Zoom Flume: A Catskills Waterpark Rises Up Through the Trees
The Zoom Flume is a full-fledged water park tucked away in the Catskill Mountains, surrounded by forests and rolling hills, topped by a canopy of clouds. If you've ever felt trapped or overwhelmed at in indoor water park, like Kalahari or Great Wolf Lodge, then the open-air, colorful, and clean Zoom Flume might be the place for you. Here, the air is fresh and the turquoise lining of the slides and splash pools complement the blue skies overhead.
Above, the orange Mighty Anaconda slide twists and turns into the little-kid-friendly Lagoon Activity Pool. Though the Zoom Flume has all the safety features and thrill rides of a modern water park, it still has an old-school feel. Located on a quiet country road in East Durham, the Zoom Flume has held onto its vintage signage, and its original pair of 80's-era water slides still snake down the park's hills today. They've also kept some pretty old-timey prices. For the summer of 2018, a season pass costs only $59.99, with day passes ranging from $26.99 for kids to $32.99 for adults. (Kids under 3 get in free.)
With native plants peeking out between the water slides and boardwalks, it's easy for little visitors to imagine themselves on a wild wildness hike, trekking from one aquatic adventure to another. And, man, that wave pool! Wading in, you can look over the treeline to a backdrop of deep blue rolling hills, breathe the clear Catskill mountain air, and listen to the giggles and squeals of children lifted by each passing wave. It's hard to imagine a happier place.
Even the littlest kids will find plenty of places to splash around (swim diapers are a must for the not-yet-potty-trained set), but there are more ride for kids over 36 inches tall, including a dark, twisty tube slide called the Black Vortex. At 42 inches, kids can body-slide down the Mighty Anaconda, the Canyon Plunge, and those original Serpentine Slides that opened in the '80s. At 48 inches, kids qualify for the Grand Prix Splashway and Typhoon Twister.
If you've got kids in different size groups, it's a good idea to bring multiple adults to the Zoom Flume, so you can divide and conquer. My 3-year-old wasn't tall enough to hit as many rides as her then 6-year-old brother, and she was not too happy about it. (She's the chick in the Batgirl swimsuit, pictured above.)
Since I was a child, I've watched the Zoom Flume evolve from a little countryside resort with a couple of water slides into a destination-worthy water park where I get to make happy memories my own children. Someday, my kids may ask to visit bigger, crazier water parks, but for now, the Zoom Flume is our go-to spot.
Zoom Flume is located at 20 Shady Glen Road in East Durham, NY; 518-239-6271.