When we first started talking about going to Texas for summer vacation (which is unusual in itself because we never go places that are even hotter than it is at home), Schlitterbahn was at the top of my list for places to take the kids. Schlitterbahn is a water park in New Braunfels, a little town about half-way between Austin and San Antonio. It's built into the side of a hill along the Comal River and uses all river water to supply the park. The Comal is spring-fed, so the water is about 60 degrees - - perfect when it's 104 outside. Plus, the word Schlitterbahn is just fun to say!
The kids all swim well, so they're at a great age for a water park. Most of the rides are tube rides with good old-fashioned black inner tube tires! Several of the tube rides last twenty minutes or so from the time you get in at the top, float through all the rapids and then splash into the river at the bottom. It's great fun to gently float along the river, which is shaded almost completely by the giant live oak trees lining both sides, until you reach the getting out point.