A lot of people think about going to the water park on a hot day, but water parks are also fun on rainy days. At least that has been our experience. We went to Evergreen Wings and Waves Waterpark over the weekend. It was an awesome experience for several reasons. First, it was rainy and in the 50’s outside. But inside the water park it was in the balmy 80’s. Second, it was a ton fun to go shooting down the fast slides from a Boeing 747 aircraft sitting on the roof of the building. And finally, we also got to check out all the cool airplanes in the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum right next door.
Evergreen Museum Campus is located in McMinnville, Oregon (500 Northeast Captain Michael King Smith Way), which is about an hour from Portland. If you’re taking 99W to the museum, you’ll eventually hit a major fork. You can continue on 99W to McMinnville, or go left onto 233/18 to Dayton. Do you know which route we took? We took 99W to McMinnville. That’s the wrong way to go. You’ll want to take 233/18, drive past Dayton and then you’ll see Evergreen Aviation on your right. If you go the way we went, you’ll have to follow 99 until you see a turnoff for 18, then circle back around in the opposite direction.
One of the first things you’ll notice when you enter the water park is that it feels like a sauna. Don’t worry, it’ll feel cooler once you get into your swim clothes and hit the water slides.
To get to the fast slides, you have to go up one of two stair cases. It’s a long ways up, so don’t be surprise if you get winded along the way. When you get to the top and enter the Boeing 747, you have four slides to choose from: Sonic Boom, Tail Spin, Mach 1 and Nose Dive. Important tip: you need to take an inner tube up the stairs with you. Mach 1 doesn’t require a tube, but the other three slides do. I discovered this after I had already walked all the way up, and we couldn’t take Mach 1 down because my 7-year old wasn’t tall enough (you have to be 48″ or taller). So I had to walk all the way back down and then back up again with a 2-person tube. It was exhausting to go up the stairs twice in such a short period of time.
Mach 1 (orange slide) is Evergreen’s fastest slide and you have to be at least 48″ tall to go on this slide. This is the one that doesn’t require an inner tube. You just slide down on your back. It’s super fast and you actually land in the water when you’re done.
Sonic Boom (yellow slide) is the best choice for new riders. It’s fast, but not super fast. You can go down in a single or 2-person tube on this slide.
Nose Dive (green slide) is a tricky ride. You go down fast into a big funnel, then you have aim your tube into a hole to continue down. We missed the exit the first time and had to make a second attempt when we circled back around. Hmmm, I can’t help but wonder if we’re being flushed down a toilet.
Tail Spin (blue slide) features a lot of tight and fast turns in the dark. The slide reminded me of the Space Mountain ride at Disneyland. And like Space Mountain, Tail Spin made me queasy afterwards.
In addition to the four main slides, the Wings and Waves Waterpark have other areas to play in too:
- Splashdown Harbor
This is a nice pool to relax in, but watch out for the big waves when the alarm goes off.
- Leisure Pool
There are no waves in this pool, but there are a couple of basketball hoops to play with.
- Vortex Pool
In this small pool, you’ll go around in circle unless you hold on to something.
- Hot Tub
If just want to soothe your body, hop on in. The water feels hot at first, but you’ll get use to it.
This is a playground for water-loving kids. There are slides for younger kids. You’ll want to watch out for the giant bucket that will dump water on you.
If you get hungry, you can eat lunch or grab a snack at the Milky Way Cafe. It opens one hour after the waterpark opens and closes one hour before the waterpark closes.
In addition to the fun waterpark, Evergreen also has two museums (aviation and space) and a 3D theater. We didn’t go into the theater, but their two museums are huge and the exhibits are really cool. You actually get to see all sorts of airplanes, helicopters, rockets and missiles in person. Be sure to check out the Spruce Goose while you are there. You can’t miss it — it’s the largest airplane ever constructed. BTW, the Spruce Goose is built entirely of wood. In addition to seeing the various aircrafts in the museums, you can educate yourself by reading about the exhibits or by watching videos. And if you have questions, there are veterans nearby to provide you with information.
[Disclosure: I received tickets to Evergreen Museum Campus for review purposes. As always, the opinions expressed are mine and I am not obligated to write a positive review.]