone, a slide that mimics being flushed down a toilet bowl. The Tasmanian Twisters are super-fast tube slides that whisk riders on a completely dark free-fall down into the splash pool at the bottom. Raging Waves is also one of just three waterparks in the United States to have the popular, new ride “Wonambi”, a jaw dropping, slide that zips a four-person raft into high speed, near-vertical position, giving you that lovely zero-gravity feeling in the pit of your stomach.
Fun for the Entire Family
Everyone in your family will love taking a relaxing tube ride down the quarter mile long Kookaburra Kreek Lazy River. If your little one finally meets the 42″ height requirement and wants to test out a waterslide for the very first time with mom or dad by their side, hop on a four-person raft and take a slide down Crocodile Mile, a 600-foot-long family raft ride that will have you twisting and turning and laughing out loud.
Where to Eat
Raging Waves offers two restaurants and multiple snack carts throughout the park, all serving standard park fare (think hot dogs and chicken nuggets). Surfside Subs offers Jersey Mike’s Subs on freshly baked bread, a welcome lunch option best eaten on a picnic bench overlooking the lazy river.
No outside food or beverages are permitted except factory-sealed water bottles, if you want to bring lunch from home, pack a cooler. Several picnic tables are located in the park’s parking lot and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Make sure to get your hand stamped at the entrance upon exiting the park, so you can re-enter when you are finished with your meal.
- Lockers are available, but cost a whopping $10 a day.
- Beat the heat and carve out a quiet retreat for your family by renting an onsite, private cabana.
- Raging Waves Waterpark also offers birthday packages, making it a good fit for a summer party.
Open weekends and Labor Day thru Sept. 5, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Cost: Over 48″, $31.99; Under 48″, $19.99
Raging Waves Waterpark
4000 N. Bridge St.
— Amy Bizzarri