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Beating the Heat at River Rapids Waterpark

Man is it a hot one today! And with June soon ending and July just around the corner, this heatwave is bound to continue and be steadily on the rise. We here at 573 Magazine love to get out and be active, but where do you go in this area when the sun is so sizzling hot you feel like you could fry an egg right on your forehead? So we did a little research and we found the perfect oasis for some nice cool family fun in the sun!

We met up with Brad Arnold, Executive Director of the Ste. Genevieve County Community Center and River Rapids Water Park and he gave us the 411 on how to beat that heat.

“We have something for everyone here...rock wall, diving board, 4 lane mat racer slide, speed slide, lazy river with waves...we have all kinds of things for people to do.” Brad said as he filled us in on the park’s super cool features.

Outside of Ste. Genevieve, and just off the interstate, River Rapids has the perfect location to provide entertainment and enjoyment for the whole family whether you’re from the 573, the St. Louis area, Illinois, or just about anywhere.

Welcoming kids of all ages from 1 to 100, River Rapids has fun activities for all.


The blue 4 lane mat racer slide is great for challenging friends and family to a super fun and exciting race to the finish. The red speed slide allows you to reach amazing speeds and is a big attraction for daredevils and thrill-seekers throughout the region. The enclosed green slide is perfect for riding a single or even a double tube down. The open green body slide is another big one with twists and turns, but gives you the opportunity to see that sky and get a real feel for how high up you really are.

A life guard under the shade of an umbrella watches park goers float down the lazy river at River Rapids with the giant water slides towering behind

Lazy River

The Lazy River wraps around the River Rapids island and two times every hour a wave generator kicks on turning it into Wavy River. Both the single and Double tubes can be used on the Lazy River.

A young couple in a double tube float down the Lazy River at River Rapids Water Park

Kid Zone

The Kid Zone features 3 different slides, 2 closed slides and 1 open slide, perfect for the little ones. It also has a number of other water features including sprayers, fountains, and a giant dumping bucket.

A small child with long dreadlocks splashes in a wading pool by his mother with long beaded braids

Children run through large colorful hoops as they're sprayed with sprinklers in the Kid Zone at River Rapids Water Park

Lap Pool

The deepest public pool in the area, the lap pool at River Rapids Water Park has some pretty sweet and exciting features. The Rock Climbing Wall which towers 16 feet above the deck, allows you to work your climbing skills before dropping into the 11 ½ foot deep lap pool. There’s also a diving board for those who love to show their acrobatic talents, and in the shallow end there’s a net with floating foot pads to test your balance and challenge your dexterity.

A young boy waits his turn while his brother challenges himself to cross the lap pool at River Rapids on floating foot pads and a hanging net

With a staff of over 125 seasonal workers, the water park not only provides a cool fun place to be on a hot day for people from all over Missouri and Illinois, but it helps fuel the local economy. Supported by sales tax, the local people are the ones who make it possible for the park to operate, and River Rapids puts that money right back in their pockets by only hiring locally.

Working here is a blast, I love my job...

“Obviously our goal here is to get our staff trained as best we can and we like to create sort of a community environment almost like a family with our staff to where everybody feels like they belong and they can make it fun following the rules.” - Brad Arnold

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“Working here is a blast, I love my job, and it’s really great that our community has something like this.” - Lifeguard at River Rapids

The life guards are thoroughly and aggressively trained at River Rapids, going through several weeks of training before the park opens each year to ensure the safety of park goers. As a parent, this is awesome news that puts my mind at ease knowing my kids are in good hands.

Utilizing chlorine in all the water features and pools, and keeping up with regular cleaning, sanitizing, and maintenance, River Rapids is one of the safest places to go for a good time if you’re worried about Covid-19, or any other contagion.

A large variety of different families splash and play in the water at River Rapids Water Park

With plenty of seats in the shade, a full menu at the concession stand to enjoy, and carrying all kinds of essentials and super sweet swag like sunblock, lip balm, hats, towels, and sunglasses, River Rapids Water Park’s got your back on whatever you may need or anything you might accidentally forget to bring with you. No worries here!

“We’re excited to be open. We’re excited that people can get outside and be active and do something fun right here in Ste. Genevieve.” - Brad Arnold

I don't know about you, but my family will be making River Rapids Water Park one of our regular haunts this summer, we can't wait to go back! Until then 573, be happy, be active, be well!

Written by AJ Koehler


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