Looking for a fun, low-key water park in Southern California? Check out Splash! La Mirada with kids to pack in a full day of water based fun.
If you’re anything like our family, your kids LOVE to play in water.
And luckily, living in Southern California, the summer weather is absolutely perfect to splash and play, whether at the pool, the beach, or one of our many local splash pads.
But once in a while, we want to upgrade our summer fun by visiting a water park in Southern California. And unfortunately, our budgets don’t always allow us to go big (a la Raging Waters, Soak City, or Great Wolf Lodge).
Luckily, we’ve got a hidden gem of a water park in nearby La Mirada. Run by the city, Splash! La Mirada Buccaneer Bay is a perfect place to ride water slides, chill in a lazy river, and go on a water-based play structure.
WITHOUT breaking the bank.
So if you are looking for a cheaper water park in Southern California, look no further. We’ve got all the tips for visiting Splash! La Mirada with kids.
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Where is Bucaneer Bay?
Bucaneer Bay is the name of the water park portion of Splash! La Mirada Regional Aquatics Center. The water park is located in – yep, you guessed it!- La Mirada.
Here’s the address for Maps purposes: 13806 La Mirada Blvd, La Mirada, CA 90638.
I live in East Long Beach, and it’s about a 25 minute drive for me. It’s similar time-wise to Knott’s Soak City.
How is Parking at Splash! Bucaneer Bay?
Parking has never been too much of an issue for me. The parking lot is big, and is shared with many city offices. (Actually, you might think you’re in the wrong spot when you pull in).
I’ve always gotten there right when it opens, and never have trouble securing a spot.
Parking for Splash! La Mirada is free.
What Ages is Splash! La Mirada Best For?
Splash! La Mirada has many different sections, making it great for all ages.
Toddlers will certainly have less to do than older kids, as they’ll be concentrated in the splash pad zone and the Bucaneer Bay play structure. They can also go into the larger pool and the lazy river with an adult.
Older kids and teens can ride the water slides. There are two large sets of water slides, a lazy river, and a pool.
How Tall Do You Have to Be to Ride the Slides at Splash! La Mirada?
All guests must be 48″ tall to ride the water slides. That’s four feet even.
There are several smaller water slides available at the Buccaneer Bay play structure, with no height restrictions.
How Much Does Splash! La Mirada Cost?
Splash! La Mirada is a little bit different in terms of admission. Guests pay by height, not by age.
At the time of publishing, Adults/Kids Over 48″ cost $25 to enter, and Kids under 48″ cost $20.
Season passes are also available at $80 Over 48″, and $65 for Under 48″.
What is There to Do at Splash! La Mirada?
There is TONS to do at Splash! La Mirada. Considering that it is a much cheaper water park than some of our Southern California options, I was very pleasantly surprised by everything it had to offer.
At Buccaneer Bay at Splash! La Mirada, you can expect to find:
- Three fast paced water slides
- Another set of water slides- two utilizing tubes, and one that allows you to lay down on mats.
- A lazy river
- A large recreation pool (intermittently closes for swim lessons and aquatic workouts)
- Two splash zones
- Bucaneer Bay play structure with zero-depth entry
- Cabanas available to rent
Does Buccaneer Bay Have Lifejackets?
All kids under 48″ are required to wear a Coast Guard approved lifejacket or flotation device at all times.
Flotation devices are available at Splash! La Mirada on a first come, first serve basis.
However-we’ve never had an issue getting a lifejacket when we needed one. I do recommend bringing one to keep in the car just in case, so you can go grab it if you need it.
Can You Get a Discount at Splash! La Mirada?
We have occasionally seen discounts pop up for Splash! La Mirada, but it’s been a few years.
Always check the following sites before purchasing tickets:
- The Splash! La Mirada Facebook Page (used to offer $10 tickets on Black Friday!)
- Groupon– Once in a while, a deal will pop up for $19 admission.
- Local Flavor– We haven’t seen a deal for Splash! La Mirada on here yet– but they often have discounts at hard-to-get-coupon locations!
Splash! La Mirada used to offer occasional discount afternoons at the end of summer, known as “After School Swim.” These were the best days to get the most bang for your buck.
However, these have recently been discontinued. Fingers crossed they make a comeback!
How is the Food at Splash! La Mirada?
The food at Splash! La Mirada is your basic water park fare. Hot Dogs, burgers, pizza, and the like. Lines and wait times are generally long, but the food is fairly reasonably priced for a water park.
If you’d like specific details, check out the menus posted on the Buccaneer Bay Website.
You are also allowed to leave the park and return. You can pack a picnic to keep in the car, and head out at lunchtime. There’s large grassy areas near the parking lot to enjoy your picnic before heading back inside.
What Can I Bring Into Splash! La Mirada?
Splash! La Mirada doesn’t allow you to bring in much, but you can pack a standard sized beach bag (which will get checked at security!)
Here’s what we recommend you bring in-
- Kids’ Water Socks– the pavement gets HOT! This brand is the easiest for our kids to get on and off, and the most sensory friendly (in our experience)
- Adult Water Socks– your feet are not immune from hot pavement, and if you spend any amount of time in the lazy river, you’re REALLY going to want a pair of water shoes.
- Beach Towels- You’ll probably be okay with one per person, though you might want to keep an extra for each person in the car.
- Kids’ Goggles- These are actually REALLY important. There’s a ton of chlorine in public pools, and your kids eyes will be shot if you don’t bring goggles. We love the Finis! Fruit Basket brand.
- Spray on Sunscreen– Your kids are NOT going to stand still very long, so the spray on sunscreen is crucial. Bring more than you think (at least two), because you have to reapply very frequently.
- Sunscreen Stick– These sunscreen sticks have been a total gamechanger for applying sunscreen to my kids’ faces in a hurry!
- Unopened Water Bottles– they won’t let you bring in reusable, or any drinks other than unopened, single use water bottles.
- Money- I like to bring in one single credit card, just in case. I store it with my phone around my neck in a waterproof cell phone case so I never leave it unattended.
- A small first aid kit. Small scrapes abound in this concrete based water park, and you want to have to basics at hand (let’s be honest, the band aids will just fall off immediately, but it might make them feel better)
Lockers are also available to store items while at Buccaneer Bay. I tend to travel really light, so I’ve never used them, but it’s nice to know they’re available if needed.
Is There Shade at Buccaneer Bay at Splash!?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a ton of shade to go around at Splash! La Mirada. Plan for a warm, sunny day.
If you feel like splurging, you can grab a daily Cabana rental at $100 for 6 people, or a two person sun shade for $50.
We’ve never done it, so I can’t say whether or not it’s worth it. That depends very much on your family!
Tips for Visiting Splash! La Mirada
Here are our best tips for making your day at Splash! La Mirada a pleasant one:
- Prep your kids. Let them know what to expect. What slides will they be able to do (or not?) Will they need to wear a lifejacket? What can they expect to do for food and snacks?
- Be Prepared. DO NOT forget goggles, sunscreen, or water shoes. You’ll be borderline miserable without them.
- Make a game plan. Either remind your kids that we all stay in the same area, or go with a buddy so you can divide and conquer.
- Have one adult get food while the other stays with the kids by the pool. If you’re eating food in the park, the large swimming pool is located near the main snack bar. One adult can throw the kids in that pool and keep an eye on them, while the other orders food. There are a few shady spots to eat once the food arrives.
- Be flexible. We went once and my kids wanted to stay for all of three hours. The next time we went, the kids stayed all day. You just never know.
- Bring lots of water. You can keep extra waters and snacks in the car, and head out to grab them when you need them.
- Be ready for lines. To get in, to get on the waterslides, etc. They’re not outrageous, but they will be lines.
- Leave valuables at home. It’s REALLY hard to keep track of your stuff at a place like this. Travel very, very light, and leave anything valuable that you don’t need at home.
So add Splash! La Mirada to your summer bucket list for water park fun on a smaller budget. Your kids are going to love it (and honestly, we think you will too!)
Looking for more water-based fun this summer? Head here next-