Even history needs to take a break from the spotlight sometimes.
Backyard pools serve their summertime purpose, but nothing beats the communal experience of a well-conceived water park. From floating lazily on a raft to hurtling down steep slides to a splash landing, the magic of Wet ’n Wild—once the nation’s seventh most popular water park—shaped the summer memories of a Las Vegas generation. Then the water was drained in 2004 to make room for an apparently invisible megaresort, and rec centers have had to suffice ever since. By 2013, though, the good times could be back in two new parks.