Discovery Island: Water Park Fun for the Whole Family in Simpsonville, SC

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Are you thinking about bringing the family to Greenville Rec’s Discovery Island Water Park for some summer fun? The park, located inside Southside Park in Simpsonville, SC, has a little something for everyone. Find out about each of the park’s attractions and all the details you need to know for a fun day at Discover Island.

For more suggestions of where to swim this summer, see our list of places to Splash & Swim in Greenville.

Thank you to Greenville Rec for providing passes so we could bring this information to our readers.

Discovery Island

Greenville Rec’s Discovery Island

Discovery Island is a few minutes off 385 in Simpsonville at Southside Park. There are playgrounds, soccer fields, and volleyball courts there, as well, but to relieve the heat, head to the water park.

The water park features two large water slides, a zero-entry pool with a play structure featuring a small water slide, a climbing area, lots of sprayers, buckets, and water cannons, a lazy river, and the FlowRider.

Things to Know When Visiting Discovery Island

When you arrive you’ll likely need to wait in line to enter the park. The line for admission moves pretty quickly, but do keep in mind that once the park reaches capacity you will not be able to enter until others leave. Of course, weekends will fill up more quickly. We visited the park on Monday at about 10:45 am and there was plenty of room in the park.

Once inside, there are tons of chairs where you can drop your things, some of them are located under a large shade canopy. These, of course, go first. So get there right at opening if the shade is your goal. There are also lockers that you can rent to store valuables if you would like.

Life jackets and puddle jumpers are provided for kids. They are required for kids under 42 inches tall and are available for all.

The water park hosts birthday party rentals in huts and cabana rentals. Season passes are available to either one particular park or all of the Greenville Rec parks.

No outside food or drink is allowed in Discovery Island. We did bring in our water bottles without any problem, but they cannot be glass bottles. Clyde’s Cafe offers pizza and snacks or you can exit the park to enjoy a picnic and then re-enter. NOTE: If you leave the park when it is at capacity, someone else will take your spot and you will have to wait in line again before re-entering.

We visited the park for about two hours, which gave us ample time to do everything multiple times. On a more crowded day, we might have needed more time to play. The kids really could have stayed longer, but, I’m a fan of ending things on a high note before the kids get cranky.

Attractions at Discovery Island

While Discovery Island is not a huge park, there is a little something for everyone to enjoy. It’s perfect for a few hours of family water park fun without the long drive and expensive ticket price of the water parks at large amusement parks. Here are the attractions you’ll find at Discovery Island.

Lazy River at Discovery Island

Lazy River

Grab a tube and float down the lazy river. It’s slow. It’s floating around in a vaugley oval shape. We’re not talking high adventure here. But, it’s perfect for grown-ups kicking back and relaxing or young kiddos who want to use the tubes.

And, if your older kids are on the slides, you can keep an eye on them from here. Whoever planned that out was smart. So smart.

We thought the clear tubes were pretty fun, too!

Water Playground at Discovery Island
Water Playground at Discovery Island

Water Playground and Pool

In the center of a zero-depth entry pool is a playground structure with a small slide, sprayers, places to climb and mounted water cannons and splayers kids can use. Note that one sprayer can actually reach a few of the lounge chairs, so, if you pick that as your spot, plan on some wet towels.

This area is definitely designed for younger kids, and they will most definitely have a blast here.

Just want to swim? There’s a pool area behind the water playground, between it and the water slides. You cannot bring the tubes here, but if you just want to practice a little swimming this is the place. The pool area is 3 feet deep.

Discovery Island Water Slides
Discovery Island Water Slides

Water Slides

There are two larger water slides at Discovery Island. One is a tube slide which allows both single tube riders and double tube riders. The tube slide is pitch black for about half the ride and it’s really fun. A life guard will give you your tube at the bottom and then you’ll need to climb up three flights of stairs to get to the top of the slide.

Kids on the tube slide at Discovery Island

Or, you can choose the yellow body slide, which of course does not require a tube. For part of the ride the slide is enclosed but not dark because of the lighter color of the slide. It’s a bit slower than the tube slide, but with most twists and turns.

Riders must be 48″ to ride the slides. People 47″ and under can ride the tube slide with someone who is 48″+ and at least 16-years-old.


The Flow Rider is a surfing and boogie boarding wave simulator. Kids have to be 4′ tall to ride the FlowRider and a waiver must be signed. New riders will get a little instruction from the life guard on duty at the bottom of the Flow RIder and then their off riding the waves.

FlowRider at Discovery Island
FlowRider at Discovery Island

My teens/preteens really enjoyed this attraction. My 13 year-old said he enjoyed it because it required some skill, not just a ride. There were decisions to make about steering as he tried to stay on the board. There were experienced riders at the park on the day we visited who were able to to do all kinds of twists and barrel rolls and stay on the FlowRider. It was pretty impressive.


While we didn’t enjoy lunch at Discovery Island, we did check out the concessions offered. Clyde’s Cafe offers pizza, Uncrustables, candy, chips and other pre-packaged snacks. The pizza comes from Papa Johns.


For guests 42″ and under, they are required to wear life jackets, which are available for free at the park.

Riders must be 48″ to ride the slides. People 47″ and under can ride the tube slide with someone who is 48″+ and at least 16-years-old.

To ride the FlowRider, guests must be 42″. On Sundays, guests 48″ and taller can do stand-up surfing on it.

You cannot bring in any outside food or drink but may exit the park to eat and then come back inside. However, you may have to wait depending on the line to get in.

No outside water toys or floats may be brought into the park. No pets are allowed in the park.

You can rent a locker for your valuables for $5 at the park.

You can enjoy Discovery Island, too!

$14- 48”+
$9.50 under 48” and seniors
2-years-old and under are free
All tickets bought online are $14, no matter the height since they cannot verify virtually.

2023 Summer Hours:
Monday – Saturday: 10:30 am – 5:30 pm
Sunday: 1:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Opens on May 27, 2023 and then open daily starting June 3, 2023 through August 6, 2023; then open only on weekends through Labor Day

417 Baldwin Road, Simpsonville, SC
Discovery Island website

Has your family ever visited Discovery Island?

About the Author
Maria Bassett is a former school orchestra teacher, turned homeschool mom. She and her husband homeschool their 3 sons and 1 daughter, who range from 4th grade through 9th grade. Believing children learn best when they are engaged and having fun, this family loves to take their homeschool on the road, around Greenville and beyond.

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Carol Wallen
8 years ago

The aquatic staff is very good there. They do swim lessons before the park opens…great for little ones with a fear of the water because with the zero entry pool they can work the kids into the deeper water. Skip the burgers and hot dogs and go for the Chicken Wrap! It’s really good! Save room for fried oreos!

[…] Discovery Island 417 South Baldwin Rd. Simpsonville, SC 29680 […]

[…] Discovery Island 417 South Baldwin Rd. Simpsonville, SC 29680 […]

4 years ago

during the week is it less crowed after 2pm with Day Cares going back to the schools for nap ?? or best to go early when it opens