Renting an ENTIRE Waterpark for my 40th Birthday

Last updated: May 28, 2024

For my 40th birthday, I wanted to do something fun.

So I rented out America’s largest indoor waterpark.

group photo of approximately 35 people standing and kneeling in front of colorful indoor water slides in Round Rock Texas at Kalahari Resorts for Nick Gray's birthday party
Group photo for my 40th birthday at Kalahari Waterpark in Round Rock, Texas.

It was great fun. Honestly, it was like a dream. I was so happy.

Here are some of my favorite photos.

Favorite Photos

four adults inside a large yellow rube riding a water slide
This one was NUTS! All photos by my friend Isaac Rodriguez.
tall attractive woman Courtney Confare at a water park
Her first water slide ever! Courtney didn’t make the group photo, but I promised I would include her in this blog recap.
four men racing down an indoor water slide race
This was a crowd favorite. Pretty easy, and lots of fun. L to R is: me, Michael, Mirza, and my father.
four people and a water slide at Kalahari Resorts Indoor Waterpark in Texas for Nick Gray's birthday party
This tube ride was a little scary and a lot of fun! Zach, Clay, Aaron, and Will.
water slide indoor Kalahari with Aaron Bell
Aaron stayed at the park the longest, from 8AM to 5PM. Most of us left around 11AM.
happy man on the Flowrider surf machine knee board boogie board
This Flowrider surf machine was my favorite! I am very happy to be on this ride on my birthday.

Event Information

When: December 8th, 2021

Where: Kalahari Resorts Waterpark in Round Rock, Texas

Who: 30 of my Austin friends. I think there were more staff and lifeguards than attendees 😅

I love doing crazy birthday parties — look what I did for my 36th birthday at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. SUMMER CAMP!

Friend Photos

three men looking at something in the distance
Zach, Clay, and Sam watching a waterpark adventure ride
two women with waterpark mats on a slide
Mallory and Courtney, laughing after a fun race.
very strong, muscular man walking out of a water slide at Kalahari Resorts
David went down the trap-door slide! This one was super scary.
group of people at Kalahari standing inside
My parents even came for my birthday! My mother took a bunch of photos, and my father rode all the rides with us.
Sam Parr riding down a steep water slide, at the end of the slide here
We got so many good photos of Sam. This is one of my favorites.
brown man doing a handstand at an indoor water park
Neville is very good at handstands!
five adults in their 30s (and one in their 40s, me) standing in a group with arms around each other and all in bathing suits
Madi, David, me, Karl, and Nylo. I should have shaved my chest. Is that what people do now?

Flowrider Surfing Photos

woman on the Flowrider boogie board
Sam drops in to surf the wave for her very first time.

Usually there is a 20-minute wait to get time on this surf ride.

Then you can only surf for 30 or 60 seconds. Or less if you fall off.

But there were no lines for my birthday! People got in a LOT of practice time.

Zach Ware on the Flowrider surf machine in Round Rock, Texas
Zach was a natural. Probably from all of his wakeboard experience.
Man sitting on a boogie board, Neville on the Flowrider surf machine in Texas
Neville perfected this trick that he called “The Magic Carpet.”
white man standing on the Flowrider surf machine, Sam Parr in Texas
Sam even managed to stand up and surf for a while! This is much harder than the boogie board.
man on his knees on Flowrider boogie board
This is peak male performance. I could ride this thing all day!

Thai Massage and AcroYoga

There’s a risk of injury with old people (like me) and waterparks.

So I hired my favorite masseuse, Rachel, to give Thai massages on-site.

woman giving Thai massage at a waterpark in Texas
Rachel brought her own Thai floor mat and gave my friends massages for any sore areas during the party.

My friend Jason Nemer is also an expert at Acroyoga. He invented it!

Jason volunteered to fly some people and help release any waterslide tension.

two people doing Acroyoga at a waterpark with Jason Nemer
Courtney getting flown by Jason Nemer at my waterpark birthday party.

More Great Photos

group photo at Kalahari Waterpark for adult birthday party
Setting up the group photo.
three men walking with tube
John, Clay, and Zach carrying tubes to go down a slide.
two adults at an indoor water park, coming out of a tube ride
Me and Courtney after going down our favorite tube ride.

Lessons Learned and Conclusion

This was so much fun!

Some things I learned:

  • It was way less expensive than you’d think (under $10k).
  • I paid $500 extra to have the wave pool opened up. Nobody used it.
  • We could either do the buyout before opening hours (8AM-10AM), or after it was closed (9PM to midnight). I’m glad we did it in the morning. It was a big ask to get people to wake up so early, but everyone was so full of energy and happy.
  • I am glad that Rachel, the masseuse, was there. She was busy the whole time and everyone loved her.
  • I hired a DJ through the venue (around $300) and he played 80s and 90s hip hop. Very good and fun.
  • I moved to Austin less than a year ago from New York City. It is wild to think how many new friends I’ve made. Most all of them have come from me hosting my small cocktail parties.
  • Do you want to make more friends in your town? Or learn how to “network” and boost your career without it feeling gross? I wrote a how-to guide about what has worked for me, check it out here (called “The 2-Hour Cocktail Party”).

In conclusion, I’m happy that I have so many crazy friends who would join me early on a Wednesday morning to ride water slides.

Life is about the memories we make! This will be an excellent memory.

man in a tube and water slide
40 years young! Am I doing it right?

Each year on the exact date of my birthday, I like to do something fun. Previously:

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