Volente Beach

Wow!  What a fun day! 

Since it was the first non-rainy day this week, we decided to try Volente Beach.  We'd actually been to Volente years before - when both boys were under 42 inches and too small to go down any of the slides...  And this place is a lot more fun with taller kids! 

Not knowing what to expect, we arrived right when they opened.  I was surprised that there were only 3 other cars in the parking lot.  I wasn't even sure the place was open. 

We basically had the park to ourselves for the first hour.  More people arrived after noon, but for the whole day we never had to wait for more than one or two riders ahead of us, and many times we'd walk up, plunk down our tube (or body) and go!

The main attraction of the place are the four slides:

The sidewinder

This was by far our favorite slide!

This slide takes two people on a tube and drops them down the side of a ramp.  It feels like free falling for the first few seconds!  Then momentum takes you up the other side, and then gravity back down, and then up, until you finally rest at the bottom. 

And we did this again, and again and again.  The boys tried going backwards, sideways, leaning back.  You name it.  Having gone down this slide multiple times myself, I'd have to agree that it was really awesome!

The Texas Twister
This was our second favorite. 
You run down a pretty fast enclosed tube slide until it spits you out in what my son calls 'the whirlpool'. 

I, however, called it the toilet bowl, because you go around and then are flushed out the bottom ;o) 

Very fun!  You must be 48 inches to go down this one.

The Flash Flood and the Roadrunner
These are two slides, one enclosed and one open, that children over 42 inches can go down.  Pretty typical slides, though a bit slow. We only went down these a few times.

In addition to the 4 main slides, there is a pretty fun pool area with an obstacle course crossing and water volleyball.   The kids played water volleyball for over an hour.  It is a great way to beat the heat!

There is also a "beach" area.  This would probably be very nice, were the lake at regular levels.  However, with the drought, the water is at least 100 feet away and totally inaccessible.  So the lake makes for a nice backdrop, but no entertainment.  Maybe if we ever get Lake Travis up to its normal level, we'll go back and try the beach area.  But for now, it is really just a pile of sand sitting in the hot sun.

After we had been there for 5 hours and had gone down every ride many, many times, it started to rain with lightning.  The park shuts down the park for 30 minutes if there is lightning.  

I asked the boys if they wanted to wait out the rain, or go home.  They all agreed they were pretty tired and ready to go home.  Success!!

I think we would have stayed longer had it not rained, but as it was, it was a really fun day!!

Tips and Thoughts
* This is one of the more expensive outings in our Top 50.  However, there are usually lots of coupons.  Right now, Ad Pages has a buy two tickets for $20 - and for $10 a person, this place is a steal!  If that deal isn't available, you can purchase your tickets at Randalls for $5 off.  I have also seen a nice deal on Groupon.  So, with a little work, you can always find some kind of deal

* For those under 42 inches, there is only a small pirate ship to play on and the regular pool.  A little more fun for the 42 - 48 inch crowd, but this place is clearly for the over 48 inchers

* The sidewinder requires two people to go down on the slide, so if you have an odd number of kids, you might want to pick up an extra -- or plan on going down yourself (which I highly recommend!)

* The park has a bar and grill restaurant and also some pizza, but it also allows you to bring in a cooler, as long as it doesn't have any glass.  There are lots of nice picnic tables in the shade!

* In the whole park, the only fresh water I found was a cooler at the bar. They were very kind to allow me to refill out water bottles, but I was suprised there were no water fountains.


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