Water Park Day Trips from Jacksonville

Summer is almost here and BOY is it hot! Sure, we have our pools and the beaches to help us beat these hot summer days, but how about adding some extra fun in the water and sun!? Here are some water park day trip ideas to places with a few more thrills than just your ordinary pool, beach, or lake.

Flamingo Lake RV Resort

Flamingo Lake RV Resort

What!? An RV park!? Located on Jacksonville’s northside, Flamingo Lake RV resort is more than just a place to park your RV. They boast a large Spring fed lake that’s home to a large inflatable water park! It’s the only one I’ve come across in North Florida and I love that it is something different from the pool or beach. Flamingo Lake offers day passes, $15 for adults and $7 for children 13 and under. Kids under two are free! They are open daily, 10-6 through Labor Day.

St Mary’s Aquatic Center

St. Marys Aquatic Center

I love this hidden gem of a water park in St. Marys, Georgia. Perfect for younger kids, this place has a great zero-entry play structure, a lazy river, and a water slide. Also, love their year-end tradition of having dogs come and play in the splash area each closing day of the year!  Adults are $9.95, juniors (under 48″ tall in bare feet) $6.95, children (ages 2-4) $3.75. The schedule for the season can be found here.

Summer Waves Jekyll Island

Summer Waves Jekyll Island

Located on gorgeous Jekyll Island, Summer Waves waterpark is a water park with a view! Surrounded by beautiful southern marshland, Summer Waves offers fun for everyone in the fam. Lazy River, thrilling slides, and a kiddie pool area. General Admission: $19.95. Junior Admission (under 48″ tall): $15.95, Children 3 and under FREE with approved swim diaper.

Buccaneer Bay
Buccaneer Bay at Weeki Wachi Springs

Buccaneer Bay at Weeki Wachee Springs

Head over to Weeki Wachee Springs to see the mermaids and then cool off at Buccaneer Bay, Florida’s only spring-fed water park. Adults are $13, Children 6-12 $8, Children 5 and under are FREE! Daily admission into Weeki Wachee State Park includes mermaid, shows, reptile shows, riverboat ride and Buccaneer Bay water park!

Daytona Lagoon

Daytona Lagoon

This is a great day trip because it is only a short drive down 95 from Jax. The park features a full day of fun for the entire family – whether you zap your friends in Lazer Tag, challenge your skills in our MEGA Arcade, take a thrilling plunge down the waterslides, or just relax and float around the lazy river. There is something fun for everyone!


Ship Island Water Park at Wild Adventures

Wild Adventures

Wild Adventures, located 5 miles south of Valdosta, GA, is a zoological theme park that features rides and attractions, including 8 roller coasters, animal, shows, and Splash Island Water Park. The water park features water slides, a lazy river, Sea Turtle Cove for the little ones, and more. This is a fun spot to take the kids that offers more than just the water park!

Adventure Landing’s Shipwreck Island

Don’t forget our water park right here in Jacksonville! Adventure landing is a staple for our kids during the summer. We love the Shipwreck Island Play Village and toddler days! Presale passes are on sale before the season opens for only $89!

Orlando Water Parks

Typhoon Lagoon

Typhoon Lagoon is Disney’s tropically-themed water park. If you want to feel like you are on a deserted island (well… a deserted island with a bazillion other people) this is the water park for you. The theming is great. The bars are abundant. There is a wonderful play area for toddlers with slides and waterfalls. The lazy river does not disappoint. Also, I love the shark reef where you can snorkel above fish and sharks.

Blizzard Beach

Blizzard Beach is the other Disney Waterpark. The theming is also amazing here, but the total opposite of Typhoon Lagoon. They play Christmas music year-round and the whole park is themed like a melting ski lodge equipped with a ski lift to take you up to the top of the mountain. This water park is the favorite of the two with my 9 and 7-year-old. They offer a lot for that age range. They do have a toddler area, but I think Typhoon lagoon wins for toddlers!

Daily Admission for each water park is $60. Yes- steep, BUT if you purchase an annual pass it’s $115 for the year! So if you use it for 2 days, you have paid for your annual pass. I think it’s a bargain as far as Disney is concerned and there are no black-out days during the summer! So even when the parks are crowded, the waterparks are a great way to relax and have fun even during the blazing hot summer days!



Aquatica is Sea World’s water park and I have to say, I think it is my favorite in terms of most kid-friendly. The theming is not on par with Disney, but it’s extremely clean and has lots to offer with animal encounters and lots of fun slides, a huge kid play area, lazy river, and my favorite, Roa Rapids. The rapids are kind of like a lazy river, but with a little more action! It’s so fun! Admission is $48 a day or $108 for a yearly pass. Another option is doing the Sea World and Aquatica Annual Pass for $192. They have great payment plans that make this very affordable and if you like to go to Orlando at the drop of a hat, annual passes are definitely the most bang for your buck!


Don’t forget about LEGOLAND®! Aside from the awesome theme park and two hotels, the Legoland water park is worth the drive through Orlando. Get ready to slide, splash and build your way to fun at LEGOLAND® Water Park. From the LEGO® wave pool to the Build-A-Raft lazy river, tube slides, body slides, and interactive water-play structures -Joker Soaker and DUPLO®Safari – your kids will soak up tons of fun! We also love the Cabanas! A Cabana rental includes your own private space, 2 souvenir towels, a personal locker, use of a mini-fridge stocked with 10 bottles of water, 2 beach recliners, 2 chairs, and your very own cabana host. Yes, please!

Universal’s Volcano Bay

The newest water park in Orlando! Made up of four immersive areas filled with innovative opportunities for thrills and rejuvenation, Universal’s Volcano Bay™ is an all-new water theme park like none other. Here you’ll find a full day’s worth of fun set to the tune of a comforting island breeze and breathtakingly lush views.

With 18 incredible attractions, you’ll be able to experience daring water adventures and moments of peaceful relaxation—all without having to worry about waiting in line or carrying around rafts. You’ll be granted the powers of the TapuTapu™ wearable. With just a wave of your wrist, you can hold your place in the ride lines and reveal wondrous surprises throughout the park. This means more time to careen down slides, brave whitewater torrents, drift down a winding river or relax in your own waterside cabana.

These are a few of my faves.  What are some of your favorite water parks to hit during the summer?

Kacey Roache is a Jacksonville native who lives in Ponte Vedra with her husband, TJ, and her three kids, Lucy, Lucas and Lola. Kacey graduated from Florida State University (Go Noles!) with a degree in interior design. She is passionate about the arts and arts education and has served on the board of Art with a Heart in Healthcare, Ponte Vedra Public Education Foundation for the Arts, Christ Church Creative Academy as well as the PTOs at her kids' school. In her spare time you might find her channeling her inner Serena Williams on the tennis court, performing in community theater, or enjoying the beach with her friends and family. Follow her family's chaos on Instagram: @kaceyroachepvb


  1. Great article! Thank you for mentioning Flamingo Lake RV Resort! Just wanted to let you know we have lowered the adult admission from $15 to $9 in 2017! Children ages 3 to 12 are still $7 and the wristbands to go out on the inflatbles are $5 for all day use.


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