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Best Water Park Kids' Area (2015)

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America's water parks, whether indoor or outdoor, provide a safe and fun environment for kids of all ages – and their parents – to cool off and unwind. While wave pools and waterslides have their appeal, they're not always kid-friendly. USA TODAY 10Best asked readers to vote for their favorite water park zones made especially for kids, and the results are in!

  • Ransack Ridge at Wild West

    Ransack Ridge at Wild West
    Wisconsin Dells, Wis.

    Within the balmy interior of Wild West, the biggest indoor water park at Wilderness Resort in Wisconsin Dells, little squirts will find four stories of interactive aquatic fun at Ransack Ridge. This interactive play structure has it all: body slides, water cannons, blasters and, of course, a 750-gallon tipping bucket.
    Photo courtesy of Wilderness Resort at Wisconsin Dells

  • Safari Sam's SplashLand at Splashin' Safari

    Safari Sam's SplashLand at Splashin' Safari
    Santa Claus, Ind.

    Splashin' Safari in Santa Claus, Ind. might be most famous for housing the world's two longest water coasters, Mammoth and Wildebeest, but it also caters to kids at Safari Sam's SplashLand, a zero entry activity pool (maximum depth of 18 inches) where kids have their pick of eight different open and enclosed body slides.
    Photo courtesy of Holiday World Splashin' Safari

  • East Coast Waterworks at Hersheypark

    East Coast Waterworks at Hersheypark
    Hershey, Penn.

    Head to the Boardwalk in Hersheypark in Hershey, Penn. to find East Coast Waterworks, a water playground boasting 54,000 gallons of fun in the form of seven slides, two crawl tunnels, bridges, ropes, tip cones and some 600 interactive water toys.
    Photo courtesy of Hersheypark

  • Sand Castle Cove at Schlitterbahn

    Sand Castle Cove at Schlitterbahn
    South Padre Island, Texas

    Young guests at Schlitterbahn on South Padre Island find five levels of spray and play fun at Sand Castle Cove. This water play area, shaped like a giant sand castle, is outfitted with hundreds of water play elements, dump buckets and waterslides. A giant tipping bucket atop the castle makes for a perfect (and wet) family photo op.
    Photo courtesy of Schlitterbahn Waterpark & Resort

  • Han's Hideout at Schlitterbahn

    Han's Hideout at Schlitterbahn
    New Braunfels, Texas

    Young guests at the original Schlitterbahn water park in New Braunfels, Texas love Han's Hideout, a five-level water-filled fun house in the shape of a German pirate ship. Crawl tunnels, body slides, climbing nets, dumping buckets and water cannons provide hours of fun for kids of all ages, and the 500-gallon water bucket on the bow of the shipwreck soaks unsuspecting pirates below to many a kid's delight.
    Photo courtesy of Schlitterbahn Waterpark & Resort

  • Joker Soaker at LEGOLAND California

    Joker Soaker at LEGOLAND California
    Carlsbad, Calif.

    Joker Soaker, the interactive playground and wading pool at California's LEGOLAND amusement park, not only offers water cannons, gadgets and a 350-gallon tipping bucket, it also boasts a jester made from LEGOs who keeps guests laughing with his jokes as they play and splash below.
    Photo courtesy of LEGOLAND California

  • Joker Soaker at LEGOLAND Florida

    Joker Soaker at LEGOLAND Florida
    Winter Haven, Fla.

    At LEGOLAND Florida, the largest LEGOLAND park in the world, guests find a tangle of slides, water toys, cannons and more on the dual-level play structure known as Joker Soaker. Every few minutes, a 300-gallon tipping bucket soaks little ones waiting below.
    Photo courtesy of LEGOLAND Florida Resort

  • Tadpole Bay at Noah's Ark

    Tadpole Bay at Noah's Ark
    Wisconsin Dells, Wis.

    At the heart of America's largest water park, kids big and small get sprayed, splashed and soaked in Tadpole Bay, the kid-centric play zone at Noah's Ark. Topped by an 8-foot-tall tipping bucket, the colorful, multi-level structure boasts four waterslides and 50 interactive water toys and elements.
    Photo courtesy of Noah's Ark

  • Splash Attack at Adventure Island

    Splash Attack at Adventure Island
    Tampa

    At Splash Attack, the watery play area at Adventure Island in Tampa, kids and adults alike are sure to get soaked thanks to 500 feet of open and enclosed slides and 50 water play toys covering a giant tree house structure at its center. Guests scramble over bridges, crawl along nets and webs and climb ropes all while awaiting a 1,000-gallon wooden bucket to dump over their heads.
    Photo courtesy of Adventure Island

  • Fossil Falls at Lost World

    Fossil Falls at Lost World
    Wisconsin Dells, Wis.

    Inside Lost World, one of eight water parks at Wilderness Resort in Wisconsin Dells, Wis., kids often make a beeline for Fossil Falls, a spray and play structure with a dinosaur theme. Topping the multi-level aquatic playground is a 750-gallon tipping bucket.
    Photo courtesy of Wilderness Resort at Wisconsin Dells

The top 10 winners in the category Best Water Park Kids' Area are as follows:

  1. Ransack Ridge at Wild West - Wisconsin Dells, Wis.
  2. Safari Sam's SplashLand at Splashin' Safari - Santa Claus, Ind.
  3. East Coast Waterworks at Hersheypark - Hershey, Penn.
  4. Sand Castle Cove at Schlitterbahn - South Padre, Texas
  5. Han's Hideout at Schlitterbahn - New Braunfels, Texas
  6. Joker Soaker at LEGOLAND California - Carlsbad, Calif.
  7. Joker Soaker at LEGOLAND Florida - Winter Haven, Fla.
  8. Tadpole Bay at Noah's Ark - Wisconsin Dells, Wis.
  9. Splash Attack at Adventure Island - Tampa
  10. Fossil Falls at Lost World - Wisconsin Dells, Wis.

Additional nominees for Best Water Park Kids' Area included Baboon Lagoon at Zoombezi Bay, Bear Mountain Fire Tower at Splash Country, Blastaway Beach at Wet 'n Wild Orlando, Buccaneer Beach at Splashwater Kingdom, Ketchakiddee Creek at Typhoon Lagoon, Ski Patrol Training Camp at Blizzard Beach, Splash Zone at Soak City, Tree House Island at Six Flags White Water, Walkabout Waters at Aquatica Orlando and Walkabout Waters at Aquatica San Diego.

10Best and USA TODAY extend their congratulations to all the winners.

 

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