Waterparks: Make a Splash This Summer


Even in summer, an indoor waterpark resort vacation makes sense. Indoor waterpark resorts, such as the Great Wolf Lodge franchise, are weatherproof and help you avoid sunburn, scorching heat or unseasonable cold. Here are some good options for you and the family this summer.

It's always a comfortable 84 degrees at any of Great Wolf Lodge's 16 indoor waterpark locations. Image Source: Great Wolf Lodge

Kids love getting doused, sprayed, swirled and splashed at waterparks. At an indoor waterpark, the temperatures hover at a constant 84 degrees, plus rain and sun burn can’t ruin your getaway. The recent expansion at Kalahari Resorts and Conventions Pocono Mountains makes its mega-indoor park the largest in the U.S. Great Wolf Lodge, with a chain of 16 indoor waterparks in the U.S. and Canada, has keeping kids entertained down to a science. Most of these parks also feature outdoor pools that seem to intrigue the kids less than the indoor water jungles.

That doesn’t mean you can’t have fun too. You just need the right attitude, a glass of wine, and another adult to cover watching the kids so you can reclaim some quiet time and take two aspirin for your burgeoning headache. Your kids will be grateful and the Facebook posts and Instagram shots are fun.

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Kalahari Resorts and Conventions Pocono Mountains now claims to be America's largest waterpark. Image Source: Kalahari Resorts and Conventions

Kalahari Resorts and Conventions Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania

A recently completed expansion brings Kalahari Resorts and Conventions Pocono Mountains waterpark to a whopping 220,000 square feet, making it, according to the resort, America’s largest indoor waterpark. The rides are named after African landmarks and creatures.

Tweens and teens like to tackle Rippling Rhino, the park’s longest tube slide at 400 feet, and Screaming Hyena, a slide with a trap door that propels you down the slide at speeds up to 25 mph. Families can swirl down the twisting Smoke That Thunders water slide, jump through waves in the wave pool, and swirl down the Lazy River together. Little kids splash and play at Coral Cove.

For those who want some sunshine, Kalahari Poconos also has an outdoor pool. The soon-to-be opened outdoor area Bugs Burrow will engage young kids with giant-sized bugs and water-splash activities. Out of the water at Gorilla Grove Treetop Adventures Ropes Course, kids can glide along ziplines and challenge themselves on ropes courses that feature tightropes, tunnels and swinging steps.

If you haven’t guessed already, Kalahari Poconos is big, offering 1,000 guest rooms, including suites that have one, two, three and five bedrooms — an easy way to accommodate multiple generations.

Kalahari also has waterpark resorts in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin; Sandusky, Ohio; and Round Rock, Texas.

Great Wolf Lodge

It’s 84 degrees at the 16 indoor waterparks in the Great Wolf Lodge chain. That’s long been a selling point because the chain started in states with cold climates. The parks created summer temperatures and year-round water fun.

At Great Wolf Lodge Pocono Mountains, you and your kids get wet at the 79,000-square-foot indoor waterpark that features 13 waterslides, six splash and play pools, a four-story treehouse with geysers, water guns and sprays, plus a giant bucket dump.

Out-of-the-water kids can get their mani/pedis at the Scoops Kids Spa, roast S’mores at the Racoon Lagoon Play Park, and act like knights with their MagiQuest wands, fighting evil dragons and defeating wicked kings. Although fun for the kids, this can make for a bustling lobby as youngsters run around excitedly pointing wands at everything. Youngsters get to play morning games with character Wiley and friends and settle down in the evening with a PJ party in the lobby.

Along with standard rooms, most Great Wolf Lodges offer KidCabin and Wolf Den themed rooms with separate bunk bed areas for children.

Along with a Pocono Mountain facility, Great Wolf Lodges are in Ontario Canada and in the U.S. in Anaheim, California; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Grand Mound, Washington; Atlanta/LaGrange, Georgia; Charlotte/Concord, North Carolina; Grapevine, Texas; Williamsburg, Virginia; Bloomington, Minnesota; Cincinnati/Mason, Ohio; Kansas City, Kansas; Sandusky, Ohio; Traverse City, Missouri; Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, and Boston/Fitchburg, Massachusetts.

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Follow Candyce H. Stapen on Twitter: @FamilyiTrips

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