Amidst the June 2021 heatwave that repeatedly broke national temperature records day after day, many British Columbians have had trouble dealing with the sudden heat. After all, the province is quite well known for its typically mild climate. So when homes aren’t often equipped with air conditioning, how does one avoid being cooked?
One strategy is to take to the water; BC is home to a variety of fantastic water parks that you could enjoy during the dog days of summer.
5. Salmon Arm Waterslides
A 6-hour drive away from Vancouver or 1 hour to the east of Kamloops, this small water park could be worth visiting if you live nearby or if you find yourself on a road trip to Banff National Park. It also has an arcade and a miniature golf course in addition to its 7 water slides. Tickets are easily the cheapest on this list, with even the most expensive — the adult tickets — being priced at $26.50. Seniors 60+ and older children cost $16.50, while the youngest children under 3 years of age cost $3.50.
4. Wibit Waterparks
There are three Wibit brand inflatable courses floating in the middle of Okanagan Lake in Kelowna, Penticton, and Peachland, as well as a fourth in Osoyoos Lake. Their prices are the same; day tickets are $28 and evening tickets are $18.
3. Splashdown Vernon
Splashdown Vernon, formerly known as Atlantis Waterslides, is located a mere 40-minute drive to the south of Salmon Arm Waterslides. Full-day tickets are $30 and twilight tickets are $20. Children under 3 feet have free admission (max 1 free child per paid adult). As tickets are sometimes sold out, it’s recommended to book online in advance. Outside food and drink are allowed. They also offer VIP cabanas.
2. Big Splash Water Slide Park
Although it doesn’t sport as many rides as Cultus Lake, the Big Splash is located in Delta and as such is only a 40 minute drive from Vancouver. It also offers a much wider variety of paid accommodations such as a selection of VIP cabanas as well as catering services for private parties. Outside alcohol is not allowed, but you can get your fix through the park’s bar as well as some good but expectedly pricy food. Do note however that there aren’t any vegetarian options. Although prior to the onset of Covid-19 no outside food and drink were allowed, the park has eased restrictions during the pandemic to allow one cooler of food and non-alcoholic drinks per family. Tickets are $35 plus tax and admission for children under 3 is free. Although you can wait in line at the gate to buy tickets, it’s recommended instead to book online.
1. Cultus Lake Water Park
BC’s biggest waterpark, this Chilliwack water park is a 90 minute drive from Vancouver. It has a great variety of different rides, ranging from pitch dark tunnel slides to the infamous “Freefall” which features a 72 feet vertical drop. Although tickets can be bought at the gate, they are often completely sold out so it is recommended instead that tickets be ordered online on their website in advance. Prices vary depending on the time and day—the most expensive is the $ 38-weekend full-day tickets—but children under 3 feet have free admission (max 1 free child per paid adult). You can always bring your own food and drink instead of buying from the park but no alcohol is allowed on the premises. As an added bonus, the Cultus Lake Adventure Park is just across the street.
Check out: Must-Visit Islands in British Columbia