Real Mom Review: Great Waves WaterparkBy Gina Lincicum, CertifiKID Subscriber
Posted Aug 05, 2018
We’ve been visiting Great Waves Waterpark in Alexandria for many years now. It’s one of our favorite Northern Virginia water parks!
Great Waves opens at 11 a.m. daily, and you’ll often find large camp groups there right at opening time. We typically go in the mid-afternoon as those groups are heading out. The real drop-off in attendance is around 4 p.m., which is great on hot days since the park is open until 7 p.m.
I love that there are tons of lounge and regular chairs available for families, plus several huge umbrellas so you can sit in the shade when you need a break. You’ll also find lockers and showers available. We’ve never done it, but there are several pavilions of different sizes that you can rent for a private party.
The centerpiece of the park is the Wave Pool. Inner tubes are provided, and there are plenty to go around. Lifeguards are strict about one person per tube, and they monitor kids from going too deep.
Kids need to be 48 inches tall to ride the five big slides--two speed slides and three flume slides. Note that you cannot ride with your child on your lap. It’s just one person at a time.
Water wings and other devices you probably use at your neighborhood pool are NOT allowed at Great Waves. The lifeguard station will fit your small child with a life preserver.
The splash pad is perfect for younger kids, and it even has little slides so they can feel like their older siblings. There’s also a wading pool with a zero entry for crawlers and toddlers. Only kids 6 and under are allowed, so keep that in mind if you’re visiting with mixed ages.
Paradise Play is a playground that even my big kids love! It’s a huge play structure filled with mazes, rock walls, slides and more. My girls spent a whole hour chasing each other and their friends through the tubes and slides.
As you enter the park, bags are checked because you are not allowed to bring in outside food (just water bottles). This is frustrating when visiting with younger kids, but there are plenty of options at the various snack bars. Recently they’ve added some healthier options--like salads with grilled chicken--in addition to fast food, pizza and ice cream.
Great Waves has plenty to do for kids of all ages! There’s plenty of free parking, and you can spend anywhere from 2-6 hours here, depending on the age of your kids and their stamina. Since Great Waves is part of Cameron Run Regional Park in Alexandria, you can fill a whole day between the water park, batting cages and mini golf.
Gina is a member of CertifiKID's MOM Squad Ambassador program. She was given free admission to Great Waves Waterpark in exchange for her honest review.
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