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Best Water Parks Near Boston

Water parks offer families not only a way to get their kicks, but also a way to get wet - which especially in the summer makes them a two-for-the-price-of-one deal. There are more than a dozen water parks within a few hours of Boston, and each has something unique to offer. Some are big, shiny and brand new, while others have been around for decades. Some even have real lakes. Here are just five of the best of the many water parks near Boston.
Water Wizz
(Photo Credit: Water Wizz)

Water Wizz
3031 Cranberry Highway
East Wareham, Massachusetts 02538
(508) 295-3255

If Water Wizz looks familiar it is probably because it has been used as the location shoot for several feature films (Steve Carrel's "The Way, Way Back" and Adam Sandler's "Grown Ups" among others).  This storied Wareham attraction is a short drive from Boston, and offers so many rides and slides that even when it is most crowded there is always a shorter line somewhere. Water Wizz rates its nine water rides from Low Thrill to High Thrill, and with several gradations in between. The biggest hint as to which is which can be found in the names (obviously Devil's Peak and Pirate's Plunge offer more excitement than Little Neck Beach or Herring Run River). The park also has a much better than would be expected choice of refreshments.  While the fried foods of Billy's Bait Shop and the ice cream choices at Captain Cones are standard park fare, Salty Daug's Sugar Shack offers some unexpected treats, including churros, while PK's Tackle Box is a bonafide food truck with terrific Grilled Cheese.

Six Flags New England
(Photo Credit: Six Flags New England)

Hurricane Harbor
1623 Main St.
Agawam, MA01001
(413) 786-9300

Although part of the much larger Six Flags New England, Hurricane Harbor is a park all unto itself - and is also the biggest water park in all of New England. Befitting its gargantuan size, it is also home to one of the biggest wave pools in North America, and offers not only traditional water slides and water rides, but also white-water rafting, or at least a water park version of it. There are also private cabanas for rent - which are a must for those who want to make a long day of it in Hurricane Harbor, or an even longer day in which they can take in the joys and thrills of the rest that Six Flags has to offer.

Canobie Lake Park
(Photo Credit: Canobie Lake Park)

Castaway Island at Canobie Lake Park
85 N. Policy St.
Salem, NH 03079
(603) 893-3506

Salem, New Hampshire is in many ways a bedroom community for many who work in Boston.  Well under an hour even from central downtown Boston (and much less for those who live north of the Charles), CanobieLakePark is a charming mix of the old and the new. It has nine water slides of varying length and challenge, as well as water cannons for water fights and even waterfalls to luxuriate under.  Its has more ways to get wet than almost any other water park, and is also one of the very few where the parking is free.

Related: Boston's Best Water Slides

Lake Compounce
(Photo Credit: Lake Compounce)

 Crocodile Cove at LakeCompounce
186 Enterprise Drive
Bristol, CT 06010
(860) 583-3300

LakeCompounce is about a two-hour drive from downtown Boston, but it is almost all highway driving to get there. LakeCompounce is well worth the drive because it has something very few other water parks have - an actual lake. There are water slides and water rides as well as a real lake beach, complete with sand, and there is a little train to ride around the park. LakeCompounce is also an amusement park, with rides and games and snacks, and has a laid back, 1950s charm at its core, making it perfect for a day out with the family.

Coco Key
(Photo Credit: Coco Key)

CoCo Key Water Park
50 Ferncroft Road
Danvers, MA 01923
(978) 777-2500

Sunburn and water parks unfortunately go together, and that can ruin a day out at the water park. So too can bad weather, the kind that forces the park to shut down and makes for a sad, wasted day. At CoCo Key in Danvers, however, neither sunburn nor even the lack of sun make a difference, as this 65,000 square foot water park is an indoor park. They have slides for all ages from teetering tiny tots to thrill-seeking adults, along with a myriad of slides, pools, water rides and water sports. This park is also open year-round, and has overnight packages complete with hotel and spa bookings. As their saying goes, rain or shine, cold or hot, day or night, summer or winter, "At CoCo Key, every day is a bright 84 degrees."

Related: Boston's Best Beaches

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