More than 2,000 service members and their families from NS Mayport, NAS Jacksonville, NSB Kings Bay, Coast Guard and local recruiting districts and retirees were able to escape the Florida heat at Adventure Landing and Shipwreck Island Waterpark on July 26 during the 12th annual Military Appreciation Night, sponsored by USO.

For only a few of dollars per person, military families were able to enjoy both amusement parks on Beach Boulevard in Jacksonville Beach. Normally, just a ticket to the water park would cost around $25 per person so the savings are substantial.

“This is great,” said dependent Kim Pruven, who’s husband works at HSM-72. “Even though [my 9-month old daughter, Ava] can’t do a whole bunch, we are enjoying it.”

Service members and their families spent the evening lazing along the “Lil’ St. John’s River” lazy river or getting washed ashore with at the “Wave Pool.”

For the little ones, the water park offers the redesigned “Pirate’s Play Village,” an interactive water play area with slides, nozzles that squirt and spray water, plus a lot of places to explore. There is also a “Kiddie Cove” designed for toddlers.

For the more daring adventurers, the water park offers the Hydro Half-pipe – a 35-foot halfpipe, based on a skateboarders trick maker. They could also swirled along in the “Eye of the Storm,” a 40-foot body slide where riders are challenged to see how many revolutions they can make before dropping into eight feet of water, according to Adventure Landing website.

On the other side of Adventure Landing, family members could enjoy Miniature Golf, Laser Tag, the Wacky Worm roller coaster, Batting Cages, the Adventure Speedway go-karts, and arcade area.