By Valerie Heimerich
With seasonal temperatures sometimes exceeding the 100-degree mark, residents of the Sacramento region enjoy heading to the water to have fun and cool down. There are a handful of large-scale water parks where guests can enjoy aquatic play time, and many of the public parks offer fun and creative splash parks at low or no cost.
Folsom Aquatic Center
1200 Riley St.
Folsom, CA 95630
Folsom Aquatic Center has plenty of ways for the whole family to enjoy a day in the sun. One of the highly popular attractions is a huge in-pool obstacle course made of four giant inflatables, known affectionately as The Beast, Montee, Kiwi and Nessie. An interactive water park play area, complete with dump buckets, a slide and creative spray spouts, and 3-story water slide offer entertainment for all ages, and professional lifeguards are always on duty. The aquatic center, operated by the City of Folsom Parks and Recreation Department, offers season and family passes to make the experience as affordable as possible. Cabanas and pavilions can be rented for groups and parties, and there is a poolside snack café and Olympic size pool.
Raging Waters, Sacramento
1600 Exposition Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95815
The extensive Raging Waters complex, located inside Cal Expo, has been drawing splash park lovers for more than 30 years. Guests can enjoy 25 rides and water attractions designed for kids and adults.The Treehouse Reef play area offers slides including one for youngsters weighing 100-pounds or less, and all ages can play and relax in the wave pool at Breaker Beach or the winding Calypso Cooler river. A number of tube slides are available with different twist, turns and thrills; try the 5-story Dragon’s Den, fully enclosed Hammerhead, massive wave Honolulu Half Pipe or extreme, high-speed body slides like Hurricane Bay, Cliff Hanger or Stingray.
Mission Oaks Recreation & Park District
2350 Northrop Ave.
Sacramento, CA 95825
The free public park has much to recommend it, with the water park making it to the top of the list. There is an inground spray pad that includes a variety of water features, including overhead shower tunnels and several water cannons. There are colorful, hand-pumped dump buckets, a fountain full of jet sprayers and numerous spots for visitors of every age and height to get spritzed.
1893 Taylor Road
Roseville, CA 95661
Sunsplash offers a range of water park attractions for just about anyone, including kids and those who love the water but can’t swim. The shallow pool and play area of Adventure Island is great for splashing and for slipping down gentle slides, or guests can float happily on inner tubes in the Bermuda Triangle. Riding massive tsunami waves at the mega-sized Thunder Bay wave pool offers excitement, and there are many other rides for those seeking even more thrills and chills. Freefall from 7-stories up on the spectacular Double Dare or 4-passenger Stormrider, do a twisting, 65-foot drop up a Riptide vertical wall, race with friends on the Six Chuter or speed down an inner tube on California’s only water roller coaster. Night slides are held at certain times of year and the facilities are available for parties, fundraisers and other events.
4041 Borderlands Drive
Rancho Cordova, CA 95742
Locals find much to enjoy at this 7-acre park, with features including a splash park, basketball courts, picnic areas and a small playground made especially for toddlers. The splash park is not elaborate but is enjoyable for both children and adults, and is wheelchair accessible. At the press of a button, cool spurts of water come jetting out in every direction, creating an irresistible spot for outdoor fun. Operated and maintained by the municipal Cordova Recreation and Park District, there is no cost to use the Sunridge splash park.