When you’ve exhausted the sprinklers, museums and other ways to stay cool during the sizzling hot days of summer, it’s time to bring out the big guns. Nothing beats the heat quite like a float on a lazy river or a thrilling ride down a water slide. The cool relief of a water park is closer than you think! Click through to see eight great water parks that the kids (and you!) will love.

For A Local Favorite: Splish Splash

NYC residents don’t need to head that far for a deluxe water park experience. Just 90 minutes outside of the city on Long Island, Splish Splash has something for everyone. The 44" and under set will enjoy the kiddie pools, elephant slide, octopus pool and interactive pirate ship, complete with water cannons and slides. For thrillseekers, attractions include New York’s only water roller coaster, body slides with intense inclines, and several group rides for the family that likes to get wet together. Other chilling out options include relaxing in a rented cabana, by a wave pool, floating down a lazy river in a tube,  or taking in a show featuring parrot trainer Weldon Middlebrooks.

2549 Splish Splash Dr.
Calverton, Ny
631-727-3600
Online: splishsplash.com

photo: via Splish Splash Facebook page 

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— Frances Cheung