Best Water Parks in the Northeast for Families (By Age)

A young boy chutes down a yellow water slide at the Great Wold Lodge.
Photo Courtesy: Gunjan Prakash

If you live for the rush of a good waterslide, you’ll love these water parks in the Northeast for families! From New York to New Hampshire, you can hit the surf in a wave pool, ride down a lazy river, and more at these family-friendly water parks in the northeastern United States. Whether you’re traveling with toddlers, teens, or any age in between, it won’t be hard to find a water park for you. And, many are indoor water parks, which means you can visit no matter the season! While every family would surely have a blast at any of these refreshing destinations, we’ve organized each location by the ideal ages of your little (or not-so-little) ones. And with so much to offer around these water parks, we’ve also noted amazing activities on dry land when families want a break from the pool. Keep reading for our suggestions! 

Best Waterparks in the Northeast for Families with Toddlers

Traveling with toddlers doesn’t have to be complicated when there are so many water parks in the Northeast for families! If you’re looking for ways to include your little one on your vacation, keep reading for some suggestions. 

Great Wolf Lodge Poconos Mountains

Scranton, PA

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Great Wolf Lodge Pocono Mountains packs in all the family fun under one roof. That makes it easy for families traveling with toddlers (and their little legs!). As part of the U.S.’ largest group of family-friendly water parks, this indoor water park has perfected how to maximize family fun for all ages.

Why Kids Love It

Kids have plenty of reasons to love Great Wolf Lodge. Nearly all the 13 indoor water park attractions – from Racoon Lagoon to South Hot Springs and Totem Towers slide – are available for toddlers. Plus, spots like Whooping Hollow and Cub Paw Pool are specifically designed for the smallest of travelers (those under 52 inches in height). Of course, the outdoor activity pool has fountains, water basketball, and plenty of fun for all as well. And if your toddler naps wherever she falls, consider renting a cabana for the day, to maximize the water park fun. Or, have fun knowing that your room is just steps away!

Family Fun Outside of the Water

For families looking to explore by land, the Raccoon Lagoon Play Park should be one of the stops. Kids can enjoy a bean bag toss, giant Jenga, and a fire pit for s’mores. Plus, there are plenty of activities to keep little ones busy. Enjoy a morning wolf walk around the lobby to learn about woodland friends, Wolfercise aerobics, and the Northwoods Friends animated show. Have older siblings in the family? They’ll get excited for the Ten Paw Alley, Northern Lights Arcade, and MagiQuest. Also, there are midday activities inside, and the Howlers Peak Ropes Course outside. And, at the end of the day, everyone can also gather around for storytime with the Great Wolf Kids characters.

DreamWorks Water Park

East Rutherford, NJ 

Inside the indoor waterpark at DreamWorks Water Park, featuring colorful slides and several swimmers.
Photo Courtesy: DreamWorks Water Park

DreamWorks Water Park, the largest indoor water park in North America, has plenty for families with kids of all ages. Toddlers are no exception! In fact, the sheer number of activities within this park and the surrounding activities housed within the entire American Dream entertainment complex make it an ideal destination for families that like variety. And you also won’t ever have to worry about the weather outside!

Why Kids Love It 

Kids rarely get bored at DreamWorks Water Park. The Kungfu Panda Temple of Awesomeness offers a multi-level play structure, and there are six kid-friendly slides (for those 36-48 inches in height), inspired by the Madagascar Penguins. And that’s not all! Toddlers will have fun splashing about in the zero-entry wave pool and floating along the lazy river. For older traveling companions (those 48 inches or taller), there are nearly two dozen water attractions designed for chilling or thrilling. Try Shrek’s Sinkhole Slammer, the Penguin Plummet, or the Swamp N’ Splash!

Family Fun Outside of the Water

DreamWorks Water Park only scratches the surface of what’s available to families at American Dream. For example, the indoor Rink offers “ice buddies” to help the newest skaters hit the ice. Nickelodeon Universe, the Western Hemisphere’s largest indoor amusement park, has dozens of rides. This includes 14 options for those who are at least 36 or 42 inches tall. LEGOLAND® Discovery Center is designed for kids three to ten years old, and the SEA LIFE® Aquarium offers 10 exhibits for families to explore, featuring more than 1,000 creatures. With so much to offer, it’s no wonder this is one of the best water parks in the Northeast for families!

Cascades Indoor Water Park at Greek Peak Mountain Resort

Cortland, NY

Inside the indoor water park at Greek Peak Mountain Resort, featuring a large pool, slides, and more, making it one of the best water parks in the Northeast for families.
Photo Courtesy: Greek Peak Mountain Resort

Greek Peak Mountain Resort offers families a world of entertainment nestled in the Finger Lakes region. While parents may be drawn to the suites at Hope Lake Lodge and its on-site spa, the kids will be all about Cascades Indoor Water Park (and the many other outdoor activities offered!). With amenities that will please adults and kids alike, you’ll quickly learn why Greek Peak Moutain Resort made our list of the best water parks in the Northeast for families!

Why Kids Love It 

Fed by a 30-foot by 13-foot waterfall, the Whitewater Wave Pool is sure to thrill the youngest of travelers. Kids under 42 inches must wear a lifejacket. Little Bear Falls is exclusively for the younger set (42 to 48 inches) to splash, slides, and swing. Meanwhile, Big Bear Falls lets kids of any age and size climb the net, zoom down two slides, spray water at passersby, or get drenched with the huge deluge bucket! Four large water slides and heated outdoor and indoor pools and hot tubs round out the options for families looking for fun at Cascades Indoor Water Park!

Family Fun Outside of the Water

For families seeking activities on dry land, the Outdoor Adventure Center at Greek Peak offers a gravity-fed Mountain Coaster. Plus, a Summer Kid Zone – featuring bounce houses and a kiddie climbing wall – and an 18-lane winter tubing center for families (with kids ages 3 and up). Ziplines and a high aerial ropes course will provide a thrill for adults and older children (ages 7 and up and 48 inches tall). 

Big Splash Indoor Water Park and Boulder Bay Outdoor Aquatic Adventure at Rocking Horse Ranch Resort

Highland, NY

Rocking Horse Ranch is truly a destination within itself, as well as having one of the best water parks in the Northeast for families. Therefore, families seeking out this resort for its indoor/outdoor water park, Big Splash, will not be disappointed. In addition, the private lake and related activities are not the only fun in the water at this upstate New York resort, with kids and parents alike able to take advantage of water-based activities year-round!

Why Kids Love It 

At Big Splash, families can zoom down on Gold Rush Flume (36 inches and taller), help water spray and splash about in the toddler area, and enjoy several kid-friendly pools and slides. The Eldorado Hot Springs is 98 degrees year-round, offering a low-key indoor/outdoor aquatic experience. Both outdoor pools at Boulder Bay have a zero-entry section perfect for the littlest ones. They can watch their more adventurous travel companions hit two bigger outdoor slides or venture down two of their own during the summer.

Family Fun Outside of the Water

This all-inclusive family resort offers many more activities than just the water park. Families can enjoy unlimited horseback riding, nightly entertainment (think: magicians, jugglers, comedians), and lake-based fun such as banana boats and tubing. Or, go mountain tubing, see a wildlife exhibit, and climb a rock wall (for kids 36 inches and up). Of course, there’s plenty of mini-golf to go around, and more activities to give families what seems like countless options to keep busy and spend quality time together. And when parents want a little break, supervised children’s camps (for ages newborn to 5 and ages 6 to 12) are available for up to 75 minutes per day.

Best Water Parks in the Northeast for Families with Elementary School-Aged Kids

Traveling with elementary school-aged kids? Consider visiting one of these water parks in the Northeast for families! 

Camelback Resort and Water Park

Tannersville, PA

A list of best water parks in the Northeast would be incomplete without Camelback Resort and Water Park. As Pennsylvania’s biggest outdoor adventure park, it happens to also offer water enthusiasts plenty of indoor activities to enjoy. Explore anything from ropes courses to ziplining, mountain coasters, and more! 

Why Kids Love It  

Families can zoom down 13 waterslides at Aquatopia, the indoor section of the water park. Kids will love riding the Venus Slydetrap – a 608-ft combo raft ride. And Mountain Mayhem, a 403-ft enclosed aqua-tube. The wave pool, surfing activity, and “lost” river add to the variety of family fun on offer. Camelbeach, the outdoor section, offers 37 rides and slides of all sizes, including another “not-so-lazy” river and splash zones. Most rides have a 40-inch to 42-inch height requirement, making them ideal for the elementary school set. Both water park spaces offer cabana rentals.

Family Fun Outside of the Water

Outside the pool, a climbing wall and Euro Bungee are within the grounds of the outdoor water park. And thrill-seekers need to look no further than the resort grounds. Ziplines varying from 1,000 to 4,000 feet in length also whisk riders (starting at age 6) down the Poconos Mountains, as well as a mountain coaster. Nature lovers looking for a low-key outdoor activity option can hit the tree-top ropes course (also ages 6 and up). And that’s just outside – indoors there are also climbing walls, a ropes course, and Game of Stones Escape Room, among other options. Activities like balloon twisting and doughnut decorating, as well as events like magic shows and movie nights, round out the plenty of options families have during their stay.

Cape Codder Water Park at Cape Codder Family Resort and Spa

Hyannis, MA

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While the beach is undoubtedly a key attraction on Cape Cod during the summer, the Cape Codder Family Resort and Spa makes the area a destination for water lovers at any time of year. As the only one of its kind on Cape Cod, the 30,000 square foot Cape Codder Water Park offers an action-packed experience for families from near and far, both indoors and outdoors! 

Why Kids Love It  

The Cape Codder Water Park’s retractable roof can cover (or not) a myriad of water-based amenities for families. These vary between four water slides ranging from 50-feet to 160-feet in length, a wave pool with fountains, and a “stormy” river with waterfalls and rapids. Kids will particularly enjoy Pirate Bay – a little kid area with small slides and water cannons. Also, there’s Rainbow Falls, a heated outdoor pool that’s open year-round. Though it’s temporarily closed, the 24-person whirlpool also offers a place to relax among all the splashing.

Family Fun Outside of the Water

With “family” right in the name of the resort, you know there are plenty of activities once you’re dry and ready for more action. There’s an arcade and board games at the recreation center for those seeking a high-tech or low-tech game night. Pickleball, badminton, basketball, and soccer are just some of the sports on offer. And for a relaxing evening together, there’s live music and movies in the courtyard during the summer; the movies move indoors and are available on the weekends during the colder months.

Kartrite Resort and Indoor Water Park

Monticello, NY

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It’s 84-degrees year-round at the Kartrite Resort and Indoor Water Park. Overlooking the Catskills Mountains, this family-friendly destination boasts New York’s largest indoor water park and offers an all-in-one destination for families looking for quality time together!

Why Kids Love It   

Kartrite Water Park has enough to keep everyone in the family entertained. Kids can enjoy four major waterslides, all open to all 42 inches and taller. They offer varying degrees of speed and thrill. And, the Endless Summer Flowrider will teach them how to ride the perfect wave! Kartrite Island offers 100 water features and a dump bucket. Meanwhile, Later Gator Crossing tests kids’ balance and strength as they traverse “crocodile-infested” waters. Up for a more relaxed experience? Mosey down Empire Bay and take in the native vegetation lining the way. Or, head outdoors to Affinity Springs and catch your breath while lounging in the water. Families can create a home base at the park by renting a cabana.

Family Fun Outside of the Water

Looking for things to do outside of the water? Indoor activities such as The Playopolis Arcade, Virtuality VR ride, and The Darkside 3D ride immerse families in some high-tech fun. For more active ways to pass the time, head to the Van Winkle’s Bowling Alley. AmazeQuest laser tag, Scrapeskyer climbing wall, and Carabiners ropes course also get families up and moving. And that’s not all! There’s a full calendar of activities with daily crafts, face painting, live entertainment, storytelling, and s’mores ongoing to help families make the most of their stay.

Pump House Indoor Water Park at Jay Peak Resort

Jay, VT

Two girls shoot down a water slide with arms in the air.
Photo Courtesy: Jay Peak Resort

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Vermont’s only indoor water park is at the Jay Peak Resort, originally a ski hill that has turned into a year-round destination with plenty of outdoor and water-based fun. The Pump House Indoor Water Park is largely open during the weekends only, with slightly extended days and hours during the summer.

Why Kids Love It   

Jay Peak Resort’s heated outdoor pool is open during the spring and summer. But the real water-based thrills happen inside Pump House Indoor Water Park. The Double Barrel Flowrider lets families test their boogie boarding abilities (42 inches and taller) and surfing skills (52 inches and taller) with a forgiving landing should it take a few tries to get going. Three water slides offer twists and turns before landing you into the pool. And for a true thrill, La Chute drops riders 65-feet nearly straight down in six seconds (48 inches and taller, plus at least 88 pounds). After such adventure, families can take it easy in Big River or keep the action going with climbing and basketball in the Deep Water Activity Pool.

Family Fun Outside of the Water

Outside of the water, there are plenty of activities that can vary with the season. In the summer, families can take a tram ride to get above the scenery and greenery, take in some championship golf, or hike Jay Peak. As the weather gets colder, families can ski and snowshoe. And there are many things to do all year round, such as skate at the ice rink or challenge your travel mates to a game in the arcade. The town of Jay occasionally has events as well, such as festivals and live music.

Best Waterparks in the Northeast for Families with Teens

Teens may be hard to impress sometimes, but that doesn’t mean they won’t love these water parks in the Northeast for families! Here are some top picks for traveling with teens. 

Six Flags Great Escape Lodge & Indoor Water Park

Queensbury, NY

Several kids play together inside the Six Flags Great Escape Lodge & Indoor Water Park, featuring colorful splash areas.
Photo Courtesy: Six Flags Great Escape Lodge & Indoor Water Park

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With a brand like Six Flags, you know adventure will be part of the package. This New York State destination doesn’t disappoint! Six Flags Great Escape Lodge & Indoor Water Park is definitely one of the best water parks in the Northeast for families! 

Why Kids Love It    

Featuring two 41-foot water slides and a sheet wave to try out surfing, teens – and kids of all ages – will find something for them at Six Flags Great Escape Lodge & Indoor Water Park. And with private cabana rentals featuring loungers, mini-bar, television, and more, families can make a day of it. However, a true bonus of staying at the Great Escape Lodge is having Six Flags Great Escape next door! Water enthusiasts will have a whole other water park (with most ride height minimums in the 42- to 48-inch range) to enjoy in this park during the warmer months, and all the thrills you can handle among the 135 attractions on-site. Adventurous kids can even try Flashback, an exhilarating roller coaster that goes in a loop! 

Family Fun Outside of the Water

Families will find plenty of fun in The Lake George area. Enjoy year-round activities such as hiking, horseback riding, biking, and shopping. Plus, seasonal favorites such as snow tubing and swimming. But if you don’t want to leave the resort, there is more to do than just the water park. The Kids Klub Clubhouse offers activities for all ages, and the Starlight Arcade is sure to be a hit.

Kalahari Resort Poconos Mountains

Pocono Manor, PA

A name synonymous with water parks, you can’t go wrong with a trip to Kalahari for an ultimate family vacation! And Kalahari Resort Poconos Mountains boasts being one of the biggest – giving family travelers many options to have fun!

Why Kids Love It  

Teens looking for a thrill can find it on one of seven rides categorized as “extreme,” including a 60-foot drop with the Screaming Hyena, twists and turns of Barreling Baboon, and the very first virtual reality waterslide in the United States. For a lower-key experience, there’s Lost Lagoon, the resort’s basketball pool, a lazy river, or the chance to swim around like a mermaid or merman. And when the weather is warm enough, there are multiple pools outside to lounge and play – or hot tubs when it’s not!

Family Fun Outside of the Water

On dry land, parents and kids alike can enjoy pampering at Spa Kalahari. The Big Game Room features hundreds of the newest, biggest and best arcade games, simulators, and redemption games for the entire family. Choose between three different escape rooms, hit the bowling alley, or experience the 7-D motion theatre – a 3-D film with full motion seats, wind, sound, and gaming. Outside, there’s mini-golf and Gorilla Grove Treetop Adventures for harrowing climbs and ziplining among the trees.

Kahuna Laguna at Red Jacket Mountain View

North Conway, NH

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Red Jacket Mountain View Resort is home to Kahuna Laguna, New Hampshire’s largest water park. Not to mention, one of the best water parks in the Northeast for families. This four-season destination sits at the edge of the White Mountains, offering families many indoor and outdoor activities year-round.

Why Kids Love It

At Kahuna Laguna, seven of the eight water attractions are open to teens (and adults and elementary-aged kids for that matter). This includes a three-story-tall water slide, Wiki Wave Pool, and Kahuna Basketball Court – it’s 40,000 square feet of fun! Nearby, the water adventure continues as part of Story Land; while primarily a park for those who enjoy staying dry, Dr. Geyser’s Remarkable Raft Ride and Splash Battle offer water-based fun during summer. In addition, families can tap into their inner kids on Christmas morning at Santa’s Village

Family Fun Outside of the Water

For families who enjoy outdoor activities, Red Jacket Mountain View Resort has it all. There’s skiing and snowmobiling in the winter, golfing and fishing nearly year-round, and hiking throughout the year. This makes it perfect for adventurous, outdoor types. North Conway is also a quaint New England town, small enough for teens to safely roam.

Splash Lagoon Indoor Water Park

Erie, PA

Inside the Splash Lagoon Indoor Water Park, featuring huge slides, a lazy river, and several laughing families.
Photo Courtesy: Splash Lagoon Indoor Water Park

Erie, Pennsylvania, is home to Splash Lagoon Indoor Water Park, a top family-friendly destination according to multiple traveler and media polls. While not a resort, there are three hotels connected to Splash Lagoon – offering amenities like free breakfast and family-friendly suites, and another three a short shuttle ride away.

Reserve the Courtyard by Marriott Erie Ambassador Conference Center or Hilton Garden Inn Erie, both with free shuttle service to Splash Lagoon Indoor Water Park.

Why Kids Love It

Expect lots of family fun at Splash Lagoon Indoor Water Park. There are seven water slides to choose from, such as Hurricane Hole – which gets you going up to 40 miles per hour – and the thrilling Python Plunge. Families can also enjoy two hot tubs, the largest wave pool in the eastern United States, a lazy river, and an activity pool. The resort was recently renovated, and the newest attraction is the FlowRider indoor surfing machine. More of a spectator? The top instructors put on a show each Saturday. And for the ultimate teen (and family) hang-out space, cabanas offer privacy, a place to relax, and a television.

Family Fun Outside of the Water

Adjacent to the water park, guests 36 inches and taller can take advantage of the Tree Tops Ropes Course – and conquer a total of 19 challenges in the climate-controlled environment. Treasure Island Arcade has games galore, including XD DARK RIDE Gaming Theater, which makes you feel like you’re inside the game. And for the daring, Erie Axe Throwing offers the opportunity for some friendly competition within a local restaurant, Quaker Steak & Lube. 

Enjoy the Ride!

Two kids in swim suits enjoy a splash at the indoor waterpark at Kartrite.
Photo Courtesy: Gunjan Prakash

We wish you much fun and adventure exploring these Best Water Parks In The Northeast For Families! Whether deep in the toddler stage or clinging on to teenagers at home, there are so many options that parents and kids will truly love! Happy splashing and enjoy the ride!

*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the attractions, accommodations, or things to do on this list may be closed. Please ensure availability before making your decision. 

*This post may contain affiliate links that may earn us a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links in no way inform the hotels, sights, products, or other recommendations included in our articles. All opinions and recommendations expressed here are compiled from submissions submitted by the generous members of our Families Who Love To Travel community.

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Megan Tucker

Megan Tucker is a public relations professional, wife, mom and lover of all things travel and travel planning, based in Arlington, Virginia. While she grew up in New England, she's lived in the Washington, DC area, London and Abu Dhabi, and has traveled across the United States, the Caribbean, Western Europe, South America, Asia, Africa and Oceania with and without her husband and two sons.