Indoor water parks are perfect for when the weather outside is frightful, giving kids and parents a fun climate-controlled playground
Finding vacation ideas for the whole family can be tricky. Families have to consider school and sports seasons, travel distances and varying interests due to age differences. One solution is a water park resort.
For winter getaways, indoor water park resorts are the answer. Here are 10 great choices for your next family vacation when it’s too cold to be outside:
Kalahari Resort, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
As the name suggests, Kalahari Resort features an African theme. Its 25,000- square-foot indoor water park is regarded as one of the foremost in the United States.
Major features include water coasters, waterslides (including Master Blaster uphill water rollercoaster waterslide), tube rides, surf simulators, a wave pool, lazy river and whirlpools. The cabanas are furnished with chaise lounges.
A spacious guest room awaits you at the end of the day. All 752 rooms have TVs and refrigerators. There are several dining options.
Red Jacket Mountain View Resort, North Conway, New Hampshire
The entire 40,000-square-foot Kahuna Laguna Water Park, the largest indoor water playground in New Hampshire, is tailored for family fun. The 84-degree tropical paradise features torrential downpours that serve as a backdrop to the breathtaking aloha-themed adventure. Be ready to race your kids down the huge three-tier tubes, dodging geysers, riding the waves in the pool and getting soaked by the tipping bucket.
Hope Lake Lodge Indoor Waterpark and Conference Center, Cortland, New York
Hope Lake Lodge houses the 40,000-square-foot Cascades Indoor Waterpark, which features fast water slides, a wave pool and a special pool with basketball. Kids also have access to smaller water slides and Big Bear Falls. Other water play activities include splashing and playing with buckets and water guns. Each guest room has a kitchen, dining area and fireplace.
Great Wolf Lodge Resort, Scotrun, Pennsylvania
This 401-room, four-story resort in the Pocono Mountains recently underwent renovations to update rooms and add new attractions. The resort is all about children, although adults are welcome to its 79,000-square-foot indoor water park, which features 1,000-gallon soaker buckets, wave pools, multi-story forts, lazy rivers, raft rides, whirlpools, kiddie pools and water slides. Great Wolf Lodge is about a two-hour drive from Philadelphia and New York.
Camelback Resort, Tannersville, Pennsylvania
This 453-suite family resort in the Poconos Mountains has activities for all ages. It is home to Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark, which features 13 water slides, seven pools and the longest indoor water coaster in the United States. The Penguin Play Bay is designed just for kids. You can climb rocks, play mini-golf, shoot hoops and surf on a FlowRider gushing with 40,000 gallons of water every minute.
Massanutten Resort, Massanutten, Virginia
Massanutten Resort is set on 6,000 acres of mountain land in the heart of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. Families can choose from a variety of condominium accommodations on the mountain or in the valley.
There are 12 on-site restaurants, multiple escape room concepts, zip-lining, mountain biking, a spa on and two 18-hole courses. Winter sports include skiing and snowboarding, snow tubing and ice skating.
Families with kids of all ages rave about Massanutten’s indoor water park, which is open year-round. It features a lazy river, eight water slides, a water fortress and FlowRider, the first and biggest surf simulator in Virginia. Massanutten is only two or three hours away from major cities including Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Richmond.
Wilderness at the Smokies, Sevierville, Tennessee
This Smoky Mountain retreat is the largest indoor (as well as outdoor) water park resort in the southeastern United States. Besides two outdoor water parks, Wilderness at the Smokies features the five-acre Wild WaterDome indoor park, which has a surf rider, wave pool and two thrill rides.
Two lodges share the water park—Stone Hill Lodge, with hotel rooms, and River Lodge, with condominiums. Access to all the water parks is automatically included in the room rate. Wilderness at the Smokies is 15 miles from Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Timber Ridge Lodge and Waterpark, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
Ordinarily, Lake Geneva is an easy favorite as far as family vacations are concerned. Timber Ridge Lodge and Waterpark is the icing on the cake.
Part of the larger Grand Geneva resort complex, the indoor water park features loads of activities that appeal to families with younger kids. Tiny Timbers is a safe play area for toddlers. The activity pool is a designated spot for children between ages 7 and 10.
Tweens and teens can like Timber Rapids and Avalanche Falls. The whole family can take a dip in the Canyon lazy river and several hot tubs.
The resort also offers an arcade, a spa, mini-golf and horseback riding. The 225-suite Timber Ridge Lodge blends the convenience of home and the comfort of a high-end resort. Spacious floor plans include kitchens with dishwashers, full-length refrigerators, dishwashers and double sinks.
Wilderness Resort, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Sitting pretty across 600 acres, the Wilderness property consists of multiple water parks. It’s arguably the largest water park resort in the world. There are four indoor water parks, with the 70,000-square-foot, clear-roofed Wild Water Dome situated at the resort’s New Frontier Region. Kids love the Wild West Waterpark at the Wild West Region and Klondike Kavern.
Accommodations include 440 hotel rooms, plush condos, villas and cabins. Many rooms overlook Lake Delton. There are at multiple dining options.
Kings Pointe Waterpark Resort, Storm Lake, Iowa
Kings Pointe Waterpark Resort, with its pristine lakefront destination, offers two water parks—one indoor and one outdoor.
The indoor park’s zero-depth entry pool and floating lily pads are suitable for the little ones. Bigger kids can get their virtual thrills in the Electric Eel, where they hear and see storms, bears, sea creatures and sharks virtually created as they descend the 291-foot-long raft ride.
The resort offers mini-golf, on-site dining and a plethora of accommodation options. Kings Pointe is about two-and-a-half hours from Des Moines and Omaha. (as shown in this story: https://destinationreunions.com/10-cool-mountain-resorts-for-summer-family-vacations/)
Header photo courtesy of Massanutten Resort