My boys did not believe they were going to make it through one more day of summer unless we made it over to the Evergreen Wings and Waves Waterpark….which is conveniently located in my town of McMinnville, Oregon. Have you ever seen a waterpark with a real 747 jet on top? The waterpark itself is unique and impressive, sticking closely to the theme of aviation and space flight. The Spruce Goose even sits right next door at the Evergreen Museum, another must see. Getting that 747 to land at our small airport (think short runway) and setting it on top of that building…well, that’s a whole other post. Let’s just say it was no easy feat and nothing short of amazing.
Anyway, my oldest son had already been to the waterpark with a group of friends, but my youngest had not. He was left to hear story after story about each slide and how fast they went etc. Basically, he couldn’t take it anymore. I don’t blame him. We had to go.
We went on a Tuesday morning and got there right at opening time (10:00 AM). Besides one other family, we were the only ones there. This was perfect as the lines for the water slides continue to get longer as the day goes on. This is the parks 91,000 gallon wave pool known as “Splashdown Harbor”. It has a handful of different wave motions and the kids loved it. As you can see there is a 20 foot wide high resolution video screen where they show NASA Splashdown short films. The park even has a “dive-in-movie” night, where they show family-friendly feature films. It’s cool, very cool.
There is a large leisure pool that includes a hot tub. My boys loved playing water basketball here and swimming around. The sun shines in through the windows and it is really a nice spot as well as very clean. Attached to this pool is a “vortex pool” which kind of whips you around as if you just swam into a whirlpool, the kids loved that as well.
If you have little ones, they will enjoy this area. Watch out for the bucket at the top that continually fills and dumps tons of water on your heads. My boys didn’t spend any time here, they are just too old.
There are lots of water splashing fountains around which is great for the little ones to play in and there are tandem tubes so you can slide down the water slides together if you choose.
My boys loved going down the slides tandem style. It’s also good if you have one child who might be intimidated about tackling the slides by themselves. There is a clear area to take pictures of them when they come out the tubes.
The park itself is pretty high-tech. The picture above is actually a shot of one of the closed-circuit televisions placed around the park. This particular screen has a view of the inside of the 747 that sits on top of the park, where everyone gets on the slides. You’ll then know when to go over and take a picture of your kids coming out of the tubes. Perfect!! Hi boys!!
The kids had such a great time…we stayed for six hours, and they could have gone longer. We will definitely be returning this summer for another fun-filled day.
Hours: 10:00 AM- 8:00 PM ~ daily (summer hours) see their website for off season hours
Admission: $30 over 42″ tall, $25 under 42″ tall, $10 for non-swimmers, Free for 3 & under
Life Jackets: Provided free of charge
Food: Cafe with an array of food choices; burgers, hot dogs, pizza, sandwiches, ice cream etc.
Towels: Not provided
Lockers: Available for a fee
In & Out Privileges: Keep wristband on to be able to return on the same day if you choose
Go early. We arrived at 10 AM and like I said, no one was there. As a result, my boys rode the slides 40-50 times that day because there were no lines early in the morning. As the day went on, lines got longer and the amount of times you could ride the slides does decrease. I think lots of families showed up after lunch so they did not have to eat there. This is okay but really lessens the amount of times you can use the most popular attractions. My oldest son had been to the park before and went on his favorite slide only one time because the line was so long. The day we went, he rode it about 20 times because we got there early. Expect to pay about $8.50 per person for a cheeseburger (with a good amount of lettuce, tomato, onion & pickle on the side), fries and refillable drink. Or you can bring a picnic to enjoy outdoors and go back into the waterpark when you are done.
The waterpark is a great stop on your visit to wine country, and perfect if you have kids with you. When you are ready to get back to wine tasting, come visit us at our tasting room in the adorable, historic town of Carlton…it’s just the next town over. It’s a place you can walk around and visit lots of wineries, have lunch, experience a jam tasting and do a little shopping. There is even an outdoor pool with lifeguards your kids can enjoy while you paint the town.
A Day in Carlton…all within walking distance and this is not everyone…much, much more:
Noble Pig Vineyard & Winery (that’s us) wine tasting with nibbles & bites
Republic of Jam ~ a unique jam-tasting experience
Seven of Hearts & Honest Chocolates ~ a wine tasting and chocolate venue
WildAire Cellars~ yummy, yummy wine
Valley Emporium ~ Wine tasting and cool vintage store
Cielo Blu ~ Italian fare
The Horse Radish ~ local Northwest style food
Carlton Bakery ~ fresh bread, sandwiches
Cliff Creek Cellars ~ wines you will love
Come see us, we’d love to show you our hospitality. We can also help you plan your day accordingly…just email or give us a call.
Other Stories You Might Be Interested In:
What to Do This Summer on the Oregon Coast
A Day at Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum
Two Years Ago: Mixed Berry Pretzel-Icebox Dessert
Three Years Ago: The Best Sliders