Bigger Kids

7 family-friendly water parks in Atlantic Canada

This summer your family can beat the heat at these refreshingly cool water parks in Atlantic Canada.

Photo: David Corkum Photo: David Corkum

New Brunswick

1. Magic Mountain Waterpark Planning a trip to Moncton, New Brunswick? Then you and the whole family have got to check out Atlantic Canada’s largest water park! With tons of wild and wet attractions, Magic Mountain Waterpark has something for everyone. Waterslides vary from the gentle Pipeline to the fully enclosed, terrifyingly awesome Turbo Tunnel that pushes riders in a figure eight—that’s 720 degrees of travel! Got a need for speed? The Kamikaze is over a hundred feet long and for five fearful seconds you’ll be travelling at 60 kilometres per hour! For the bravest of them all, there's the Torpedo—Canada’s first Skybox capsule ride—that will let you stand on a transparent floor panel before the floor drops below you and you swoosh down the slide. Of course, there's something for the little fish, too! Puddle Jumpers Pond has four kiddie slides, including Gizmo the Frog. Or head over to the splash pad where your tot can get sprayed by the shooting lighthouse, boat and whale. Looking for a more relaxed day? Chill in the lazy river, catch a wave at the wave pool or go warm up in the hot tub. When the little ones get hungry, there are three restaurants with kid-friendly fare. Plus, a gift shop in case you forgot any essentials like sunscreen or a hat. Kids under 36 inches are free.

Dive in: 2875 Mountain Rd., Moncton 506-857-9283>

Photo: Nathan Clark Photo: Nathan Clark

2. Jellystone Park – Yogi Bear’s New Water Park If your little cub wants to cool off, then head over to Yogi Bear's favourite spot, Jellystone Park. And you can't argue with Yogi, after all he’s smarter than the average bear! Kids can whoosh down the two giant waterslides, then splash around in the heated pool. Who wants to play Marco Polo? Little bears can enjoy their own children’s wading pool, where they can blow bubbles in peace. New this summer is The Water Wizard’s Water Zone. This interactive water playground is one giant pirate ship, with multiple levels, two waterslides and 37 water features to spray your little one. And your kids will definitely want to stand under the big magic hat that's atop the jungle gym—it sprays water on all who dare to come near. If you want to take a break from the water, kids of all ages can join Yogi and Boo-Boo for free daily activities. Go for a hayride, listen to a Yogi story and watch movies. Other attractions include minigolf, target tag and beach volleyball. Staying at the campsite allows guests to enjoy the attractions, so book your vacation now and don’t forget to share your pic-a-nic baskets with Yogi!

Dive in: 174 Hemlock St., Lower Woodstock 506 328-6287>

Prince Edward Island

Photo: Shining Waters Water Park Photo: Shining Waters Family Fun Park


3. Shining Waters Family Fun Park On a hot summer day, head straight over to Shining Springs Waterpark, where refreshing watery fun awaits. The big kids will love the four giant waterslides. They’ll squeal with glee as they zoom down on a single or double tube. Little ones can have their own fun in Turtle Cove, a splash pool with three mini-slides. Then take your little swimmers on a pirate pedal boat at Buccaneer Bay. They’ll love sailing the high seas and looking for treasure—remember, X marks the spot. When your little fishies want to come ashore, there’s plenty of dry fun to be had as well. Go see the pygmy goats, alpaca and bunnies at the petting farm. Make it a full-day adventure and go explore Discovery Woods. Try not to get lost in the Mirror Maze and if you’re brave enough check out the Spooky Swamp Shack. Little kids will love the Triple Treehouse; they clamber up the stairs and then check out everything below using telescopes. Finally, be sure to check out Storybook Land, where imagination becomes reality. Go for a walk through the woods to the witch's cave and see how many fantasy animals you can spot. There are quite a few playgrounds in Storybook Land for kids who want to swing, climb and slide. With tons of green space around the park, you’ll definitely want to pack a picnic for this day of family fun. Or buy hamburgers, chicken nuggets and more at Riddle's Take-Out. Just make sure to leave room for ice cream from Salty's Snacks.

Dive in: 8885 Cavendish Rd., Cavendish 1-887-963-3939>

Photo: Tourism PEI Photo: Tourism PEI

4. Mill River Fun Park Beautiful Prince Edward Island is more than just the home of Anne of Green Gables. If you and your family are planning a trip to the red-sands island, you’ll definitely want to pack your bathing suits! Mill River Fun Park, located within the provincial park of the same name, will have the whole family begging to stay in the water all day. Spend some time relaxing in the swimming pool and play a few rounds of Motorboat with the kids. Then it's time for Bumper Boats! Each parent can take a kid and see who can get bumped the least. Now grab your pirate hat and start practicing your "Arrr, matey." Your little Jack Sparrows will love exploring the pirate ship before jumping into the sea of balls! And make sure they go for a whirl down the waterslides at the kiddie pool. Big kids will love the giant twister—they'll get soaked in water and fun! You can camp for the weekend or just visit for the day. Make sure to bring a picnic lunch to enjoy on the beautiful park grounds. Kids six and younger are free.

Dive in: 38016 Western Rd., Rte 2 902-859-3915>

Nova Scotia


5. Magic Valley Nova Scotia’s original family amusement park has been entertaining the young at heart since 1971. The park itself is gorgeous and covers over six acres of land—a great place to explore with the kids and see what wildlife you can spot. Now it's time to get wet! Kids will love the two big waterslides; they can swoosh down and make a big splash in the pool below. When you get them to take a break from zooming down the slides, they can cool off in the Lost Lagoon pool. Want a little friendly competition? Hop in a bumper boat and see who can bump their way to watery victory. Choo-choo! Your little engineer will love taking a ride on the train and might even fall asleep with the soothing motion. Bigger kids can spend the afternoon playing 18 holes of mini-putt or head over to Story Book Village, where fairy tales become a reality. This magical land is home to Daisy, Canada's only talking cow and one very large Humpty Dumpty sitting on a wall (before the great fall). But that's not all. If you need a break from the sun, head over to the craft tents for some DIY fun. Your little mermaid or little pirate can also celebrate their birthday at Magic Valley.

Dive in: 4488 Hwy 4, Greenhill 902-396-4467>

Photo: Atlantic Playland Photo: Atlantic Playland

6. Atlantic Playland Atlantic Playland is Nova Scotia’s largest family-owned fun park, and they guarantee thrills for the whole clan! The park is full of fantastic rides for all ages, including a carousel and Big Ellie, the ferris wheel. If you want to cool off on a hot summer day, head straight over to the waterslides. Make sure you check out the scenic view of the whole park while you’re at the top. Then whiz down into the refreshingly cool pool. Want to make your own waves? Well, it’s a bumpy ride on the Bumper Boats! Splash, spray and crash (lightly) into your family members. Junior sailors can cruise the bumpy seas at Electric Bumper Boat (Jr. Ride) in Kiddie Land. Little ones can also enjoy the Kids Splash Pool, complete with a slide and water mushroom for some serious chillaxing, kiddie-style. Once the water fun is done, let your kiddies find their land-legs and enjoy some dry activities. From go-carts to batting cages, the fun never has to stop. There are also tons of rides for little adventurers like the Caterpillar Train and the Junior Ferris Wheel. And when your little fishies are hungry enough to eat like sharks, Carousel Café is the place to be. Hotdogs, fries and Kool-Aid slushies await their little tummies! Admission to the park is free, however, to ride and play you must purchase tickets, bracelets or a season pass.

Dive in: 1200 Lucasville Rd., Hammonds Plains 902-865-1025>

Photo: Upper Clements Park Photo: Upper Clements Park

7. Upper Clements Park Located in Annapolis Valley, Upper Clements Amusement Park has been a source of fun since 1989 and it’s still one of Atlantic Canada’s biggest tourist destinations. The best way to cool off is taking a ride on the Fundy Spray Waterslide. This winding adventure is 230 feet of watery fun! You’ll get equally soaked on the Sissiboo Sizzler Flume Ride, where you climb in a rustic log and splash down a gigantic waterslide. While charging over the edge of two 80-foot falls you’ll feel like you're cruising through real rapids. Challenge your family members to a round of Bumper Boats in Ryerson Pond. For little adventurers, there are the Kiddie Bumper Boats in the sheltered pond. If the little ones want to relax, head down to the wading pool for some splishing and splashing. When you’re ready to dry off, check out the other cool rides around the park. Take a spin around the ferris wheel, play some laser tag, and take a ride on the Evangeline Train that goes around the whole park. Visit Shanty Cove and watch the kids try to climb over the rope bridges or have them slide down the tube slides on the playground.  For the kid who loves all manner of transportation, he can soar on the Red Baron Airplanes ride or take the wheel in the Convoy Trucks. There are plenty of places to choose from when it's time for lunch. Coaster Canteen offers fare from the sea, including clams, or try Clifton Deck BBQ for their yummy burgers and fries. And don't forget to stop at The Sugar Shack for homemade fudge and funnel cakes!

Dive in: 2931 Hwy 1, Annapolis Royal 902-532-7557>

This article was originally published on Jul 17, 2015

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