May marks the beginning of peak splash season, with South Florida water parks extending their hours and bracing for next weekend's Memorial Day crowds.
Rapids Water Park, a popular tourist destination in Riviera Beach, begins offering daily hours this weekend.
The privately owned Rapids, which draws about 400,000 visitors from around the world per season, will be open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. beginning today, with hours extended to 7 p.m. for Memorial Day weekend.
Moms and dads will be in for a treat this summer: A new tiki bar, complete with adult beverages, is expected to open in June.
"We were the only attraction in town that wasn't serving alcohol," said Rapids spokeswoman Tina Hatcher.
For more information on rates, hours, seasonal passes and special deals, go to rapidswaterpark.com or call 561-848-6272561-848-6272.
The Paradise Cove Water Park at C.B. Smith Park in Pembroke Pines is another water wonderland offering something new. The Broward County-run park has opened the Paradise Pipeline, with four five-story slides that twist down into a plunge pool.
"The kids love it, and even the adults are enjoying it," said Cyndy Baker, spokeswoman for the Broward County Parks and Recreation Division.
You also can splash down and cool off at Splash Adventure at Quiet Waters Park in Deerfield Beach, Castaway Island at Topeekeegee-Yugnee Park in Hollywood, and Tropical Splash at Central Broward Regional Park and Stadium in Lauderhill.
The county added Thursdays-Fridays to the water parks' schedule on May 1, will be open May 26 for Memorial Day and switches over to daily hours beginning June 5. Hours are different for each park.
The combination of unseasonably warm and sunny days (county water park pools are unheated) has kickstarted the season with sell-out crowds, Baker said.
For Broward water park hours, rates and seasonal passes, go to broward.org, or call 954-357-8100954-357-8100 and press 0.
Palm Beach County's two water parks, in Royal Palm Beach and Boca Raton, will switch to daily openings starting June 6. The Parks and Recreation Department this month added 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Family Fun Fridays at the small children's water playgrounds inside the water parks.
Through this month, all attractions at Calypso Bay in Seminole Palms Park in Royal Palm Beach and Coconut Cove in Burt Aaronson South County Regional Park in Boca Raton are open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays and Memorial Day, and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays. Weekdays will have the same opening hours as Saturdays during the daily summer season.
The county also has two smaller, free "splashpark" water playgrounds in Lake Worth and West Palm Beach; a third one in Belle Glade is closed for repairs.
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