More than 2,000 service members and their families from Naval Station Mayport, Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Coast Guard and local recruiting districts and retirees were able to escape the Florida heat at Adventure Landing and Shipwreck Island Waterpark July 26.

The 12th annual Military Appreciation Night is hosted every year by the Greater Area Jacksonville USO. VyStar Credit Union sponsored the annual event.

For only a few of dollars per person, military families enjoyed 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 military family member Kim Pruven, whose husband works at Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 72.

“Even though [my 9-month old daughter, Ava] can’t do a whole bunch, we are enjoying it,” she said.

Service members and their families spent the evening floating along the “Lil’ St. Johns River” lazy river or getting washed ashore in the “Wave Pool.”

For the little ones, the waterpark 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 waterpark offers the Hydro Half-pipe – a 35-foot halfpipe, based on a skateboarders trick maker.

They could also swirl 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 the Adventure Landing website.

On the other side of Adventure Landing, family members could enjoy miniature golf, Taser Tag, the Wacky Worm roller coaster, batting cages, the Adventure Speedway go-karts, and arcade area.

Neither the U.S. Navy, nor any other part of the federal government officially endorses any company, sponsor or its products or services.