Beat the summer heat with body surfing, floating on waves, tube slides, plain ol’ swimming and more at Waco’s Hawaiian Falls water park, located a little over an hour’s drive north of Killeen along Interstate 35.
The Hawaiian-themed facility is one of five operated throughout the state and features attractions for water lovers of all ages, including such things as the 800-foot long Kona Kooler lazy river and the shaded Waikiki Waterworks spray ground.
Breaker Bay includes the first large-scale wave pool in central Texas, and the six-story Tempest Tower offers the chance for tube slides and freefall body slides ending in a splash at the bottom.
Like all its facilities, parking is always free, although special VIP parking is available for a fee. Tubes and life jackets are also available free. Coolers with food and drink are allowed, but a fee is charged to bring one in. Locker rentals are available, as well as gift shops that carry things like sunscreen and extra towels. Food is also available at Sharkey’s Restaurant.
Admission prices include: $28.99 for persons 48 inches and taller; $21.99 for those under 48 inches tall, seniors (age 55 and older) and military personnel with a valid ID; kids two years old and younger are admitted free of charge. A daily cooler pass is $15. Tickets are available on-line at hfalls.com.
Season passes are available, along with an “endless summer ticket” available only at the park.
Hawaiian Falls is four miles west of I-35 at 900 Lake Shore Drive, across from Riverbend Ballpark.
Current operating hours are 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday through Thursday, and 10:30 am. to 8 p.m. on Fridays.
Waco is also home to some other interesting attractions, including Cameron Park Zoo, the Dr Pepper Museum, the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, the Mayborn Museum Complex and the Waco Suspension Bridge.
A little closer to the house, use this list of local summer attractions and upcoming events to help supplement your summer plans:
Summer Fun Water Park, 1410 Waco Road in Belton, features multiple water slides, a lazy river, large swimming pool and pavilions for parties. The park is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 1 to 6 p.m. on Sundays. Admission prices: Adults, $16; children 3 to 12 years old, $13; non-swimmers, $7; and seniors, free. The park offers discounted rates for admission after 3 p.m., and Sunday admission is $13 for all ages. Summer Fun also features teen and adult nights throughout the summer. Go to summerfunwaterpark.com for more information.
The Killeen Family Aquatics Center, 1800 E. Stan Schlueter Loop, includes a 10,360 square foot multi-use pool, a lap pool, bathhouse, three water slides, kid’s play area, shaded rest areas and more. Day passes range from $5 to $8 based upon age, with kids 3 years and under always free. The center is open Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Sunday from 1 to 6:30 p.m.
Hancock Springs Free Flow Pool is one of the last free-flowing spring-fed pools in Texas with water staying at a cool 72 degrees no matter how hot it gets outside. The spring is at Hancock Park, Highway 281 South in Lampasas. Adult admission fee is $3.50 per day and seniors and children are $2.50. The pool is open Thursday-Saturday from noon to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m.
Belton Lake Outdoor and Recreation Center, at the intersection of North Nolan Road and Cottage Road, has a number of activities for families to enjoy. Camping sites, picnic pavilions, horseback riding trails, hiking, mountain biking, as well as a man-made beach complete with a downhill water slide and more are available. Military patrons pay $3 per car; all others are $10 per vehicle. Visit hood.armymwr.com for more information.