Visiting a waterpark was once a summertime affair. Now, indoor parks across the country let visitors hit the slides no matter the season. Many such parks are joined to massive hotels where guests never need to set foot outside. For those who do want to enjoy fresh air, many of these hotels are located nearby major vacation destinations. Be it the big city, ski slopes or an amusement park, kill two birds with one stone by staying at a waterpark resort nearby these vacation staples.Visiting a waterpark was once a summertime affair. Now, indoor parks across the country let visitors hit the slides no matter the season. Many such parks are joined to massive hotels, so guests never even have to venture outside. Some of them are even located in close proximity to other major vacation destinations, be it the big city, ski slopes or an amusement park. Kill two birds with one stone by staying at a waterpark resort nearby.
Indoor Water Parks
Indoor Waterpark Resorts to Amp Up a Vacation
Billed as the “waterpark capital of the world,” Wisconsin Dells is a must visit for any waterpark enthusiast. The south-central Wisconsin city is home to a slew of wet attractions. Guests at the Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort guests have their choice of four outdoor and four indoor waterparks. The largest of the indoor parks, Wild West, covers more than 70,000 square feet and features bumper boats, a five-person raft ride and speed slides to name a few. Dryer attractions include mini golf, laser tag, paint your own pottery and go-karts.
511 E Adams St., Wisconsin Dells, WI; 608-253-9729
It may be warm enough to brave the coasters at Cedar Point amusement park, but stripping down to hit the adjacent Soak City water park isn’t even possible until June. Sandusky, Ohio’s Kalahari Resort fills the void with its large indoor water park. Featuring 17 wet attractions, like the Swahili Swirl bowl slide and Zip Coaster water coaster, Kalahari’s water park still packs an adrenaline rush. For hotel guests, waterpark admission is included with their stay. General admission tickets are available online. The resort also features the Safari Outdoor Adventure Park with rope courses, zip lines, climbing walls and animal encounters.
7000 Kalahari Dr., Sandusky, Ohio; 419-433-7200
Rates: $39/person Monday – Thursday, $42/person Friday and $45/person on weekends, holidays and other peak times.
With sites like Millennium Park, Shedd Aquarium, The Field Museum and the Lincoln Park Zoo, there’s plenty to do in Chicago. But many of these activities don’t do much to alleviate young visitors’ pent up energy. Concerned parents might consider a stay at KeyLime Cove resort in Gurnee, Illinois. Kids can wear themselves out at KeyLime’s 65,000 square foot waterpark, only available to hotel guests. Check out slides like the Hurricane Vortex, Screaming Banshee and Wahoo or relax in a lazy river. Though Gurnee is is a bit removed from Chicago proper, by about 40 miles, KeyLime Cove is also a great place to stay for kids and adults alike as it is just minutes from Six Flags Great America.
1700 Nations Dr., Gurnee, IL; 224-656-8685
There aren’t many places where guests can go from snowboard to surfboard in minutes, but the Massanutten resort in McGaheysville, Virginia offers the best of both worlds for those torn between the mountains and the water. Open year-round and always a balmy 84 degrees, the resort’s waterpark is a respite from winter's chill. For a bit of après-ski fun, hit the Pipeline surf simulator and the six indoor slides. Winter activities at Massanutten include skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing. Warmer months allow for zip line tours, horseback riding, mountain biking and river tubing.
1822 Resort Dr., McGaheysville, VA; 540-289-9441
Adult rates: $38 for one day, $90 for three days, $110 for five days
Child (under 42 inches) rates: $26 for one day, $75 for three days, $110 for five days
Located within the “historic triangle,” Williamsburg is joined by Jamestown and Yorktown as top family- and schoolgroup-friendly historic vacation destinations. A stay at nearby Great Wolf Lodge will up the colonial thrill quotient with its indoor water park. 300,000 gallons of water power eight slides, a water fort, lazy river and more. Tickets are included in guest room fees, and the park is only open to hotel guests (or birthday parties.) Other amenities include a rock climbing wall, MagiQuest interactive adventure game, arcade and teen lounge. Weather permitting, Bush Gardens is just a few minutes down the Colonial Parkway.
549 E Rochambeau Dr., Williamsburg, VA; 757-229-9700
As if the massive Mall of America wasn’t a big enough draw for Bloomington, Minnesota, the town is also home to the also imposing Waterpark of America. Located inside the Radisson Hotel Bloomington, Waterpark of America can accommodate up to 3,000 guests on rides like a surf simulator, body and tube slides, and America’s largest indoor family raft ride — standing ten stories high and extending more than a mile. The park opens an hour early for hotel guests, but tickets are not included in the basic hotel room price. Ticket prices vary.
1700 American Blvd. E, Bloomington, MN; 952-698-8888