MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. – After last summer’s hiatus due to the pandemic, Oakland County Parks and Recreation officials look forward to welcoming visitors back at Red Oaks Waterpark in Madison Heights.
The waterpark opens Wednesday, June 23 with some changes including online ticket sales.
“We’re thrilled to open. We frequently hear waterpark visits are a staple of summer plans,” Interim Executive Officer Susan Wells said. “The fact we have a new water feature to debut adds more excitement.”
A new children’s Splash Pad replaces an existing attraction, constructed in 2003, that had reached the end of its operational life cycle.
The new Splash Pad features 52 interactive water features, including a water play climber with slides and a dumping bucket. The zero-depth attraction offers 160 ‘x 105’ of play area with a new adjacent shade structure. Additionally, a family restroom has been added adjacent to the splash pad.
The project cost was $1,945,594 for the Splash Pad with sanitary lift station and $284,843 for the family restroom facility. Staff oversaw the design team of Penchura LLC of Brighton, Aquatix (Equipment) by Landscape Structures, Eden Prairie, MN, Rowe Professional Services, Inc, Flint, JFR Architects of Sterling Heights, Berbiglia & Associates, Inc, Farmington Hills and Nowak & Fraus Engineering, Inc., Pontiac. The splash pad was constructed by C.E. Gleeson Constructors, Troy.
Online tickets available
Also new this year, tickets will be available for purchase at OaklandCountyParks.com. Entry to Red Oaks Waterpark will be $17/person/online; $20/person on site.
Online tickets go on sale Monday, June 21. On-line ticket sales end at 2 p.m. for the day of visit. Tickets will be available seven days prior to the intended visit date. Tickets will not be required for children ages 0-1. Their age will be verified at the gate. Capacity for Red Oaks will be 1,000 visitors daily.
“Purchasing tickets online will offer visitors a discount, and ensure entrance for the day,” Tom Hughes, Chief of Operations – South District, said. “This will help us manage our daily capacity. The bonus is a family won’t pack everything up to arrive at the waterpark and find that we’ve sold out.”
Red Oaks will be open June 23-27 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. The waterpark will be closed June 28-29. From June 30-late August, the waterpark will be open 11 a.m.-6 p.m., seven days a week.
Red Oaks Waterpark generally opens the first week of June. The opening was delayed due to difficulty finding lifeguard staff.
Because of the delayed opening, waterpark season passes, and group rates will not be offered; programs have been cancelled; and picnic shelters will not be rented. Concessions will be closed; however, pre-packaged drinks and snacks will be available for purchase. The River Ride will be closed due to staff shortages.
“Operations hinge on being able to provide a fun, safe experience for our guests. The safety of our staff is also paramount,” Wells said. “The River Ride takes seven lifeguards to staff. That’s just too labor intensive for us to operate this season. Lifeguard recruitment is a county and national struggle for operations of pools and waterparks.”