Splashdown! Beat the heat with a waterpark
By Annie Alleman For Sun-Times Media June 14, 2012 10:46AM
Updated: June 25, 2012 4:20PM
Raging Waves Waterpark in Yorkville celebrated its fifth anniversary in style — by installing a zip line.
The Cowabunga Zip Line, which opens for business Saturday, glides through four courses as participants ride up to 70 feet off the ground for a 2,200 foot-long tour over the park during a 30 minute experience.
“There are four different courses. The first one is not as tall and scary as the others. The third one is definitely adrenaline-pumping. It’s about 70 feet high and goes about 40 miles an hour,” said Sandy Martinez, marketing director at Raging Waves. “It’s pretty fast. We’re very excited about that.”
Riders are always overhead and don’t get wet at any point, she said. Thus, they will keep the zip line open through Sept. 30, even though the water park closes Sept. 3.
Even though only one person can ride at a time, as many as 50 people can be on the line, she said.
The zip line has been very well-received, she said.
“We’ve heard a lot of positive things. Everyone is very excited to come out and try it,” she said. “It’s the only one in Illinois and the only one over a water park, which is really cool. You can fly over people in the Lazy River and the water slides.”
Make sure those bikinis are fastened properly, ladies.
In addition to the new zip line, Raging Waves has 17 water slides; including PJ’s Plummet, The Cyclone, The Boomerang, the Platypus Plunge and Tasmanian Twisters. There’s also a wave pool, lazy river and family areas appropriate for small children with slides, water cannons, zero depth pools and sand.
The park has grown over the past five years, despite opening during the midst of the economic meltdown of 2008, Martinez said.
“Every year, we’ve grown,” she said. “More and more families from farther out are coming out, and that says a lot. People have other places that they can spend their money at, especially in a tight economy, but they’re coming here because they realize we care about the experience they have and we make it a very wholesome environment.
It’s a local place to make memories with your family, she said.
“Because we are on 45 acres, even on busy days it doesn’t feel that it’s busy because we’re so spread out,” she said. “We’re family-owned, so the family is always there seven days a week. They always make sure that it’s clean and family-friendly.”
Raging Waves has added entertainment and special events, she said. Every Wednesday starting June 27, there will be programming for children ages 6 and under. Three times a day, you can find interactive shows like reptile shows, animal shows and Dora the Explorer.
“The parents love it. A lot of parents have different-aged children, and sometimes they feel like there’s something else I can do with my little one who’s probably not going to go on this big slide,” she said. “We’re adding a lot of added value for the guests. There’s so much more for them to do and enjoy.”
Here’s a guide to other area water parks to help you make a splash this summer. Before you go, check the web sites for rain-out policies and other rules; including regulations on flotation devices, lifejackets, swim masks, swim diapers, coolers and outside food and drinks.
Raging Waves Waterpark: The new Cowabunga Zip Line is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (until 7 p.m. in July) and is available to people over 48 inches tall and between 70 and 275 pounds. Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily in June; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. in July; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 5-19, 25-26, and Sept. 1-3. Zip line open through Sept. 30. Cost: $28.99 adult/child taller than 48”, $18.99 seniors and children under 48”, free kids 2 and under. After 3 p.m. $19.99 adult/child taller than 48 inches, $13.99 seniors and children less than 48 inches. Zip line $25. Lockers extra. 4000 N. Bridge St. (IL 47), Yorkville. (630) 882-6575. ragingwaves.com.
Centennial Beach: This Naperville hotspot features nearly six acres of fenced-enclosed area; plus a sand beach, shallow-end slide, diving complex, bathhouse and concessions. Water attractions include depths of zero to 15 feet and water buckets. Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday and July 4 through Aug. 12. Call or check website for hours Aug. 13-Sept. 3. Cost: $6 resident/$10 non-resident; $3 after 5 p.m. 500 W. Jackson Ave., Naperville. (630) 848-5092. centennialbeach.org.
Otter Cove Aquatic Park: The Park has the Frog Bog’s activity pool, the Dragonfly Den toddler pool, Crayfish Canal lap pool, Turtle Creek Lazy River and Salamander Slides. There are also diving boards, a splash park and concession area. Look for special events all summer long like a Dip-n-Dance party and Sundae Sunday on Aug. 5, where the first 100 people receive a free sundae. Aquatic park hours: 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday; and 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday through Aug. 10; 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Aug. 11-21, 4 to 7 p.m. weekdays and 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Aug. 22-Sept. 3. See web site for splash park hours. Cost: $9 for residents and $13 for non-residents. Splash park cost is $$6/$4. Five- and 10-time passes available this year. 3615 Campton Hills Road, St. Charles. (630) 513-4377. ottercove.org.
Harold Hall Quarry Beach: After complaints of cold waters, the St. Charles Park District took steps to remedy the situation by installing a geomembrane liner in the offseason. This liner is intended to prevent water from leaking out of the Quarry and to help maintain a consistent water temperature. In order to accommodate working parents, three days will have extended hours this summer. In addition to swimming lessons, patrons can register for beginning SCUBA classes and kayak lessons. Hours: 12 to 6 p.m. daily, with extended hours until 7 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays through Aug. 19. Cost: $10, $7 resident. $6/$3 on “Way Back Wednesdays.” Twilight specials from 5 to 7 p.m. $4/$3. 400 S. Water St., Batavia. (630) 879-5235. bataviaparks.org.
Phillips Park Aquatic Center: This Park co-owned by Fox Valley Park District and the City of Aurora offers a zero-depth walk-in entry leisure pool, two drop slides and three body slides. The kid-friendly area includes spray guns, waterfall, a small slide and dumping coconut tree. There is also a lap swim area, two sand volleyball courts, a sandy play area and a concession stand. Look for special events and themed days throughout the summer. Hours: 12 to 7 p.m. daily through Aug. 19; and Aug. 25-26 and Sept. 1-3. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 4. See website for admission prices. 828 Montgomery Road, Aurora. (630) 851-8686. www.foxvalleyparkdistrict.org
Splash Country Water Park: Splash Country features the second-largest lazy river in Illinois; plus tube slides, a toddler area, volleyball courts, sandy area and concession stand. Look for special events and themed days throughout the summer. Hours: 12 to 7 p.m. daily through Aug. 12. See website for admission prices. 195 S. Barnes Road, Aurora. (630) 906-7981. foxvalleyparkdistrict.org.
Splash Station Water Park: At Joliet’s Splash Station, you and five friends can race headfirst 200 feet down Miner’s Mountain, the Midwest’s only six-lane slide. Other attractions include two body slides, two tube slides, the Raging Rapids lazy river, zero-depth pool and sandy play area. Concessions available. Hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday through Aug. 12. Open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 4. Cost: Non-resident $13, $9 kids 48 inches and under. Resident $9/$6. Kids under 3 free. Twilight and senior swim discounts available. 2780 Channahon Road, Joliet. (815) 741-7275. jolietsplashstation.com.
Hidden Creek AquaPark: Hidden Creek features a winding water slide and a drop slide, water playground with dump bucket, sand area, lap pool, concession stand and special events throughout the summer. Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday-Sunday through Aug. 19. Open 11 a.m. to 10:15 p.m. July 4. Cost: $12; $7 residents. Free for kids 3 and under. Twilight rates and resident punch cards available. 1220 Fredrickson Place, Highland Park. (847) 433-3170. hiddencreekaquapark.org.
Oak Brook Park District Family Aquatics Center: This indoor park offers a water playground with geysers, a 105-foot long slide, six lap lanes, whirlpool and an outdoor splash park. Hours: 6-9:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 4 to 8 p.m. Friday; noon to 3:30 p.m. weekends. Water slide is closed Monday through Wednesday. Outdoor splash park hours 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays; 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekends. Cost: Non-resident $12; $8 kids 3-17 and seniors. Resident: $10; $6 kids 3-17 and seniors. 1450 Forest Gate Road, Oak Brook. (630) 990-4233. obparks.org.
Pelican Harbor Indoor/Outdoor Aquatic Park: This indoor/outdoor park offers a lazy river with an adventure channel, four speed slides, diving well, spray playground, a zero-depth entry pool, beach volleyball, sand playground area, picnic area, concessions and family changing areas. The indoor park has a lap pool, two water slides, tumble buckets, Parkie the Pelican tot slide, drop slide and 10-person whirlpool. Hours: 12 to 8 p.m. weekdays, 12 to 6 p.m. Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Twilight hours/rates available. Cost: $15, $8 resident, free kids under 2. 200 S. Lindsey Lane, Bolingbrook. (630) 739-1705, (630) 739-0272. bolingbrookparks.org.
Atcher Island: Schaumburg Park District’s Polynesian-themed water park has water slides, a unique circular drop slide, children’s sprayground and more. Concessions are available on site. Cost: Non-resident $9/$7 kids. Resident $7/$5 kids. Kids under 2 free. Hours: 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. weekdays and 12 to 8 p.m. weekends through Aug. 19. 730 S. Springinsguth Road, Schaumburg. (847) 985-2135. parkfun.com
Cypress Cove Family Aquatic Park: There is a spray playground with geysers, water curtain and oversized dumping bucket; a zero depth pool, a 600-foot lazy river, three body slides, a tube slide, a kiddie slide, a tot flume slide, a sand play area and concession stands. Look for special events like a teen splash bash, family float nights and swim under the stars. Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily through Aug. 17. Modified hours Aug. 18-Sept. 3. Bullfrog Bayou opens at 8 a.m. Cost: Non-residents $13, $6.50 seniors, kids under 1 free. Residents: $8; $4 seniors. Discounted price after 5 p.m. 8301 S. James Ave.,Woodridge. (630) 985-5620. woodridgeparks.org.
Dolphin Cove Family Aquatic Center: The Discovery Fountain in the Sandcastle Beach area has bubblers, a flushing funnel, flow gates and paddle wheel. There is a zero-depth beach area with geysers and slides for small children. There is also Rip Tide body slide and the Typhoon tube slide as well as the Sand Bar Cafe and gift shop. Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays; noon to 6 p.m. weekends. Cost: $7.50, $6.50 age 3-9 and seniors. Residents $5, $4 kids age 3-9 and seniors. Reduced rates in evening. 300 N. Kennedy Dr. (routes 25 and 68), Carpentersville. (847) 836-7946. dtpd.org.
Sea Lion Aquatic Park: Sea Lion Park features two fast, steep body flume slides and two drop slides, as well as a teen-only leisure pool. There are also water cannons, a vortex pool, an all-ages splash playground, and a baby pool and sandy play area for children 5 and under with nearby stroller parking. Look for two teen nights in August. Hours: 12 to 9 p.m.; closed 5:30-6:30 p.m. weekdays, 12 to 9 p.m. weekends through Aug. 19. Open 12 to 6 p.m. Aug. 4. Post-season hours vary through Sept. 3. Cost: Non-resident $13, resident $7. Seniors discounted $1. Kids under 2 free. Evening rates after 4:30 p.m. 1825 Short St., Lisle. (630) 964-3410. lisleparkdistrict.org.
Stingray Bay Family Aquatic Center: Patrons can enjoy two 138-foot-long water slides, two tot slides, rain drop, large sand play area, sand volleyball court, diving boards, swimming lanes, zero-depth simulated beach area, four floating animal features and a cafe. Hours: 11:15 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11:15 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, 12:15 to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Park opens 15 minutes earlier daily for season pass holders. Last day of the season is determined by staff availability. Cost: Children under 3 admitted free. Resident/nonresident youth ages 4 to 17 is $6/$8; adults (18 to 54) $8/$10; seniors (55 and older) $7/$9. After 5 p.m. for all ages: $4/$6. 12219 Lois Lane in Betsey Warrington Park, Huntley. (847) 515-7665. huntleyparks.org.
Hurricane Harbor: The water park at Six Flag Great America offers 100,000 square feet of slides, pools and water fun. Attractions include the one-year-old Riptide Bay; as well as Buccaneer Bay, Castaway Creek lazy river, the six-story Tornado, the Vortex and Typhoon, Hammerhead and Barracuda, and Mega Wedgie. Hours: 12:15 to 6 p.m. until June 13; then 11:15 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily through Aug. 5; then daily hours vary through Sept. 3. Cost: $59.99/$39.99 for child under 48 inches. Buy tickets online and save $20. Your ticket gets you into Hurricane Harbor and Six Flags Great America, Gurnee. (847) 249-4636. sixflags.com