What would Memorial Day be without the opening of something new on the theme park scene? Las Vegas' cool pool parties start this month, but families with children will have to wait until May for new Cowabunga Bay water park in Henderson and the debut of the Tornado water ride at Wet 'n' Wild Las Vegas.
A sampling of the slides: Zuma ZooMa puts visitors into a capsule and "blasts" them through a high-speed loop. Beach Blanket Banzai seats four in a raft for a twisty ride and a 600-foot drop. Four surf and swim spots, and two pools and slides for little kids are also among the features at the new $23-million water park.
General admission with free tubes and life jackets costs $35.99 for those taller than 4 feet and $27.99 for younger (shorter) kids. Summer Nights prices for three-hour evening splash-a-thons cost $19.99 per person. The park is east of the Galleria Mall at 900 Galleria Drive in Henderson. Info: Cowabunga Bay
Wet 'n' Wild Las Vegas will add the Tornado to its 25 slides and attractions at the park. The new ride is described as a "natural storm experience," except this involves churning water, not Midwest plains. Visitors spin through a 110-foot tunnel before being thrust into the storm where they'll be swirled and slammed about, a water park announcement says.
The water park opens for the season April 12, though the Tornado won't open until Memorial Day weekend. General admission costs $39.99 per person taller than 42 inches, $29.99 for shorter kids. The park is at 7055 S. Fort Apache Road in Las Vegas. Info: Wet 'n' Wild Las Vegas