Gilroy Gardens’ Water Oasis expanding in 2018; nighttime festivals underway

Gilroy Gardens is making a big splash in 2018.

The park is expanding its Water Oasis area with a new slide structure, complete with a tipping bucket on top, as well as splash pads and cabanas.

A rendering of Water Oasis’ 2018 expansion.

The half-acre Water Oasis opened in 2014 with two slides, a shallow pool, splash pads and other features.

Pinnacles Rock Maze has been removed to make way for the expansion.

Pinnacles Rock Maze has been leveled to make way for the water park’s expansion. | Photo: Erik Chalhoub

The expansion is part of Gilroy Gardens’ master plan, which Vice President and General Manager Barb Granter presented to the Gilroy City Council in March. The plan, which aims to grow attendance at the park, includes further expansion of the water park, a ropes course, learning centers, expanded picnic areas and more, as well as a possible dark ride.

No new roller coasters are planned in the future, Granter told the city council.

To learn more about Water Oasis’ expansion, visit www.gilroygardens.org/play/water-features/water-oasis/2018-expansion.

Gilroy Gardens is also in the midst of its new Gardens@Night series.

In October, the park presented Halloween@Night, featuring Halloween-themed lights, crafts, spooky storytelling and more.

Now through Nov. 26 is Harvest@Night, aimed at the adult crowd. The nighttime event features craft beers, fine wines, gourmet food and live bands.

Gilroy Gardens’ new Gardens@Night series features light displays throughout the park. | Photo: Erik Chalhoub

Roasted pork sliders with apple walnut aioli are on the menu for Harvest@Night. | Photo: Erik Chalhoub

“We’re so excited to build on the success we’ve had in October with Halloween@Night and bring something brand new to Gilroy Gardens,” Granter stated in a press release. “While kids are of course always welcome at Gilroy Gardens, we’ve really designed this event to appeal to the 21-and-over crowd. We invite Gilroy residents to take advantage of the special offer and come out and join us for drinks, dancing and more — and then help spread the word about Harvest@Night.”

General admission at the gate for Harvest@Night is $30, or $20 when purchased in advance online. Gilroy Gardens 2018 Premium passholders, as well as Cedar Fair Gold and Platinum passholders, are admitted for free.

Panoramic Wheel joins Quicksilver Express Mine Coaster and the Bonfante Railroad as the rides open during Harvest@Night. | Photo: Erik Chalhoub

In December, Holiday@Night will feature visits with Santa Claus, ice skating, a live Charlie Brown Christmas Show, holiday lights throughout the park, and a holiday feast.

Tickets and information can be found at www.gilroygardens.org.

About Erik Chalhoub

Erik Chalhoub is the Managing Editor at the Watsonville Register-Pajaronian newspaper (and a roller coaster fanatic!). He is also the proud recipient of the 2016 ACE NorCal Richard Tuck Spirit Award.


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