For three months a year, the German word “Schlitterbahn” is on every South Texas kid’s lips. The word translates as “slippery road,” but around here it means “the hottest, coolest time in Texas,” the company’s ubiquitous summertime slogan.
Schlitterbahn Waterpark (305 W. Austin St., 830/625-2351, www.schlitterbahn.com , June–Aug. daily, weekends Apr., May, and Sept., $34.50 adults, $28.50 children). The word “waterpark” doesn’t begin to describe this summer wonderland, featuring more than three miles of tubing “trails,” 17 water slides, seven children’s water playgrounds, the world’s first surfing machine, and three unique “uphill water coasters.”
Attractions include dueling speed slides, tube chutes, and soft slides for toddlers. Schlitterbahn is an ideal family destination, since teens can get their adrenaline rush on the speedy downhill racing slides, parents can spend their time leisurely floating in an inner tube on the slow-moving Kristal River ride, and the little ones can splash in the kiddie pools. Admission fees cover costs for tubes and life jackets.