By Sharon Damon

Water in the desert. Since the days of the oasis it has been the daydream of pretty much every visitor and resident of Las Vegas. This town offers some thrill rides and some kiddie pools and everything in between – perfect for the family, guests and those just looking to dip their feet in a pool. You may even want to take a swim with the sharks or relax in an inner tube on a lazy river. It’s all up to you.

Wet ‘n Wild
7055 S. Fort Apache Road
Las Vegas, NV 89148
(702) 979-1600

TWet ‘n Wild draws standing-room-only crowds on hot desert days. After all, this is more than ordinary water slides! This watery haven boasts a dozen water-based slides, pools & rides for all ages, picnic areas for groups or families and refreshment stands. Take a thrill ride on the Tornado, brave the Rattler, have some pure Vegas fun on the Royal Flush Extreme or Canyon Cliffs or just“chillax” on an inner tube at the Colorado Cooler! Slide-boarding may just be the thrill you’ve been looking for while kiddies love Paradise Fall, with it’s interactive play complex, slides and a huge cooling feature – a tipping bucket to keep children cool and your youngest guests will love the three pint-sized slides at Kiddie Cove.

Cowabunga Bay
900 Galleria Drive
Henderson, NV 89011
(702) 850-9000

Cowabunga Bay is a destination rather than “just” as water slide. Many locals purchase passes and visit weekly during the hottest part of year. As the newest spot, it offers exhilarating and refreshing water slides for all ages plus beaches, pools and even lazy rivers. The arcade gives you a chance for a breather before taking in Beach Blanket Banzaii (a great family ride where thrill to the twists and turns of the exposed slide). The older crowd enjoys the traditional tubes at Breaker 1 9 and the dark excitement of Point Panic is a thrill ride a minute. Then again you may prefer Rock-A-Hoola or surfing rides. Want to make a day of it? Consider renting a cabana and laze the day away.

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The Tank
129 East Fremont St.
In Golden Nugget Casino
Las Vegas, NV 89101
(702) 385-7111

Are you up for adventure? Ready to get up personal with resident sharks and exotic fish? Then get ready to zoom down a three-story Shark Chute with just a sheet of acrylic protecting you through the 20,000 gallon Shark Tank before splashing into the main deck pools. This $30 million dollar complex is outstanding and totally unique to the Vegas area. Lounge in a cabana or take the plunge. It’s all up to you. Please note that there is a height requirement for entry. Open to the public.

The Mirage Pool
3400 Las Vegas Blvd S,
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(702) 791-7111

The Mirage pool is open and heated all year except for some down time in December. This oasis in the desert features a lush tropical garden filled with blossoms and foliage. For your safety, lifeguards are on duty every day. You can swim through gullies and coves for a quarter-mile of exploration or take advantage of the three water slides from which you can splash into the winding canals and lagoons.

The Flamingo Hotel Go Pool
3555 S. Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(702) 697-2888

Most Las Vegans know of the hidden gem called the Flamingo Gardens at The Flamingo Hotel.  However, not everyone realizes there is also a 15-acre water park on premises during the summer only that holds three water pools, located at the family-friendly lower lagoon pool.  The palm trees, waterfalls and lagoons are the perfect way to unwind from the relentless Vegas heat after exploring the beauty of the gardens housing exotic animals and a koi river,. The Caribbean is, indeed, alive and well in this part of town, as 150-foot water slides drop you into a series of terraced lagoons. You may want to consider renting a raft while it’s open, but please do not bring your own water toys, rafts or inflatables. Open to the public.

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