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).


Sign up for the Daily Update email


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • LR charter school application withdrawn for this year

    Friendship Aspire Academy has withdrawn its request to move up plans to open a charter school in Little Rock by a year to take advantage of a vacant building being remodeled by the Walton Family Foundation for another charter operator that withdrew.
    • Jun 20, 2018
  • Another prison death under investigation

    John Howell, 58, who was serving a life sentence for capital murder in Garland County, died shortly before 7 p.m. Tuesday after being found unresponsive on the floor of his barracks at the Cummins Unit, a spokesman said.
    • Jun 20, 2018
  • With Trump, of course, there's a catch

    So the heroic Donald Trump proposes a compromise to tearing families apart - jailing them indefinitely.
    • Jun 20, 2018
  • 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 »

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 »

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation