Phoenix has great water parks, but they don’t always fit the budget, especially when you are taking multiple visits. Here are 10 parks in the local area you can enjoy with the family that have play structures, slides, even lazy rivers – at a fraction of the cost of the big water parks.
FOOTHILLS RECREATION & AQUATICS CENTER
The crown jewel of Glendale’s aquatics program is part of a full recreation center, and the public summer-swim season begins Saturday, June 1. Features include two giant slides, a zero-depth entry leisure pool with spray features, an aquatic playground and a lazy river. Get your Greg Louganis on at the diving well and two diving boards. Check the website for information about water aerobics, lap swimming, pool rentals and private and group swim lessons.
Details: $2.50 for ages 3-17; $5 for ages 18-54; $3 for age 55 or older; free for age 2 and younger. 5600 W. Union Hills Drive. 623-930-4600, glendaleaz.com/foothillscenter
RHODES AQUATICS COMPLEX
Snowboard in the summer? Wakeboard in the desert? Absolutely. Jump on a boogie board and cool down with FlowRider at Rhodes Aquatics Complex in Mesa. FlowRider, which combines snowboarding, skateboarding and wakeboarding, is designed for all skill levels. Rhodes offers a beach entry, three diving boards and elaborate splash pads and tumble buckets for the little ones. Parents will appreciate the shade structures and concession stands. Along with the standard swim lessons and teams, Mesa has synchronized and water-polo teams. Cool off on Monday nights with a half-price swim.
Details: Pool is $1.25 for age 17 and younger; $2.50 for age 18 and older; season pass $210. FlowRider is $5.50 per hour for age 17 and younger; $11 per hour for age 18 and older; punch-ticket rates also available. 1860 S. Longmore, Mesa. 480-644-2550, mesaaz.gov/parksrec/aquatics/pools/rhodes.aspx.
SUPERSTITION SHADOWS AQUATIC CENTER
Apache Junction is cooling down East Valley swimmers at its state-of-the-art Superstition Shadows Aquatic Center. Features include two water slides, diving boards and a vortex whirlpool. Work up a sweat playing sand volleyball, then cool off in the beach-entry pool. Superstition Shadows plans to host special events, including an Itty Bitty Beach Party for tykes and Teen Night Beach Bash for the bigger kids. Check the website for information about swim lessons, swim teams, water aerobics and other aquatic events.
Details: $1 for age 17 and younger; $2 for age 18 and older. Season passes $45-$95. 1091 W. Southern Ave. 480-474-5210, ajcity.net.
This Ahwatukee favorite has an eight-lane competition pool with an adjoining beach entry, as well as several shallow-water features for kids. Big kids love the two water slides and the separate diving well with diving boards. Mom and Dad can enjoy cool grass hills and shaded areas while they keep an eye on the kids. Check the website for pool class and program schedules.
Details: $1 for age 17 and younger and seniors; $3 for age 18 and older. Season passes $20-$75. 17010 S. 48th St., Phoenix. 602-534-9255, phoenix.gov/sports/pools.html.
KIWANIS WAVE POOL
The water is always a perfect 84 degrees at this indoor pool. Slip into a tube (you can rent them there) and ride the 3-foot waves, or hop on the double-spiral water slide that measures 127 feet long and 15 feet tall. Season-ticket holders get free tube rentals on Mondays; and although your little swimmer isn’t allowed to wear floaties from home, you can rent him or her a life jacket for $3. Kiwanis Wave Pool also offers water aerobics and water walking, as well as group and private swim lessons.
Details: $5 for ages 2-12; $7 for age 13 and older. Season passes $36-$46. 6111 S. All-America Way, Tempe. 480-350-5201, tempe.gov/pools.
MESQUITE AQUATIC CENTER
Since 1994, this pool has filled up early every day. It’s the only pool in Gilbert with a double water slide, kiddie slide, diving board, full concession stand and play mushrooms in a zero-depth area. Parents can enjoy shade ramadas while they watch their little swimmers. Gilbert offers swim teams and lessons, and a junior lifeguard program.
Details: $1 for age 17 and younger; $3 for age 18 and older. 100 W. Mesquite St., Gilbert. 480-503-6292, gilbertaz.gov/aquatics.
BUCKEYE AQUATICS CENTER
Feel like a dip after dark? This summer, take a night swim until 9 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays. Other special events include Tot Swim Time from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Fridays and Teen Splash Nights (check website for dates). Buckeye swimmers flock to the beach-entry area with water features, 10-foot high dive, low dive and 160-foot water slide.
Details: $2. Season pass $50-$150. 207 N. Ninth St., Buckeye. 623-349-6350 or 623-349-6390, buckeyeaz.gov/aquatics.
SURPRISE AQUATIC CENTER
Surprise joined the supersize public-pool party in 2002 with its own aquatic center featuring beach entry with water-play features for the little ones, two water slides and a diving well with two diving boards. Kids go crazy for the vortex whirlpool. Check the website for special programs and events, including an Itty Bitty Beach Party, Dive in Movies and a Fourth of July Pool Party.
Details: $1 for age 17 and younger; $2 for age 18 and older. Season passes $20-$80. 15831 N. Bullard Ave., Surprise. 623-222-2500, surpriseaz.gov/aquatics.
Peoria families can hit the pool and enjoy water features, a beach-entry pool, a large flume water slide, two diving boards and shaded seating. The pool also offers an eight-week recreational swim-team league and swim-lesson programs six months of the year.
Details: $1 for ages 2-16; $2 for age 17 and older; free for age 1 and younger. Family season passes $75. 21321 N. 86th Drive, Peoria. 623-773-5080, peoriaaz.gov/aquatics.
MESQUITE GROVES AQUATIC CENTER
This Chandler complex’s zero-depth entry and water playground is just the beginning; it also has a lazy river with a dumping bucket barricade, two water slides (one enclosed), a vortex whirlpool and an interactive water structure that includes two toddler slides, water guns, valves kids can open and close, and the 752 “Big Blue” dumping bucket. There also is a competition pool and diving well with two 1-meter diving boards. Parents can enjoy pool furniture and lots of shade. Check the website for more information about swim programs and events.
Details: $1 for ages 2-17; $2.25 for ages 18-54; $1.25 for age 55 and older; free for age 1 and younger. Family season pass (Chandler residents only) $112. 5901 S. Hillcrest Drive, Chandler. 480-782-2635 or 2636, chandleraz.gov.
Photos & Captions By Robyn Siroky | Special for the Republic | azcentral.com