Cheap Spills

Launching yourself off the lip of


220-foot-tall water slide is all kinds of slippin', slidin', splashin' fun. And at

Coconut Cove Waterpark

, you can double your adrenaline rush. The five-acre aquatic fun zone in South County Regional Park in Boca Raton features not one but


of the four-story-tall slides, along with myriad other attractions. And since it's the only water park in the entire state of Florida that's run by a government agency (the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department), families don't have to take a soaking: Admission is only $5 to $7 per person.

After an inaugural summer of moist merriment, Coconut Cove will remain open for only a few more weeks before it closes for the winter on October 9. So check it out now or hold your peace until the park's reopening in March 2001.


Coconut Cove Waterpark

11200 Park Access Rd., Boca Raton

Open through October 9. (It reopens March 17.) Open weekends and Palm Beach County School District holidays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for children ages 3 to 12; children younger than age 3 get in free. Call 561-274-1140.

Potential plungers must be at least three and a half feet (42 inches) tall in order to ride the two skyscraping slides, which drop riders into a three-foot-deep pool. But there's no height restriction at the Sea Monster Walk Lagoon, where kids, teenagers, and adults cling to overhead ropes as they walk over a precariously floating monster head, body parts, and a tail.

The water playground for kids age 12 and younger has a crazed, chaotic life of its own. The shallow, 75,000-gallon pool is splashdown central for two open slides, a tube slide, a corkscrew slide, and two smaller slides for the wee ones. In the pool itself, youngsters can play with built-in water guns, steering wheels, and pull ropes that control water jets.

After all the excitement, the thousand-foot-long Lazy River ride offers an opportunity to relax for ten minutes or so. Queue up at one of the two entrances to the river, wait for an empty inner tube to float your way, hop aboard, and get comfortable as the gentle current takes you from point A to point B with a couple of picturesque waterfalls along the way.

If your skin is susceptible to premature pruning, you can dry off on the chaise longues beneath giant umbrellas. You can't bring your own munchies, but you can grab a snack at the concession stand -- if you won't be going back into the water for at least 20 minutes.

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