Schlitterbahn Waterpark South Padre Island

On a cold 43-degree windy and drizzly day, we sat in the RV wishing we were on a warm island in the Caribbean. We were actually on vacation in South Padre Island. It was just a few days after Christmas, and my daughter suggested we go to Schlitterbahn Waterpark.

What in the world was she thinking? When she said it was indoors, the seven of us rushed to get our bathing suits on. We were out the door in 5 minutes. One would have thought we had been cooped up too long in the RV and any activity sounded great!

We stayed in a campsite and cabin at South Padre Island KOA. You might know it as one of Texas Outside’s Top-Rated Texas RV Parks. It’s just across the street and a short 3 blocks from Schlitterbahn.

After getting our wrist bands and parking our gear under a propane heater, we shed a couple of layers of clothes and timidly walked towards the lazy river. We anticipated lots of shivering. Of course, we adults held back while the kids jumped in first. All 3 of them said it was nice and warm.


First Impressions of Schlitterbahn Waterpark

It was much warmer inside the waterpark than it was outside. It actually felt pretty good. So, we all grabbed a mixture of single and double tubes and took off. Wow, this was the fastest lazy river I’ve ever experienced and included some ocean-sized waves and rapids. Fun! Fun! Fun!

After several laps, some with tubes and some without, I started to get dizzy and waterlogged, which typically means it’s time to head to the bar for a Margarita or Pina Colada. I had both, and both were very good. I sipped them while reclining in a lounge chair under the propane heater and waving to the grandkids as they completed several more laps.

laps with the family
lazy river
tubing the river

Thrills and Frills at Schlitterbahn Waterpark

Blackbeard's Twister

I was shocked when the grandkids finally got out of the lazy river, rushed over to us adults, and said, “Let’s do the water slides!”

They pulled me out of the lounge chair and we spent the next 40 minutes going down the slides, Blackbeard’s Twister and Lafitte’s Cyclone. I’m proud to say that on 3 of the 5 trips down the dual slides, I won the race against all three grandkids. It seems extra weight helps. Both slides take you through several twists, turns, and drops before you end up in a pool of water.

While Schlitterbahn Waterpark thrill seekers enjoyed the slides, our 3-year-old granddaughter had a blast at the Pirates Cove. That featured a pirate ship, small slides, a yellow submarine, and raining mushrooms. All of this in a large, shallow wading pool.

the submarine at Schlitterbahn

The Mega Blast I Had With the Grandkids

After the Pirates Cove and water slides at Schlitterbahn Waterpark, we went outside (it was still drizzling, the wind was blowing, and the temperature was in the low 40’s) and quickly jumped into what we thought was going to be a large hot tub. Turns out that Palapa Swim-Up is heated, but not a hot tub hot! But it did have a swim-up bar where I was stupid enough to order a frozen Margarita!

After that, I needed to head back inside and stand under the heaters for several minutes to thaw out. Meanwhile, the granddaughter took several laps on the Grand Carousel, a classic 1950’s-style carousel.

Mega Blast at Schlitterbahn

The two boys had a blast in the Mega Blast, which is three levels of air-propelled cannons that shoot soft foam balls. When I finally thawed out and walked in to find the boys, they saw me first and blasted me with the cannons from opposite sides. But I quickly recovered. Then I ran from cannon to cannon on all three levels and fired back. I thought I was doing well until both boys surprised me and nailed me with foam balls!

Since I was outclassed, I headed to the bar for another Margarita and then to Loblolly Grill for a burger. I couldn’t resist buying a small gift at the gift shop to pay off my humiliating defeat at Mega Blast.

Schlitterbahn gift shop

All Good Things Must Come To An End

All too soon, it was time to dry off, get dressed, and make a mad dash through the rain to the cars! We all had a fun time at Schlitterbahn.

In addition to the indoor waterpark, Schlitterbahn in South Padre Island has a huge outdoor waterpark with lots of rides and attractions. There’s also a good restaurant (Shrimp Haus), access to the beach, and the warm Gulf of Mexico water. This cool South Padre resort comes with an ocean view and beach front rooms, several dining options, a swimming pool, and more.

Mike Sharp
Author: Mike Sharp

I have a passion for travel and outdoor activities, and now I'm enjoying retired life. I will continue my traveling, golfing, boating, and enjoying life all across the great state of Texas.

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