Soaking Up Summer at Soaky Mountain Waterpark


Summer is only so long and I want to soak up all the sunshine and fun with my children as I can. We’re lucky to live in East Tennessee because we don’t have to travel far to find summer fun. Soaky Mountain Waterpark is a quick and easy drive from Knoxville. Less than an hour in some cases! My family and I have visited before and loved it, but this time Soaky Mountain hosted Knoxville Moms to stay and play. 

Soaky Mountain Entrance

Our adventure began at Wilderness at the Smokies, which is also owned by Wilderness Resorts and Waterparks Soaky’s parent company, and is located just across the street from Soaky Mountain Waterpark. We decided to stay here for convenience and to make our trip more of a staycation. We checked in and received stretchy wristbands that served as our guest room key and admission passes to Wilderness at the Smokies. I was even able to link my band to my credit card so I didn’t have to worry about having my wallet with me at all times. I also loved that I could opt out of that particular perk for my 10-year-old daughter and seven-year-old son. I can only imagine what they would have bought!

Here’s a pro tip that will save you money—Wilderness at the Smokies guests can buy discounted tickets to Soaky Mountain at the resort’s front desk. Also, while you’re at it, take the courtesy shuttle that runs from Wilderness to Soaky and avoid paying for parking at the waterpark. 

Soaky mountain slides cover photoAs you enter, Soaky Mountain Waterpark there is a quick bag check. Our reusable water bottles were empty, which meant they were allowed inside the park. You can also bring sealed store-bought water bottles, but I already have enough to carry! There are LOTS of places to fill up your water bottles throughout Soaky including right inside the entrance.

Sevierville signI also loved that we could bring my son Bennett’s lifejacket. After lots of lessons, he’s become a pretty good little swimmer so his lifejacket is more for peace of mind. If you don’t have a lifejacket at home, there are lifejacket stands with sizes ranging from baby to adult at many of the attractions. At one point, we found ourselves by the adventure river “Black Bear Rapids” without Bennett’s lifejacket. We had no problem finding one in his size and enjoying the river. It’s my personal favorite! I should also mention there are lifeguards EVERYWHERE. With that amount of supervision, I feel comfortable bringing my two children on my own.

Soaky Mountain Wave PoolOne particular perk of our visit was our cabana. Talk about making life easy for a mom!  Not only did we have lots of shade, our cabana hostess was just a button-click away. My first order of business was ordering a complimentary pitcher of ice water and plenty of cups.

Cabana foodShe dropped that off quickly and with sunscreen applied, it was time to have some fun. The wave pool was just steps away so my kids ran straight for it and I was right behind them! That was the first of several trips to the wave pool that day. It’s another one of my personal favorites.

Cabana at SoakyThen it was time to explore. Madeline and Bennett had the best time doing the obstacle course called “Slippery Salamanders.” The line moved quickly and they went several times. Later in the day, they even convinced me to give it a go. I wasn’t graceful but I did have a great time. 

Soaky Mountain The Hive featureSoaky Mountain The Hive“The Hive” was a hit with my youngest and surprisingly my tween. It is a huge splash pad with slides and lots of water-play features. Next, Madeline and Bennett wanted to go to the “Snake Den.” There are five family-friendly slides. If you’re over 42-inches tall you can ride with a companion over 48-inches tall. That meant Madeline and Bennett could do the slides on their own while I went back to the cabana to order lunch. It didn’t take long to place our order with the cabana hostess and the food to arrive. This mom even ordered a special treat for herself—a frozen concoction called “Miami Vice.” It’s a strawberry puree, pina colada and rum. It totally hit the spot! 

Soaky Mountain DrinkThe kids had worked up a serious appetite so they chowed down before we headed back out for more fun. Madeline tried the “Avalaunch Watercoaster” with friends and had a blast. My little guy decided it wasn’t for him so we went back to “Black Bear Rapids.” This time the rapids were going. Only certain hours of the day the river has waves which means you can decide what kind of experience you’re up for. Bennett was all-in on the rapids (and so was I!) Afterwards we squeezed in several more obstacle course trips at “Slippery Salamanders” before deciding it was time for a sweet treat.

Obstacle CourseMadeline tried one of the fancy milkshakes and Bennett went for a classic funnel cake. We played a little more in the wave pool before deciding it was time to call it a day. Thanks to the shuttle we were back in our room and changing clothes to grab dinner in a matter of minutes. So convenient, especially when everyone is wiped out after a day at the waterpark. 

Soaky Mountain views It’s hard to find things both Madeline and Bennett enjoy, but there really is something for all ages at Soaky Mountain Waterpark. As they get older, I’m sure they’ll branch out to some of the thrill rides, but for now the family rides are definitely our speed. We had such a great time at Soaky Mountain I’m even considering a season pass as a family Christmas experience gift. But don’t wait until the holidays to enjoy Soaky Mountain, there’s only so much time to soak up summer!

Soaky Mountain groupFor more information on Soaky Mountain Waterpark, including tickets and passes, click here.



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