The search for water slides 

click to enlarge 2006_5-3_10-58-7-314.jpg

A trip to the waterslide when I was a kid was always about the pursuit of a single goal: To hit a curve with enough momentum to fly up and out and onto the grass.

Never happened, of course, not to me or anyone I knew, but we were ignorant of the laws of physics then, and so the world was rich with possibility.

These were the old-school waterslides — a concrete chute built into a hillside, with a concrete ramp to the top and a shallow little pool at the bottom. Burns Park had one, but I remember more often going to the one in Harrison, where my grandparents lived and where summer visits meant getting pretty much whatever we asked for.

Those slides are mostly gone now — Harrison’s has disappeared altogether, and Burns Park’s has been shuttered for nearly a decade because the city couldn’t afford to maintain it — but one of the state’s original slides is still in operation at Willow Springs, a water park south of Little Rock that opened almost 80 years ago. It’s a bargain by water park standards — $12 for adults, $9 for children, and you can bring your own food and drink. The park opens for weekends on May 5 and daily beginning May 19.

For the new-fangled types of waterslides — the kind that make anyone over 30 a bit weak in the knees on the climb up — North Little Rock’s Wild River Country opens for weekends only May 13, and daily beginning May 25. Tickets are $25 for adults, $18 for kids 8 and under.

Head south, and you can choose from the splurge — Crystal Falls in Hot Springs, $38 for adults and $28 for kids — or the bargain, Arkadelphia’s Aquatic Park, which has a single 150-foot waterslide but only costs $4 for adults and $3 for kids.

If you’re traveling north, Branson is home to both White Water, a huge outdoor water park ($31 and $26, opening May 26), and Splash Country, a smaller indoor/outdoor water park at the Grand Country resort ($15 admission).



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • The assault on Obamacare begins

    Donald Trump Friday night signed an executive order directing government to scale back Obamacare to the extent possible. Though the signing was mostly symbolic, it likely has implications for Arkansas.
    • Jan 21, 2017
  • Two dead in North Little Rock shooting

    two people were fatally wounded about 9 p.m. Friday in a home in the 1400 block of Division Street, North Little Rock.
    • Jan 21, 2017
  • 2nd Amendment meets the 1st in Fayetteville on campus carry

    They've had a forum in Fayetteville today on Rep. Charlie Collins' fervent desire to force more pistol-packing people onto the campus at the University of Arkansas (and every other college in Arkansas.) He got an earful from opponents.
    • Jan 20, 2017
  • More »

More by Jennifer Barnett Reed

  • Learning to love North Little Rock in Park Hill

    Any description of North Little Rock's Park Hill neighborhood will eventually, inevitably, include a comparison to Hillcrest, its better-known cousin south of the river.
    • Dec 28, 2011
  • A reason to splash

    Fun rain gear and more at InJoy.
    • Mar 12, 2009
  • Pick up some spice

    And we ain’t talking about tarragon.
    • Feb 26, 2009
  • More »

Most Shared

  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders to be deputy White House press secretary

    Donald Trump announced additional White House staff today, notably including Sarah Huckabee Sanders, deputy assistant to the president and principal deputy press secretary.
  • Legislation filed for $10 million school voucher program

    The legislation to vastly expand transfer of state tax dollars to private schools came before the school choice day event I mentioned earlier.
  • Pork and more

    Some notes on disparate topics before I take a vacation break.
  • Trumpeting

    When President-elect Trump announced he would, in a few days, force Congress to enact comprehensive health insurance for everyone, poor or rich, that would provide better and cheaper care than they've ever gotten, you had to wonder whether this guy is a miracle worker or a fool.
  • Putin and Trump

    Here's a thought exercise: What do you suppose would happen if Russian strongman Vladimir Putin decided to clarify remarks he reportedly made about Donald Trump during the election campaign?

Latest in Top Stories

  • Good for the soul

    The return of Say McIntosh, restaurateur
    • Jun 1, 2010
  • Robocalls are illegal

    Robocalls -- recorded messages sent to thousands of phone numbers -- are a fact of life in political campaigns. The public doesn't like them much, judging by the gripes about them, but campaign managers and politicians still believe in their utility.
    • May 31, 2010
  • Riverfest winds down

    With Cedric Burnside and Lightnin' Malcolm, Steve Miller Band, Robert Cray, Ludacris and more performing.
    • May 30, 2010
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

Jack Pearadin and Doug Nelsen found a 1.73-carat diamond after nearly a year of searching the park's field.

Event Calendar

« »


1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31  

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: From 'octoroon' to 'other'

    • Fantastic discussion - For my two cents if you a BIA Certificate of Degree of…

    • on January 21, 2017

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation