Your All-Ages Guide to Splashy Summer Fun at Roaring Springs and Wahooz
One of the largest waterparks in the country is about to get even more epic.
After an intense period of construction, Meridian’s Roaring Springs will unveil its eagerly awaited massive new expansion to the public on May 31. This expansion is phase one of a seven-phase plan to increase the Northwest’s largest waterpark by an astounding 40 percent over the next 10 years — and Roaring Springs is really kicking things off with a bang. Visitors can enjoy a seven-slide interactive play structure, a new wave action river, an adventure pool, luxury cabanas, and plenty of new dining options, including a bar.
There’s so much to see and do at Roaring Springs and its sister playland Wahooz that we created a guide! No matter the ages of your kids (or yourself), you can find endless entertainment options to double your fun and even make it a weekend getaway.
Kids 5 and Younger: Splashy Fun
Even the littlest kids can enjoy a sunny day of swimming and splashing at Roaring Springs. In fact, children ages 2 and under enjoy free entry into the waterpark. Once you’ve arrived, head to Bearfoot Bay — this area is limited to children 54 inches and under and is ideal for kids who want the thrills of the waterpark on a smaller scale. Check out the animal-themed play features, the extensive shallow wading pool, and a shaded sitting ledge so parents can safely watch while the kiddos are in the pool.
Of course, no Roaring Springs experience is complete without slides! Bearfoot Bay delivers with six slides that range from slow and leisurely to just fast enough to thrill younger ones. Parents, don’t miss your chance to book one of the six cabanas in this area so you can set up a shade-covered poolside home base during your visit.
The fun doesn’t stop there! Next door at Wahooz Family Fun Zone, smaller kids flock to Ballocity, a four-level play structure laced with climbing tubes, bridges, slides, and obstacles — and, of course, tons of squishy foam balls. Vacuums and blasters propel the balls for hours of interactive fun. If your child is a climber, head to the Tykes Course, a mini version of the three-story Sky Trail Ropes Course.
If that isn’t enough for your little thrill-seeker, check out the Frog Hopper. This seated ride lifts kids 16 feet into the air and then bounces them down for big fun with a big payoff. Who knows? All that excitement might even spur a nap on the way home.
Kids Ages 5 to 10: High-Energy Skills and Thrills
Critter Crossing, one of the features that will be unveiled at Roaring Springs on May 31, is a watery skills course that challenges kids to make it across the pool while jumping on lily pads that tip and dip. It’s open to adults, too, so this is your chance to see if you still have the balance of a kid! (Don’t worry, there are overhead ropes to help guide you and the kids along.) You’ll find three in-pool basketball hoops in this area for one-on-one and team challenges.
For even bigger fun, head over to the new Camp IdaH2O Wilderness Playground. This incredible, Idaho-themed area includes seven intermediate slides — keep an eye out
for the Idaho critters perched throughout — that are perfect for kids who aren’t quite ready for the more intense slide experiences. You’ll also discover 80 interactive features that are great for smaller children.
But the crowning glory of Camp IdaH2O is the world’s first-ever potato-themed tipping bucket. Tippin’ Tater is a 1,500-pound bucket that splashes an astounding 650 gallons of water down a chute into the pool below. Sounds like an awesome way to spend a hot day, right?
Or, grab a few float tubes and head to the Whitewater Bay Wave Pool or the Endless River with the kids — but watch out, because the rhythmic flow of these areas can be super addictive, and there’s plenty more fun to be had next door at Wahooz. You and the kids can make your own thrills on the Wahooz Twister: Just load the family into a swinging capsule, grab the steering wheel in the center, and spin to your heart’s content. Or let the kids immerse themselves in the XD Dark Ride, which pits riders against other riders as they journey through six different movie adventures.
Pre-Teens and Teens: No-Limit Excitement
Have a bored teen? With tons of heart-racing, stomach-dropping activities at Roaring Springs, you can bet they’ll forget about their phones for a few hours. Take, for example, the brand-new Class 5 Canyon: It’s Idaho’s first action river and it provides non-stop whitewater waves — like the most exciting parts of a rafting trip without all the paddling! In fact, all they’ll need is the provided kickboard.
Or challenge them to the award-winning Snake River Run — just load into a two-person raft (single rafts are available, too) and prepare to blast off! The slide launches into a dizzying double corkscrew, then drops into not one, but two “flying saucers” that boomerang riders through dueling 180-degree turns to a splashy finish below.
Once they’ve caught their breath, it’s time for Corkscrew Cavern, the first 360-degree looping waterslide in the Northwest. The anticipation builds as soon as they drop into the launching capsule and wait for a few heart-pumping moments — and then splash! The trap door drops into a narrow tunnel that ramps up the speed immediately. It’s fun and it’s fast: 38 feet per second, to be exact. For similar thrills without the loops, have them check out Cliffhanger, a six-story almost-vertical plunge, or Avalanche, which glides riders into a giant half-pipe.
Even if they’re not quite road-ready yet, pre-teens and teens can test their mettle at Wahooz on the Slick Track Go-Karts. This isn’t a clunky, old-school go-kart ride — thanks to the slippery track, it’s fast enough to let the kids play out their “Fast and Furious” fantasies.
Adults: Lazy-Day Luxury and Super Fun Games
Who says the kids get all the fun? Plenty of adults love to get competitive with their kids at Wahooz, where they can hit their targets at laser tag, crack a new level at the arcade, or sip a beer while bowling with the kids at the Pinz 24-lane bowling center. But Roaring Springs also puts a premium on simply relaxing. The new expansion includes 16 luxury cabanas with shaded, cushioned sectionals and full wait service. Don’t sleep on booking one of these beauties — they’ll go quickly, and it’s a good idea to reserve yours as soon as you can. Even if you miss out on a cabana, you’ll discover plenty of places to lounge poolside throughout the waterpark.
Roaring Springs has extended its upgrades to its new Asian-inspired menus at the brand-new Geyser Grill and Bar. Why not nosh on the Nom Nom Pork Bowl and snack on potstickers poolside? Of course, you can always opt for classic Roaring Springs options like their famous gourmet Corn Dog Cart (try the Spicy Jack option loaded with bacon, pickled jalapenos, and cheese sauce), funnel cakes, and refreshing hot-weather treats like Dippin’ Dots or Pineapple Dole Whip soft-serve. And, new this year, Roaring Springs will begin serving adult beverages at its first bar — so you can upgrade your visit with a chilled poolside beer or margarita.
It’s Not Too Early to Plan Ahead!
You could opt to visit just Roaring Springs or Wahooz, but why limit the good times to just one day? With the Triple the Fun ticket, the family can enjoy Roaring Springs one day and Wahooz the next. Triple the Fun tickets are $74.99 — a $20 savings. If you have time for only one location, don’t worry; the pass is valid throughout the season, so you can schedule more fun next time you’re in town. Roaring Springs and Wahooz offer many other deals, as well, so choose what works best for you and your thrill seekers.
Before you arrive, make sure you have what you need to maximize your fun:
- Flip flops
- Bottled water (no glass bottles)
- Your favorite summer read
Ready to plan your watery adventure? Wahooz is open year-round and Roaring Springs begins its 2023 season on May 6. The new waterpark expansion will welcome its first visitors on May 31. Skip the line and buy your tickets now (and those cabanas) on the Roaring Springs website. For plenty of other summer fun ideas, as well as a full list of lodging options, head to our Trip Itineraries and Where to Stay pages.