Before they journey down Dr. Von Dark's Tunnel of Terror, riders sit facing each other aboard a two-person tube. But they won't actually see one another for long, since the aptly named doctor has designed a 300-foot jaunt whose twists and 40-foot plunge unfold in complete darkness.
The pitch-black tunnel is just one of many heart-pounding attractions at the more than 26-acre Water Country that have helped make Water Country the Parenting NH Magazine's Family Favorite Award for Best Water Park in 2011, 2012, and 2013. Additionally, visitors can dash down the 422-foot-long Racing Rapids slide, navigate a quarter mile of waterfalls and caves along Adventure River, or float in a wave pool with 700,000 gallons of water. Water Country likewise caters to youngsters with giant tipping buckets and a 40-foot-long pirate ship complete with slides.
During full days of sliding and splashing, guests can rest at one of the park's shaded cabanas and enjoy an array of tasty snacks and sweets from nearly 10 food options scattered throughout the park, including stands specializing in Dippin' Dots and fried dough.
At Aquaboggan Water Park, anyone can perform spinning tricks on the half-pipe—it's practically unavoidable. Tube-equipped riders launch down the slippery 45-foot-tall parabola, careening up and down its sides before sliding down into the connected pool. Nicknamed Stealth 5, the half-pipe is just one of the park's unconventional attractions, joining the ranks of the Aquasaucer, a soft dome with a fountain at the top and ropes leading from its peak to its base.
Of course, in its 35 years, Aquaboggan hasn't lost respect for the classics, both wet and dry. Its Pipeline entices guests down a twisting trio of slides, readying riders for a high-speed race on the Turbo Drop's side-by-side slides. Wee ones can splash in the wave pool or take part in a consequence-free lesson in aquatic navigation on the bumper boats. Afterward, guests can dry out on an 18-hole mini-golf course and a high-speed go-cart track.
At Amesbury Sports Park, windswept passengers sail tubes down the snow-less summer lanes or, during winter, the powdery pathways of packed snow that dot hillsides of varying steepness. A conveyor belt swiftly returns them to the top of the hill in, where they can repeat the ride. During the summer, visitors can hop inside of one of Amesbury Sports Park's plastic spheres, to take what they call a zorb ride. Their outdoor event venue can accommodate up to 30,000 people, and has previously hosted events such as the Warrior Dash, the Spartan Race, and their annual Brewfest. An onsite restaurant refuels recreationers with tasty American fare, and also hosts regular wine dinners that often sell out in advance. The park also has a function hall available for private parties, and a full-service catering business with cuisine prepared by executive chef Kevin Jacques. New Hampshire beaches are located near the park so guests can soak up more sun and relaxation after their zorb ride or tubing.
Located in the woods, Liquid Planet Water Park forms an oasis of thrilling water slides, pools, and watery play zones. Water attractions include high-speed vertical-drop slides, new speed slides, spiraling water runs that stretch upward of 250 feet, and brisk splash pools. Forming a relaxing buffer at the side of the park are 2,000 square feet of sandy beach that, like marshmallow swim trunks, offer cushy respite from the ubiquitous concrete-pool surroundings. The beach also borders spring-fed Crater Lake, which attracts swimmers and cannonballers with traditional watering-hole charms.
The karts at Maine Indoor Karting definitely aren’t of the amateur variety. The center maintains a fleet of European racing karts that balance the power of 200 CC, 6.5-hp Honda engines and wet clutch drive systems with the comfort of adjustable padded seats. Before climbing into these speed machines, adults must first attend safety briefings, suit up in provided uniforms, and strap on helmets. Drivers younger than 15 must complete an intensive safety course on how to steer safely, increase speed, and ramp over oncoming fruit carts. But all that prep proves to be worth it when drivers squeal out onto the newly renovated serpentine track and motion-blur their way through 1,200 feet of narrow stretches and sharp switchbacks.
The family-fun center also houses an indoor 18-hole miniature golf course and an arcade filled with video games. An on-site café serves casual fare such as hot-dogs, hand-made pizza, and root beer floats.
Seacoast Adventure gets families outdoors yearlong to breeze down ziplines, pilot go-karts, and putt around the 18-hole mini golf course. They also navigate the obstacles of attractions such as Crazy Apes Adventure Park, a network of elevated rope courses, and soar on the 100-foot Sky Swing. On winter weekends, 12 lanes of snow tubing beckon them, and at any time of year, the café provides respite with burgers and pizza, hot and cold drinks, and soft-serve ice cream.