Welcome to our new series, UF Editor’s Picks, where we aim to remove your endless searching by providing our Top 5 picks of certain products each month. Let us do the research for you.
It’s getting to that time of the year again where the heat will soon take over, leaving us desperate for ways to cool down, occupy the kids and survive the summer. In keeping with our Great Outdoors theme, this month’s Editor’s Picks, water parks, will be a welcome relief during the warmer months.
Located next to the Happy Valley theme park is Playa Maya, the largest themed water park in East China. As the name suggests, it contains Chinese and Mayan features such as scattered relics and a Mayan god who showers down water. Playa Maya offers solace from the heat with over 40 rides, 12 slides, and a 600-square-meter wave pool to keep the kids occupied. The big kids will love riding the 3.5-meter-high waves. After the sun goes down, the fun continues - stick around until closing time for a beach-themed party during the evenings.
Jul 1-Sep 3, 9:30am-9:30pm; RMB150 (child), RMB220 (adult). Playa Maya Water Park, see listing here
Nearest metro: Line 9, Sheshan
Whether you want to relax in a lazy river that covers the perimeter of the park, or partake in one of the numerous water slides, Dino Beach (Tropical Storm) has got it all. As the temperature starts to rise, the idea of basking in a cool, refreshing pool of water sounds glorious. Located in the Songjiang district of Shanghai, you can find 12 slides (including the highest in Asia), along with a wave pool, lazy river, kiddie pools and Western-style food to enjoy after you've worked up an appetite in the hot sun.
Summer months only, Mon-Sun 9am-10pm; RMB130-180 (child), RMB160-280 (adult). Dino Beach Water Park (Tropical Storm), see listing here
Nearest metro: Line 1, Xinzhuang; Line 12, Hongxin Lu
While this water park may be a little out of the way, it’s definitely worth your while. A two-hour drive away from Shanghai, this large amusement park with all the traditional rides doubles as a spa. Ride down the octopus slide, soak in a rose bath or partake in both. Suzhou Amusement Land is open all year round and offers fun and relaxation with 28 pools, including several spa pools with various themes like rose, carnation and wine. With no direct public transport, we recommend driving, and since you’ve made the effort to go all the way there, make a night of it and stay at the resort hotel.
Mon-Thu 1pm-10.30pm, Fri 1pm-11.30pm, Sat-Sun 10.30am-11.30pm; RMB128 (child), RMB198 (adult). Suzhou Amusement Land, see listing here
Surf’s up dude! This massive pool makes waves with its ‘real imported sand’ beaches and twisty slides that are especially enjoyed by children. The pool is designed as a luxury watery playground for all ages and even takes on the appearance of a sandcastle. The outdoor pool is open during the summer months, while the indoor pool can be enjoyed all year round. More of a luxury weekend getaway than a day trip, you can also go rock climbing, play on their 36-hole golf course, rent go-karts and ride horses.
Mon-Fri 9am-4.30pm, Sat-Sun 9am-6pm; Mon-Fri RMB80-130, Sat-Sun RMB120-RMB200. Shanghai Sun Island Golf & Spa Resort (outdoor and indoor), see listing here
Nearest metro: Line 17, Zhujiajiao
While you won’t get much sun at this indoor mini-version of Dino Beach, it’s a good place to bring the kids for an afternoon where you can frolic in the water and avoid excessive heat. You’ll find a wave pool, two water slides, family lanes, a kid-safe fountain, a kiddie wading pool and a high-diving platform allowing you to launch into 4-meter-deep water. This water park is open all year round and is perfect for anyone wanting to wear out their kids for an early bed time.
Mon-Sun 9.30am-9.30pm; Mon-Fri RMB49 (child), RMB98 (adult), Sat-Sun RMB59 (child), RMB118 (adult). Dakang Indoor Water Resort, see listing here
Nearest metro: Line 1, Gongkang Lu