With summer in full swing, life can be reduced to finding ways to avoid the sweltering heat. Although staying home with air-conditioning is certainly one option, many still need to get outside and burn off their energy. Outdoor water parks are a fantastic opportunity to do just that. Whether one is relaxing on a beach, swimming in pools, or pummeling down fast slides into refreshing water below, these parks are a terrific choice for individuals, families or large groups. For this article, I visited different attractions around greater Taichung for the best ways to cool off, relax and have fun.

Da’an Beach
大安區福住村北汕路86巷1號 (04) 2680-4957
1, Lane 86, BeiSui Rd, FuShang Village, Da’an Dist
週二~日/Tue-Sun 8 am-5 pm

Da’an Beach Park Marina offers a sandy beach and swimming pools. The beach is wide and level with plenty of places to set up an umbrella and chairs and enjoy the sand between your toes. During low tide, the sand remains wet with many puddles for kids and adults to cool off and build sand castles in. Surfing and kitesurfing are also available further down the beach and shaded gazebos are offered for those who want to hide from the sun. Before the beach is a visitor center with a parking lot, lockers, vending machines, bathrooms, showers, and staff to assist with any questions. On both sides of the center are two swimming pools to relax and play in, with one pool being a smaller and more shallow kiddie pool. A grass area next to this pool is ideal for running around, playing games and kicking a ball. Parking and use of the facilities are free.

Mala Bay
后里區福容路8號 / 8, FuRong Rd, Houli Dist (04) 2558-2459
9:30 am-5 pm www.lihpaoresort.com

Mala Bay is the aboriginal-themed water park at the Lihpao Land theme park/shopping complex. There are seven waterslides, two children’s water-play areas, a wave pool, lazy river, and even beach volleyball. Some of the more exciting rides are the Aumuha and the Magician Airship. The Aumuha has five slides of differing speeds and heights with some as high as six stories. The Magician Airship has a U-shaped slide ridden on a two-person inner tube, taking those who dare on an exhilarating ride with a terrifying first drop. A massive wave pool is great for swimming–in between 20-minute wave sessions–with an inflatable bridge suspended overhead for daredevils to try to cross in hopes of not falling in. There are two additional play areas for kids not tall enough to enjoy the rides. One has shallow water and a few slides suitable for babies and toddlers while the other is three-story playhouse with slides, bridges and climbing ropes. A few restaurants and eateries with varying cuisine and affordable meals (NT$220-250) are located around the park.

Hsiao Kenting (Little Kenting)
彰化市彰南路四段98號 (04) 738-6658
98, ZhangNan Rd, Sec 4, Changhua City
平日/weekdays 9 am-5 pm,
假日/holidays 9 am-6 pm

Combining a water park, local swimming pool and BBQ areas, Hsiao Kenting is a great place for families and groups of all sizes to spend the day relaxing and having fun (NT$250/person). There is no age or height limit for any of the slides, ensuring that kids of all ages can enjoy the park. Six different slides–ranging from one to four stories high, from fast to slow, and from straight to twisting–empty into one large pool filled with playing, splashing families. A large wave pool with basketball nets and balls is also filled with people floating on inner tubes and dodging the waves. A covered indoor pool with lanes is available for swimming laps as is a spa area and lounge chairs. There are two BBQ areas located near the slides for groups and equipped with a grill, small table and chairs (NT$300). Patrons can bring their own food and supplies, such as grates, charcoal and lighter fluid. For those who want all this arranged for them, Hsiao Kenting can organize things with a local company to provide equipment and food (NT$1,000-2,000) with three days advance notice. Additionally, an indoor restaurant offers simple food items such as hamburgers, hot dogs, pizzas and instant ramen noodles.

FUMI Swimming Pool
(04) 2247-1657
17, HeBei West St, Beitun Dist
5:30 am-10 pm

If you don’t want to venture outside Taichung’s downtown area, this swimming pool is a terrific option. A NT$250 adult pass (NT$150 for kids) provides all-day access to two swimming pools, two water slides, a toddler swimming pool and playhouse, hot and cold water spas, water massage tables, six jacuzzis and four saunas. A 45-meter pool with swimming lanes is located outside with two water slides. Inside, there’s a 35-meter pool with swimming lanes and a play area. Every hour, the toddler’s pool, with a playhouse, is doused in water falling from large buckets that refill every 30 seconds, with water shooting up from the ground and dousing those going down slides. The six large jacuzzis are also a fantastic way to relax. With different temperatures–including hot, warm and cold–some pools contain Chinese medicinal oil with one jacuzzi adding milk. Two steam saunas, an electric sauna, and an infrared sauna are a good way to get a healthy sweat going before a plunge into the ice-cold water tub.

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