My sisters-in-law called me a few days before we were heading down to Chicago a couple weeks ago letting me know they were planning on all 3 families visiting Raging Waves Waterpark.
Not being from the area, I had no idea what they were talking about, but a water park sounded like a fantastic way to spend a summer day.
As we drove up to the park I looked around and realized this place was really in the middle of nowhere! The person who created this place really had a vision!We all changed into our bathing suits and got ready for a day of splashing fun. We were there on a Thursday and although there were a lot of people it didn’t feel overly crowded. The lines were as long as you might expect on some of the rides. The cousins all started off with the 3 slides right by where we were camped out for the day. The went headlong into the fun.
There was an additional family that came with one of my sisters-in-law. I asked her if she’d been there before and she said her family loved coming to the park. Here were a couple things she pointed out:
- the cleanliness of the park
- friendliness of staff
- wished the toddler/little kids park wasn’t separated from big kids park
- the wave pool is extremely strong and all kids should have an inner tube, but an extra cost of $5 was a bit spendy
I can absolutely vouche for the cleanliness of the park. It was clearly well taken care of. Of course, Raging Waves isn’t very old, but they’re taking care of the property very well!
The staff is amazing. They are well trained and they’re everywhere. Trust me, I’ve been to quite a few water parks and have been nervous that the lifeguards might not have a clue what they were doing. Absolutely wasn’t the case here! These guys were watching everyone like a hawk! At the wave pool, they were synchronized in their observations. They moved in synch. As for friendliness, I can’t overstate how vital this is to any park experience. They set the tone of each “ride” and they were very encouraging and positive!
We went to the wave pool, The Great Barrier Reef, and I’m really glad we did. As we were waiting to ride the “toilet bowl” one of the employees walked by us wearing a work shirt that said, “If your child is in the water you should be too”. Well, I’m VERY glad we moms were sitting along the edge of the water. The wave machine came on and all our kids were out pretty far in the water.
Let me state, my boys aren’t strong swimmers so they HAD to have life vests on. Thankfully, life vests are located all over the place in the park.
So, I’m trying to watch my boys and see my Doodle is waaay far out there. I keep an eye on him and start to see him struggling to keep his head above water. Yes, WITH the life vest on. Some kids about his age saw him gulping water and as I was running into the water they tried to grab on to him.
Now, I’m not faulting the life guards at all. They probably didn’t see this happening. I mean, that wave pool is FULL of people and he wasn’t going UNDER the water completely. He was just getting enough water over him that he was taking in the water and not really being able to recover very well. I’m not a strong swimmer, simply for the fact that I don’t exercise and I haven’t swam in ages. I sit on the beach more than swim these days. I got to him and didn’t realize how strong the pull was with the machine. I grabbed Doodle and started shoving him to shallower water. Of course I was stressed and treading water while trying to shove this kid. So I started gulping water and the waves were so strong I was having a hard time keeping MY head above water. The only thing I could think of was getting him to shallower water. In the back of my mind, I knew if I went under, there were 4 dudes who would come after me…if someone saw me go down!
Doodle got to where he could stand and I dragged my butt out of the water. He was told he couldn’t go back out unless he had a tube that someone had abandoned. He did find one, but once the wave pool took a break, we headed to a new slide, much to my happiness.
All the cousins headed to the toilet bowl, The Boomerang. I wasn’t sure if they’d actually go down it. Well, the 4 boy cousins ended up going! When people come out of the chute, their faces are priceless!My sister-in-law and I also went on The Boomerang. One of the employees was leaving her position and asked if she could ride with us. It was a fun ride and when we got to the bottom, she kept saying, “thank you” over and over for us “letting” her ride down with us. What were we going to say, “no”? LOL She was so sweet!
Both of my SsIL have little girls. So they spent a lot of time at Kangaroo Falls. This was such a family friendly area. My boys would’ve had fun over here, too if they’d ever made it. If you have little ones you probably won’t want to leave this section!
I could seriously talk about this awesome waterpark all day. We had an amazing time and trying to get the kids to leave at the end of the day was pretty close to impossible! Let me highlight a few other cool features:
- sandy beach areas for kids to build sand castles or for people to feel like they’re at a beach
- Cabanas that you can rent to have a private area while at the park
- a lazy river, Kookabura Kreek, that I could’ve spent the entire day floating on
- plenty of covered areas so you can sit out of the sun
- Shark Bite cafe where the food is actually affordable
I hate to say it, but now that I know you want to go to Raging Waves Waterpark, they’ll be closing for the season as of Labor Day! I know, so NOT cool. But, now you have something to look forward to next Spring, right?
*I received complimentary tickets to play for the day. The opinions expressed are my own and never influenced by the company.