Your All-Ages Guide to Splashy Summer Fun at Roaring Springs and Wahooz

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:

  • Towels
  • Sunblock
  • Flip flops
  • Sunglasses
  • 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.

The Massive Meridian Things to Do List

Searching for the top 10 things to do in Meridian this summer? We have that — and so much more! Whether you’re using Meridian as a basecamp for your Southwestern Idaho visit, traveling with the family for a sporting tournament, or simply looking for some inspiration, you’ll discover it here.

Help Your Kids Make Summer Memories

Meridian is one of the most family-friendly cities in Idaho, with plenty of activities that will keep everyone — even the teenagers! — happy.

Roaring Springs Waterpark: It’s already the Northwest’s largest waterpark, and with a new expansion opening May 31, Roaring Springs is now one of the largest waterparks in the country! Trust us, you’ll want to plan your visit now so the kids can splash through Camp IdaH2O, a Gem State-themed interactive water playground featuring seven slides, multiple play features, Idaho animals and birds, and (of course) the 650-gallon Tippin’ Tater potato tipping bucket. Plus, navigate the whitewater of Class 5 Canyon action river and take on the challenges of Critter Crossing adventure pool. Treat your family to a VIP experience in one of 16 new luxury cabanas with wait service from the new Geyser Grill and Bar.

Wahooz Family Fun Zone: Make it a weekend getaway with a second day at Wahooz, conveniently connected to Roaring Springs. Wahooz is super popular year-round thanks to 15 indoor and outdoor attractions, including its newly remodeled mini golf course, kid-friendly bowling center, always entertaining go-kart tracks, an arcade and so much more, with enough attractions to keep everyone from the littles to the teens happy. This summer, buy discounted Triple the Fun tickets and spend one day at Roaring Springs and the next at Wahooz.

Children’s Museum of Idaho: If your little explorer loves to touch every exhibit they come across, the Children’s Museum is about to become their new favorite destination. This highly interactive space helps children learn about dinosaurs, outer space, machines, and so much more through play. They’ll pick up new information and unique experiences every step of the way.

Meridian Speedway: Loud, fast, and full of action, the Meridian Speedway is ideal for car-obsessed kids and their parents. Buckle up this summer and check out sprint cars, trucks, mini stocks, street stocks and so much more. For an extra dose of fun, choose a date that features a summertime fireworks display as part of the night’s events.

Non-Stop Shopping: From charming boutiques to sprawling emporiums, you’ll discover a shopper’s paradise in Meridian.

The Village at Meridian: This outdoor mall is more than a place to shop. It’s an entertainment extravaganza! After scoring new pieces for your summer wardrobe at top-tier chains like Anthropologie and Lululemon, relax in the cushy seats at Village Cinema or grab a margarita at The Matador. Be sure to check The Village’s website for special summer events, too.

Antiquing: Here’s a little secret: Meridian is one of the best places to find your next antique treasures. Two large specialty stores should be on the itinerary for every antique lover: Sevoy Furniture Gallery is a haven for mid-century modern lovers and Cherry’s Consignment Home Furnishings stocks high-quality furnishings from any era. With so many finds available, you might need to clear out extra space in your vehicle for the ride home!

Savor Every Bite of the Season: You’ll discover all of your favorite restaurants in Meridian, but these beloved local eateries offer out-of-the-ordinary experiences.

Epi’s: You might enter this cozy bungalow hungry, but we guarantee you’ll leave full and happy. Epi’s serves traditional Basque food such as red bean and chorizo soup, marinated pork loin topped with roasted red peppers, and the restaurant’s famous garlic chicken. It’s a true Idaho experience.

Eight Thirty Common: This popular watering hole and restaurant dishes out grown-up pub fare, handcrafted cocktails, and 12 rotating beer taps to satiate your taste buds. Book a weekend brunch reservation and tuck into savory dishes like carnitas hash or sweet treats such as cinnamon roll French toast.

Bodovino Ristorante: Bodovino has a unique setup: 56 Art Wine Emotion machines dispense tastes or pours of some of the world’s most-loved wines. Grab your glass and settle into the patio lounge for a meal featuring Italian classics such as calamari, scampi, ribeye, and flatbreads.

Big Jud’s: Big Jud’s burgers are so impressive that they’ve been featured on the Food Network. The Meridian outpost of this longtime local favorite serves up juicy burgers and fresh-cut Idaho fries, as well as its most famous offering, the intimidating one-pound Big Jud cheeseburger.

Discover Fresh Inspiration: Whether you’re just enjoying stunning visual artworks or looking for the next painting to grace your home, Meridian has beauty to offer.

Initial Point Gallery: This carefully curated gallery is located within Meridian’s City Hall and hosted by the Meridian Arts Commission. Exhibits rotate every month and feature works by local artists, often with Idaho themes.

Idaho Art Gallery: Enchanted by Idaho landscapes? You can find a gorgeous souvenir at Idaho Art Gallery, which features a number of paintings that center on landmarks like Shoshone Falls, dancing aspen groves, and life along the Boise River.

Get Outside: Southwestern Idaho is revered for its easy access to nature, and Meridian provides the perfect base camp to see it in all its summer glory!

The Peregrine Fund’s World Center for Birds of Prey: This corner of Idaho is one of the best places in the world to see magnificent birds of prey such as eagles, hawks, and owls. But if you’d like to skip the bird hunt and see these natural wonders close up, the World Center for Birds of Prey is ready to provide a once-in-a-lifetime experience. See how many of their Avian Ambassadors you can check off your must-see list.

City of Meridian Parks: You don’t need to get out of town to get outside! Meander through sprawling Julius M. Kleiner Memorial Park, dog-and-kid-friendly Storey Park, activity-filled Settlers Park, or cast a line at Fuller Park’s stocked fishing pond.


Prepare to Party: Meridian’s calendar is crammed full of summer and early autumn events. Why not pencil in a festival while you’re here?

Far West Regional Championships: Hundreds of the best young soccer players in the country will flock to nearby Boise in late June 2023 — and Meridian is the perfect place to make yourbasecamp during all the excitement! Both boys and girls will compete at the Far West RegionalChampionships for a chance to play the nationals in July.

Dairy Days: Meridian’s oldest festival, a celebration of its agricultural roots, has been a community staple for nearly 100 years. This old-fashioned fest includes a carnival, diet-busting fair treats, animal shows, and the crowning of this year’s Dairy Princess.

Meridian Lions Rodeo: Let ’er buck! If you’ve never been to a rodeo, this is your chance to see real cowboys test their mettle against bucking broncos and tricky barrel courses. All proceeds help fund Lions Club projects.

Snake River Stampede: The Snake River Stampede is one of the biggest events in Southwestern Idaho, attracting thousands of onlookers to this rodeo that bills itself as “the wildest fastest show on Earth.” The Stampede is one of the top 10 rodeos in the country, so be sure to get your tickets early! (Bonus: It takes place in the air-conditioned Ford Idaho Center.)

Gowen Thunder Air Show: In late August, the skies over the Treasure Valley fill with military and civilian air performers who thrill the packed crowds below. Expect spine-tingling air stunts and soul-stirring patriotic moments all weekend long.

Oktoberfest: The inaugural Oktoberfest was such a hit that it’s now a permanent part of Meridian’s fall schedule! Enjoy live music, amateur boxing, food trucks, and (obviously) plenty of beer. All the action will be located in Meridian’s historic downtown.

For even more trip ideas, lodging information, restaurant suggestions, and things to do in Southwestern Idaho, visit the Meridian Chamber of Commerce, the Southwestern Idaho Travel Association, and Idaho Tourism.