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Make a splash: Where to spend the day on the water in Las Vegas

From pool parties to kayaking and fishing, Las Vegas offers numerous opportunities to cool off in style this summer. | By Matt Villano | July 6, 2022

Here’s the thing — summertime in the middle of the Mojave Desert is hot, like 105 degrees Fahrenheit (40.5 degrees Celsius) hot. As a result, Las Vegas has perfected all the ways to take to the waves and cool down. From making a splash at an adults-only pool party or taking the family to a water park complete with nine slides, here’s how to spend a water-filled day in Las Vegas.

  • Party all day: Book a cabana with bottle service for poolside parties

  • Take a ride: Get your heart pumping at a family-friendly water parks

  • Adrenaline rush: Kick things up a notch with water sports on Las Vegas’ lakes

Energetic deejay standing in front of dancing people in club
Live DJ sets add a one-of-a-kind soundtrack to poolside lounging.

Pool party time

In the summertime, many Las Vegas resorts take the club outdoors to the sunshine, hosting epic pool parties all day long. At Ayu Dayclub at Resorts World Las Vegas you can experience a party oasis, complete with DJ-spun tunes, relaxing Southeast Asian island vibes and poolside bottle service Reserve a daybed, cabana or party pit to add an extra-luxe layer to your weekend water fun.

Do you prefer to watch sports while you swim? Stadium Swim offers the best of both worlds, combining six pools with a massive 4-foot-tall HD screen. For more of a locals vibe, check out the DayDream Pool Club. This adults-only party includes an ice-railed bar and live poolside entertainment.

Man and boy sit on kayak
Take in the best of nature on a relaxing kayak ride.

Explore lake life

The Lake Mead National Recreation Area offers a variety of different water-based activities. Visitors can grab their canoe, kayak or paddleboard (not to worry, the marinas offer rentals if you need them) and explore the water while enjoying stunning mountain views. There’s also the option to take a guided tour if you’d prefer some assistance while heading out on your lakeside adventure.

Visiting with children? Las Vegas has you covered. Aqua Park at Lake Las Vegas, which is essentially an inflatable floating water park, features an obstacle course for kids of all ages to enjoy. The one-of-a-kind experience includes swings, jump pads, trampolines and more.

scared couple on extreme water slide
Slip and slide your way to summertime fun at one of Las Vegas’ 40-plus water parks.

Hit the (water) park

Las Vegas has its fair share of water parks that provide refreshing and exciting alternatives to the scorching summer heat.

The “O.G.” of local water parks? Cowabunga Bay Water Park in Henderson. In addition to the nine waterslides and four surf and swimming pools, this kid-friendly haven includes thrilling rides such as Point Panic — a fully enclosed (read: it’s pitch-black inside) waterslide that has you careening pool-ward at warp speed while neon light attractions make you wish you could go even faster. Younger children will appreciate the Kids’ Cove; it has a heated pool and smaller splash areas and slides.

For something a little more lowkey, try Clark County’s Walnut Water Park. Open May through August, the park features a cooling pool and slightly tamer slides, as well as easy access to playgrounds, sporting areas and walking trails.

From water parks with exciting rides to paddleboarding on the lakes, you can find exactly what you need to stay cool and keep the fun going when summering in Las Vegas.

Freelance writer and editor Matt Villano has covered Las Vegas for more than 20 years — he has authored and co-authored 13 guidebooks about the city.