Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Hyland Hills Water World is perhaps the first publicly owned, full-sized waterpark.

Opened in 1979 to generate revenue for the Hyland Hills Park and Recreation District, the park has grown significantly in the past three decades. Today, it includes more than 40 attractions, many designed for family fun.

Two of the signature attractions are Voyage to the Center of the Earth, a “dark” family tube ride that uncovers a world of prehistoric creatures, and Lost River of the Pharaohs, a family tube river ride through an Egyptian pyramid.

The two attractions have 15 animatronic figures, one of which is a T-Rex that stretches 12 feet high. New this year is the renovated Thunder Bay wave pool. When it comes to back-of-house features, Water World strives to be an innovator through programs such as the use of recaptured water for irrigation throughout the park and a unique end-of-season bonus program and car giveaway, where workers are rewarded with chances to win prizes for excellence in work performance.