Summer has taken hold here in the Lowcountry. School is out, the mercury’s rising, and parents without a plan are once again being confronted with the daily challenge of finding something for their children to do. Luckily, one sure thing is still out there guaranteeing a day of fun for the kids and a little sun for mom and dad: water parks. Parents searching for a daily activity can still turn to the Splash Island Waterpark in Mt. Pleasant, the Splash Zone Waterpark on James Island, and the Whirlin’ Waters Adventure Waterpark in North Charleston for a guaranteed good time with their kids this summer.

And 2011 looks like it’s set to be the busiest season on record. “The parks are always well-attended, but we have had more attendance so far the beginning of this year than we have in the past. And to be honest, it’s all weather related,” says Tom O’Rourke, executive director of the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission.

Parents of toddlers and pre-teens should look to the Splash Island Waterpark as their chosen destination. Located within the Mt. Pleasant Palmetto Islands County Park, Splash Island features the popular Cyclone, a swirling water ride, in addition to a 200-foot water slide and a number of water cannons, geysers, and waterfalls for the kids to enjoy. Admission to Splash Island is $6.99 for county residents and $5.99 for children under four feet tall. All three water parks also take Piggly Wiggly Greenbax as payment as well.

The Splash Zone Waterpark, located within the James Island County Park, is a good destination for larger families. The park has a 500-foot lazy river, a 200-foot slide, and a play structure with slides, wheels, and water cannons. County residents can gain admission into the Splash Zone for $9.99, with kids under the four-foot height limit getting a dollar off.

While the Whirlin’ Waters Adventure Waterpark caters to all children, it also features areas designed exclusively for teenagers. Located within North Charleston’s Wannamaker County Park, Whirlin’ Waters features a 870-foot lazy river ride, wave pool, and mat racer water slide. Admission to Whirlin’ Waters is $19.99, with children under 48 inches tall getting in for $14.99.

In addition to the regular rates, the water parks have a number of special deal days. On Military Mondays, attendees who present a valid military ID will receive discounted rates for admission into any of the three parks. On Two for Tuesdays, attendees are treated to a special buy-one, get-one-free rate. During Wet and Wild Wednesdays, park-goers can receive admission for half the number of Greenbax they’d typically cost. Party packages are available for large groups as well.

Charleston County Parks

Splash Island Waterpark

Mt. Pleasant Palmetto Islands County Park, 444 Needlerush Pkwy., Mt. Pleasant,

(843) 884-0832, (843) 795-4386

Splash Zone Waterpark

James Island County Park, 871 Riverland Drive, James Island

(843) 884-0832, (843) 795-4386

Whirlin’ Waters Adventure Waterpark

Wannamaker County Park, 8888 University Blvd., North Charleston

(843) 884-0832, (843) 795-4386