Looking for family fun in Miami? Then attractions don’t get much better than the choice of waterparks splashed across the city. It’s the ideal way to cool off as a family, whether you want to chill out in the pool or up the thrills on the slides. Here’s our guide to the best Miami waterparks.

1) Rapids Waterpark

One of the biggest waterparks in the state, with a staggering 17 slides and pools to choose from. Grab a tube and drift along the lazy river or hit the waves in the Big Surf pool. The whole family will love taking on the Big Thunder together, rafting down one of the biggest open water slides in the world. The park is closed during the low season from October to March, but open all summer long.

2) Grapeland Waterpark

Fun for kids of all ages, the attractions here include Shipwreck Island where toddlers can splash around safely. Pirate’s Plunge offers some bigger and faster slides for older kids. Stand underneath the bucket, which randomly fills and dumps water on those brave enough to chance their luck. There’s also a dine-in movie theater, swimming classes for little ones and fitness programs for grown-ups.

3) Parrot Cove at Jungle Island

This beach-based waterpark is located right in the middle of Biscayne Bay. It’s a floating obstacle course that you have to try and navigate your way around. Balance on the beams, bounce on the trampoline or try and climb to the summit of the Action Tower. Then pluck up the courage to take the High Jump back down again. Of course, things get slippery so you’re bound to end up in the water. But it’s great fun seeing how far you can get.

4) Venetian Pool

Not so much a waterpark as Miami’s original pleasure pool. Created in a naturally occurring coral rock quarry back in the 1920s, for many years this was the place to be seen in the city. A freshwater spring feeds the huge pool, so it’s chilly. But with temperatures high in the summer, this is the perfect place to cool off. Fringed by palm trees and stone porticos, pick your spot and relax.

5) Paradise Cove Waterpark

Just outside the city in Broward County, Paradise Cove is home to the 410-foot (120-meter) Crazy Creek. Follow the curved route on your ring and watch out for the interactive elements along the way. There are shallow pools for the little ones and some bigger slides for older kids – including two 450-foot (150-meter) water slides. If you’re not in the mood to get wet, rent a boat and head out on the lake.

6) McDonald Waterpark

The 1,000-foot (330-meter) lazy river is the real star here. The vast 17-acre (68,000m2) grounds also house a wave pool, waterfall and splash pad. It’s also one of the most affordable waterpark options in the city – and perfect for parties and large family groups.

7) Zoo Miami

The zoo is a fantastic attraction in its own right, but there’s also some water-based fun to be had here. Check out the giant spray fountains and a ‘whale tail’ waterfall. The Ocean Voyage is another nautical attraction that will really capture young imaginations. If the little ones are in the mood for a soaking, then this is the place to come.

Miami waterparks offer an affordable and family friendly way to spend the day, with plenty of wet and wild rides, pools suitable for all ages, and other attractions thrown in. Plus they have excellent safety records. So you can stick together or go your own way. And when the sun is shining in Florida, being near the water is bliss.