Family-friendly water parks
By Jordan Estrada
Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort (Courtesy Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort)
These days you don’t need to wait for sunny weather to go to a waterpark. Many top rated family resorts around the US have indoor waterparks that maintain comfortable temperatures for bathing suit attire and have an array of water rides and attractions that make it feel like summer all year long. These ten indoor water parks cater to people of all age groups, so consider these destinations and prepare to have some wet and wild fun with the family.
Water Park of America, Bloomington, Minnesota
Bring your bathing suits when visiting Minnesota with the kids even when it is snowing outside thanks to Water Park of America. Young and old will have a blast zooming down America’s tallest indoor water slide and then unwinding in the hot tubs or heading to the Northern Lights Arcade to play more than 75 different games. Stay close to all the action as well as the Mall of America and the SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium by staying at the kid-friendly Radisson Bloomington by Mall.
Wilderness Hotel & Resort, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
The Wilderness Resort is America’s biggest waterpark resort, where families can explore a multitude of water rides offered by its four individual indoor waterparks. Klondike Kavern has everything from fast slides to a lazy river, and kids will love catching some waves at the Wild WaterDome (home of the largest indoor wave pool in the country!). Enjoy family-friendly accommodations at one of their three properties: Wilderness Hotel, Glacier Canyon Lodge or Wilderness on the Lake.
KeyLime Cove Indoor Waterpark Resort, Gurnee, Illinois
KeyLime Cove Indoor Waterpark Resort (Courtesy KeyLime Cove Indoor Waterpark Resort)
While families visiting Chicago may not think to bring a swimsuit in the cooler months, the KeyLime Cove Indoor Waterpark Resort gives families a chance to experience a Florida Keys-inspired atmosphere with water slides suitable for all age groups. There are also lots of easy-going rides for the younger kids like the Keylime Creek lazy river, Tsunami Washout Wave Pool and a ‘play pond’, so prepare for hours of fun and relaxation.
Massanutten Resort, McGaheysville, Virginia
Enjoy riding simulated waves or floating lazily in cove-like family pools at the indoor waterpark at Massanutten Resort. Whether you prefer body slides or tube slides, both can be found at this water wonderland located in the Shenandoah Valley. The Frog Pond section has child-size slides and the Shenandoah Cove is the perfect place for families to relax together when they need a break from the rides.
Avalanche Bay, Boyne Falls, MI
Avalanche Bay at the Boyne Mountain Resort (Courtesy Boyne Mountain)
Avalanche Bay is a kid-friendly water park located at the luxurious Boyne Mountain Resort in Michigan. Visitors can experience a 10-degree drop (the steepest in the industry), get splashed by an enormous water avalanche at the Splasherhorn, race against their friends at the Downhill Mat Racer, or test their skills at the Rip Zone Surf Simulator before returning to comfortable lodgings at the resort.
Splash Lagoon, Erie, Pennsylvania
Splash Lagoon is its own world of fun and adventure, featuring a Tiki Tree House, Wild Water Wave Pool, and a 6,000 square foot family arcade and laser tag area all located inside an indoor facility in Erie Pennsylvania. While big kids and teens are getting their kicks on rides like Maui Wowie and the Hurricane Hole, little tots can spend their time at Monkey Shines Island with its many small-scale rides. Residence Inn Erie next door offers spacious suites for families big and small to spread out.
Schlitterbahn Indoor Waterpark, Galveston, Texas
Schlitterbahn Indoor Waterpark (Courtesy Schlitterbahn Galveston)
The Schlitterbahn Indoor Waterpark in Galveston, Texas offers everything families need to enjoy themselves from high-speed slides to a system of rivers that can be used to navigate the entire area. Open during the spring, fall and winter so that visitors can have a ‘Summer Under Cover,’ youngsters can enjoy wet and wild fun at beach-themed playgrounds. Spend your Galveston getaway at the classy Hotel Galvez Galveston, only half a mile away from downtown Galveston.
Silver Rapids Indoor Waterpark, Kellogg, Idaho
A family vacation to Idaho is even more memorable with a trip to Silver Rapids Indoor Waterpark, the largest of its kind in all of the state. From laying back and floating along in the North Fork Lazy River to enjoying a simulated hot springs experience at Warm Springs, parents and kids will share lots of fun and laughs.
Great Wolf Lodge, Grand Mound, Washington
Great Wolf Lodge, Grand Mound (Courtesy Great Wolf)
At Great Wolf Lodge Grand Mound, guests can spend their days in a 56,000 square foot facility packed with everything from child-oriented play areas with fun water features to rides with twists and turns that will satisfy thrill seekers. The private cabanas with flat screen TVs available for daily rentals make it easy to see why this park is so popular among families.
Jordan Estrada contributed this to MiniTime. He is a freelance travel writer from Southern California who spends him time gardening, studying music and performing with his band.