Like many people in road trip proximity (home base is Southern California), we like to take a long weekend and visit Lake Havasu City, Arizona. While there we do some boating and enjoy the beautiful lake, desert scenery, and small town feel. We go “family style” now; pontoon boat, paddleboard, pizza and play! We love our time out on the water and in the sun, but during one of our extended trips last summer we needed a day of fun for the kiddo, out of the blazing sun. I’d noticed the Lake Havasu City Aquatic Center from the 95 with it’s big green tube water slide twisting along one side, but hadn’t ever thought of it as a place to spend our time while in town. We decided to give it a try and we were so happy we did!
The fee to use the facility during Splash Zone hours (open swim) is small but the fun is big! There is a splash pad outside, but all of the rest of the center is housed indoors. There are small water slides (one is a shark and the other is a pirate ship) and a shallow pool with what I describe as an “umbrella of water” blooming from the middle.
The largest pool is a wave pool, periodically making rolling waves and taking breaks. There are inflatable tubes to ride on and lifeguards stationed to safeguard swimmers. My son was 3 years old at the time of the visit and required a floatation vest (provided by the center) and an adult at his side at all times. There are two small slides at the shallows of the wave pool perfect for little ones… and a BIG SLIDE (remember the twisting green tube?) Oh the big slide… I climbed those steps over and over to go down it! My son was intimidated by the water rushing out at the end of the tube so he opted out, but I think he would have been fine with it had he chosen to give it a try. The slide moves at a medium speed and there was almost never a wait to get on.
In addition to the fun water elements there are also pools set at temperatures meant for therapeutic use. Some do not allow for use by children. Those pools look super fun since they are built with a ramp that swirls into the main part of the pool to accommodate water wheelchairs, so be aware you may need to quickly redirect your small ones to a pool meant for their use. We went on a weekday and the crowd was minimal, but I see how weekends could draw local families and get a bit busier. While it was nice to be out of the sun, being in a large indoors space with so much water created a humid atmosphere which was much more tolerable when in the water – I wouldn’t recommend it for a family member who just planned to watch from the lawn chairs without taking a dip.
Overall it was a fun way to spend a few hours of our trip! We burned some energy in the water while avoiding the hot summer sun and we’ll definitely be back to the Lake Havasu Aquatic Center on a future trip!
Parking Tip: The hot Arizona sun can make it hard to get kids back into the car after water play fun – there is covered parking in the back of the Aquatic Center and I recommend parking there and walking in through the back entrance. Just be aware the back entrance is near an area that looks to me serves as a loading/unloading area for the facility. Be careful using that entrance when large vehicles are present.
Okay, fine. I’ll leave you with this (embarrassing… and thankfully not of very good quality) parting picture. Did I mention I enjoyed the big slide? Fun for all ages – hope you enjoy your time at the Lake Havasu City Aquatic Center as much as we did!