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A Family Day: Visit Whale’s Tale Waterpark

Jul 16, 2013 02:36AM ● By Erin Frisch

How can you beat this summer’s heat waves, aside from staying in an air-conditioned oasis? Head to Lincoln, New Hampshire, and check out the Whale’s Tale Waterpark. It’s conveniently located in the Franconia Notch region on US highway 3, a couple miles off I-93, and situated on 17 beautiful acres. Whale’s Tale has 11 waterslides, a wave pool, a heated pool with 3 hot tubs, and a quarter-mile-long lazy river, plus many attractions for the little ones. It’s also the lowest-priced waterpark in New Hampshire!

From now until August 25, the Whale’s Tale is open daily from 10am to 6pm with admission of $35 for general admission and $5 for toddlers; infants and those 70 and over get in free. Also offered is an “after 3pm” admission for $25. If you are planning to spend a couple days in the area, you can get what is called an “after 3, tomorrow free” ticket for $34. This entitles you to use the waterpark after 3pm the day of purchase and then return for a full day of fun any time within the next 7 days. Tube rentals and parking are both free at Whale’s Tale, so there are no extra costs. And for New Hampshire residents, every Thursday from 3pm to 6pm you can show your state identification and get two admission tickets for $32.

Seating is first come, first served, unless you rent a private cabana for the day (it will run you $89 and includes the cabana, a locker rental, and one bottle of water for up to 6 guests and must be reserved 48 hours in advance). There is plenty of green space, however, and Whale’s Tale welcomes those who want to go beach/picnic style, and throw down a blanket or two to relax on the grass. For food, if you’re looking to keep costs to a minimum, you can bring your own, as the waterpark welcomes guests with coolers. Otherwise, there are a couple of food venues where you can grab a bite. Porthole Pizza and Subs offers slices, pizza pies, subs, fried dough, draft beer, and Dippin’ Dots ice cream. Harborside Cafe takes things up a notch, serving burgers and fries, chicken fingers, sandwiches, salads, and beverages. In addition, the Oasis Beach Bar is open (weather permitting) and whips up smoothies and mixed drinks, and serves bottled and draft beer.

On to the attractions! For little kids, the Beluga Boggin, a 360-foot tube waterslide is a popular choice, as there is no age or height restriction. Another great choice for kids is Jonah’s Escape, a quarter-mile long lazy river that floats you around the perimeter of the water park past a covered bridge and some waterfalls. Whale Harbor is a special activity pool that with a maximum depth of 16 inches and includes four waterslides, three fountains, and a water seesaw, so even the youngest guests can get in on the fun. Whale’s Tale has the only wave pool in the White Mountains where you can ride big waves on one side or relax in gentle ones on the shallow side. Older guests can race down The Plunge, dual high-speed waterslide where riders can reach up to 40 miles per hour! Harpoon Express sends one to three riders at a time down a 400-foot-long slide on a toboggan tube bobsled style. The Banzai Pipeline sends you down a tube slide, then shoots you up a wide, steep slide before sending you backwards and spinning into the pool below. Castaway Cove is a heated, 88 degree, whale-shaped pool with in-pool seating surrounded by 3 hot tubs that are kept at a toasty 104 degrees. And perhaps the most unique attraction that Whale’s Tale has to offer—The Eye of the Storm. Riders travel down a steep, dark tunnel and are shot into the huge tornado-shaped part of the ride where they go around and around before taking the 4-foot plunge through the “eye of the storm” into the pool below. There are also a few more slides and rides to enjoy.

So head to Lincoln, New Hampshire, for Whale’s Tale Waterpark to escape the summer heat. Don’t forget about water safety! If you have young kids or older kids who are not swimmers, make sure there is always an adult nearby practicing “touch supervision”—where kids are never an arm’s length away. Have a safe and enjoyable time in this little New Hampshire oasis!

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