There’s something about the unofficial start of summer that calls for time on the water.
With millions of gallons of it, Valley waterparks quench that thirst — and, with rides, slides, music and concessions, the only things you need to pack are a towel and a tube of sunscreen. Here’s what you need to know to make the most of Memorial Day Weekend at local H2O-musement parks:
• Big Surf Waterpark, 1500 N. McClintock Drive, Tempe, (480) 994-2297 or www.bigsurffun.com
Moms get in free on Mondays when at least one “junior” admission ($19.95) is purchased. New this year are surf lessons for all ages, but you can still catch waves informally: Surf-only sessions are 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily in the wave pool. Boogie Board sessions are 11:30 a.m. to noon and 2:30 to 3 p.m. daily.
Big Surf is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Admission is $19.95-$26.95 per person; children 2 and younger get in for $2.95. Twilight admission (3 p.m. to 6 p.m.) is $15.95 per person.
• Golfland Sunsplash, 155 W. Hampton Ave., Mesa, (480) 834-8319 or www.golfland.com/mesa
The Revolution, Sunsplash’s new rafting slide, starts from nearly seven stories and catapults riders straight down into a bowl. The park is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday through May 28. Admission is $19.99-$35.99 per person; children 2 and younger get in for $3. Evening admission (good after 4 p.m.) is $19.99 per person.
• Wet ‘n’ Wild Waterpark, 4243 West Pinnacle Peak Road, Glendale, (623) 201-2000 or www.wetnwildphoenix.com
The park hosts an all-you-can-eat barbecue (chicken, hot dogs, green salad, beans, corn-on-the-cob, fruit and drink) 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; a fireworks show starts at 9:30 p.m. each night. Meal tickets are $9.99-$11.99 per person.
In addition, Wet ‘N’ Wild Jr. — a children’s area featuring mini versions of popular park attractions — opens this weekend.
Wet ‘n’ Wild is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday through May 28. Admission is $29.99-$36.99 per person, plus $7 to park. Children 2 and younger get in free. Twilight tickets (valid after 5 p.m.) are $19.99. Military personnel/veterans and first responders (active duty law enforcement, firefighters, EMT’s and paramedics) get in free through May 28 with a valid government i.d.; they also get up to six discount admissions ($19.99) for others.