Summer's Last Splash

Fall may have officially started Tuesday, but there are a few more days left for wet and wild adventures at the Southland's water parks:


In its 15th year, Raging Waters is the area's oldest and largest water park, with more than 50 attractions on 50 acres. Before the real storms hit this winter, you can get your feet wet on El Nin~o the Ride, which sends riders 75 feet down an open flume on inner tubes at speeds up to 40 mph. Or, go tandem on double inner tubes down one of the world's highest toboggan rides, High Extreme II. Other attractions include a water playground, Kid's Kingdom for tykes and a seven-story drop slide, Drop Out. Raging Waters is open four more days this season: Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Oct. 4 and 10-11, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. General admission: $21.99 for those 4 feet and over, $14.99 for guests under 4 feet tall and seniors ages 55 and older, children 2 and under free. 111 Raging Waters Drive, San Dimas. (909) 592-8181.

For a less traditional water park experience, you may want to try the 1950s-themed Lake Dolores, a good place to cool off on the way home from a road trip to Vegas. Located off Interstate 15 near Barstow, the 270-acre site (a former alfalfa field) opened Labor Day weekend. The park has 18 water slides with names like the Doo Wop Super Drop, Blueberry Hill Thrill and the Big Bopper, which drops rafters from a 12-story tower. There are retro cars, oldies hits on the sound system, Route 66-era billboards and old-time gas pumps. The park also has an area for children, which includes kid-sized slides. Harvard exit off I-15, Newberry Springs. Weekends, noon.-7 p.m. Closed for season Oct. 25. Adults and children ages 10 and up, $17.95; children ages 3 to 9, $12.95; seniors, $10.95; free for those under 3. (760) 257-1233.


Take a trip to Valencia and you can visit two Six Flags theme parks in one. The water park, Hurricane Harbor, has a pirate/tiki theme with shipwrecks, hidden treasures, exotic jungles and ancient ruins. Check out five twisting slides on Black Summit, frolic with the kids in the Castaway Cove water fortress or go head-first down the six-lane Bamboo Racer toboggan slide. Saturday-Sunday only, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Magic Mountain Parkway and I-5, Valencia. Adults, $19; children under 4 feet and seniors, $12; 2 and younger, free. (805) 255-4111.

It's late afternoon, you're cold and wet but not ready to go home. Next door to Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, Magic Mountain has plenty more thrills, but without the splashes and spills. Take a spin on the new stand-up roller coaster, Riddler's Revenge. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Adults, $36; seniors 55 and older, $20; children under 4 feet, $18; children 2 and under, free. Two-park combo ticket to Hurricane Harbor and Magic Mountain, $50. (818) 367-5965.

In Irvine, Wild Rivers has more than 40 rides and attractions. The park is divided into three sections: Wild Rivers Mountain, a man-made mountain with 25 water rides; Thunder Cove, which consists of two wave pools; and Explorers' Island, an area for families where several of the park's rides have been duplicated and scaled down for children. Saturday-Sunday only, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. 8770 Irvine Center Drive, Irvine. Adults and children ages 10 and over, $21.95; ages 3-9, $17.95; seniors 55 and older, $9.95; children 2 and under, free. (949) 768-9453.

Palm Springs is one place that could probably attract water park business year-round. The Oasis Water Park is open the latest of any water theme park in the Southland--through October--with 13 water slides, a 600-foot Whitewater River inner tube ride around the park, and private Monte Carlo Beach cabanas with full waiter/waitress service. Saturdays-Sundays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. 1500 Gene Autry Trail. Adults, $18.95; children (3-5 feet tall), $11.95; seniors, $10.95; children under 3 feet tall are free. (760) 325-7873.

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