Kids fly down Scorpion, one of Wild Island's water slides.
Playing games in Sparks, Nev., means gambling, right? Not at 20-acre Wild Island Family Adventure Park, where you can enjoy a round of black-light minigolf, crawl through a timed laser maze, or hurtle down a chute into a swirling bowl of water.
Part summertime water park, part year-round entertainment complex, locally owned Wild Island has a rare hometown vibe. “I’ve been to amusement parks all around the West,” says Neva Heaston, a Nevada native who now works at a water park in Dubai. “Wild Island may be the friendliest.” Her view is seconded by General Manager Scott Carothers. “Most of our employees are local teens,” he says.
Choices include go-karts, splash rides, wave pools, 40 bowling lanes, a three-story play structure, and a new four-lane waterslide for headfirst mat racing. And for the hungry? Each summer, Wild Island’s visitors—500,000 yearly—gobble up 45,000 pounds of french fries. (775) 359-2927, wildisland.com.
Photography courtesy of Funovation for Wild Island
This article was first published in May 2012. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.