Beijing's temperature can soar above 40 C in summer so what better way to beat the blistering heat than to take a cool dip?
Beijing makes up for its lack of beaches, or rivers and lakes for swimming, with scores of swimming pools.
Merry Water WorldView In Map
occupying 266,800 sq m, is probably king of the more than 50 water parks in Beijing. You can not only cool down with a day-long soak but also pump up the adrenaline with scores of thrill rides, roller-coaster slides, wave pools and chutes.
The most popular is the wicked Mega Dragon, whose water spray jet gives the giant U-shaped slide a frictionless surface on which rubber slides glide effortlessly to the bottom. Thrill seekers cannot ask for more out of this awesome ride as they plunge 11 m to the bottom, almost vertically.
And along the way, at the half-way point, find yourself swirling around in mid air at 50 km/h, in a gravity-defying stunt.
The water world's newest attraction, with a Rocky Mountain theme, features two new slides. While speed fanatics will love the enclosed slide, the River Rapid is bound to delight kids.
In the northeast section of the park, the light-hearted McDull movie series is screened on a huge water screen, which is actually a sheet of water flowing over a flat rock structure.
"It's a great idea to play a cartoon movie here. My kid often swims from another pool slide to the screen water, trying to catch McDull," chuckles a mom as she watches her 6-year-old son trying to hug the cartoon character. "You can watch a movie while enjoying a dip. It's a really cool idea."
Another attraction for children comes with an elaborate pirate theme. Kids who like to play little buccaneers can set sail on their very own aquatic adventure.
98 yuan on weekdays, 60 yuan for kids under 1.4 m, free entrance for kids under 1.2 m; 138 yuan on weekends.
Dongwei Lu, Chaoyang district, Inside Tulip Hot Spring Garden Resort, off Weigou exit on the Airport Expressway, 8433-7403
Chaoyang ParkView In Map
where the Olympic beach volleyball games were hosted last summer, has been drawing in the crowds with its Beijing Beach carnival that opened last weekend.
The month-long events will also feature magic shows, a re-creation of the Olympic torch relay, movies and beach concerts to keep both children and adults engaged.
A full day costs 80 yuan on weekdays and 100 yuan on weekends; free for children under 1 m.
1 Chaoyang Gongyuan Nanlu, 6591-5258
Ditan ParkView In Map
offers more than 1,500 sq m to splash in, day and night. Its Magic Water World is especially attractive to children.
Take your pick from swimming, artificial surfing or body boarding. Kids will receive fans and balloons as well as a waterproof box and a water gun to better enjoy their time on a hot day.
Other new attractions include the tube slide, Lazy River, Caribbean interactive island, tots play pool, and a vortex pool that's great for the whole family.
30 yuan on weekdays, 40 yuan on weekends.
10 am-9:30 pm everyday until Aug 15, Ditan Park, A2 Di'anmenwai Dajie, Chaoyang district, 8262-4677
Other choices include:
Splash Recreation ClubView In Map
With natural hot springs, a beach volleyball court, jacuzzi, gym, solarium and the capital's only indoor-outdoor pool, the Sino-Swiss Hotel's Splash Recreation Club is great for both families and couples. For 130 yuan, you have access to all of Splash Recreation Club's facilities, including the Sino-Swiss Hotel gym.
9 Xiao Tianzhu Nanlu, Shunyi district, 6456-5588 ext 1217
City SeaviewView In Map
Located inside the Crab Island Resort past the Lido Hotel, the 60,000-sq-m City Seaview is a favorite with water park fans, with the largest man-made beach and wave pool in all of China. Stake out a spot under a coconut tree with a book, build sand castles or dive into the humongous waves. On weekends, there's even a live band. 60 yuan per person.
1 Xiedao Lu, 10 minutes from Lido Hotel, 8433-9689
Caribbean LagoonView In Map
Designed by the same company that is behind Disney Water Adventures, Caribbean Lagoon includes wave pools, gargantuan slides, water rides, picnic areas and restaurants for an entire day of summer fun.
With more than 100,000 sq m of slip-and-slide magic, it is one of China's biggest and best water parks. Whether you're looking for the adrenaline rush of a supersonic slide or a lazy inner tube sojourn, you'll find it here. 75 yuan per person.
118 Quanshuitou, Yanxi Town, Huairou, 8528-8966
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