Water Slide World

When I was in high school, Lake George was the place to hang out. Cruise Canada Street with loud music playing, a slice of Capri's pizza and a few games in the arcade. One place we never went - Water Slide World. It was lame, or so I heard. And maybe as a teen, it would have been lame.

As a mom with four kids ages 12-2? It is now one of my favorite places.

We met my cousins from downstate at my parents' house for a few days of fun last week. Our original plan was to go back to the larger amusement park in Lake George, but we all wanted to save a bit of money. With a total of 10 children, 1 teenager and a baby - we still needed some kind of plan.

The kids just like the water rides any way, so we decided to go to Water Slide World. The admission is much cheaper and we got a discount for having a large group as well as a military member. Parking is free. We could bring in coolers loaded with drinks and snacks. At that big amusement park? Expensive parking, no food allowed besides their overpriced choices and only one drink per person. Sounded like a no-brainer to me!

The water slides at the back of the park are big and crazy, just right for our crew of tweens.

The toddler area was fun, clean and kept our little ones happy all day.

The lazy river is actually lazy - slow, relaxing and quiet.

The lines for each ride were nonexistent. I think the longest anyone waited was 10 minutes.

We are planning on going back again next year. It's small enough that I felt comfortable letting the older kids (the oldest were 12) run around as a group without an adult. We all enjoyed it so much, we chose to pay an additional $10 and came back the next day.

When we were leaving the second day, I chatted briefly with the owner. She is a constant presence is the park - walking around, checking in with her life guards and staff, talking to guests. I found out that Water Slide World has been owned by her family since 1979. They have their structure and they like their rules. But I now know those rules and structure that were so lame as a teenager create a safe, comfortable environment for families.

If you're going to Lake George for a family vacation, maybe take a break from that big, corporate-owned amusement park and give Water Slide World a shot.