Indoor water park resorts are the ultimate family getaway. You can plan your vacation no matter the weather outside, and with the water park and hotel all in the same building, you don’t have to go far for unforgettable family fun and memories.
Which indoor water parks across the country have the best collection of breathtaking plummeting slides, miles of lazy rivers, and rooms and suites for families big and small? I’ve put together this list just for you and your loved ones.
With resorts in Sandusky, Ohio; Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin; Round Rock, Texas; and Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania, there’s a Kalahari Resorts closer than you think!
USA Today’s Best Readers’ Choice Awards declared Kalahari the best indoor water park. The park is open daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The rides vary across locations, but a few standards reoccur across parks.
For instance, the Elephant Trunk is a 270-foot tube slide for two. The kids can also hang ten on the SurfRider, which simulates the experience of surfing but without all the saltwater.
You can even plan a day with double the fun if you visit during seasonal operations, as Kalahari offers an outdoor water park!
When you’re done splashing and playing the day away, retire to a restaurant and sink your teeth into what’s cooking. You might expect the usual kids’ fare at Kalahari, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn the resort is full of upscale dining options.
You have your pick whether you’re craving seafood, Italian, Mexican, sushi, breakfast food, or pub offerings. Quick snacks, ice creameries, and family-friendly establishments round out your dining options.
The suites and villas can accommodate large groups of more than 20, with five-bedroom suites available at some locations. You and the kids will have more than enough space and privacy.
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Wisconsin Dells has some of the best water parks in the country, as evidenced by Kalahari and the Wilderness Resort.
Eight water parks are spread across the sprawling grounds, with four outdoors and four indoors. It’s no wonder Wilderness Resort calls itself the biggest water park resort in the country.
The indoor water parks include Klondike Kavern, which is more than 65,000 square feet. It offers a lazy river, body slides, and twisting tube rides.
The Wild Waterdome Waterpark features a giant roof overlooking the park that lets the sunlight in without any outdoor temperatures. It’s 70,000 square feet.
The Wild West Waterpark recently underwent renovations, so it’s 70,000 square feet of new and improved fun! You can expect entertainment and attractions like a swim-up bar, mat racers, and translucent tube slides.
Cubby’s Cove Indoor Waterpark is perfect for the kids, including the little ones. The spray and play is zero-depth for new swimmers, while a lily-pad rope challenge and basketball hoops in a sports pool will entertain older kids. There’s even an outdoor/indoor hot spa for parents.
Feeling hungry? Wilderness Resort offers casual, family-centric dining, including dine-in and grab-and-go options. You can take your kids to the Swimm’n Chick’n sports bar, The Burger Bar, or Sarento’s, an Italian restaurant and pizzeria.
Wilderness Resort will satiate the kids’ sweet tooth with ice cream, froyo, milkshakes, funnel cakes, donuts, and candy galore.
The range of rooms can accommodate traditional families of four or larger groups of seven. The double suites for bigger families include a sleeper sofa and dual queen-sized beds. The rooms also have a semi-privacy wall.
Visit the Pocono Mountains in the dead of winter and ride water slides at Camelback Resort. Its indoor water park, Aquatopia, was voted one of the country’s best.
Aquatopia is open daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The park is more than 170,000 square feet, including 13 water slides, from bowl to mat and tube slides.
There’s more to this park than merely slides, though! Ride the big kahuna on the SurfRider, complete the rope bridge at the Croc-o-Nile Crossing, splash in the waves at The Great Ka-Na-Gawa Wavepool, or chill out in The Lost River, a lazy river.
Toddlers won’t be left out, as Aquatopia includes an interactive play area for young ones.
You and the kids will certainly have worked up an appetite, which is fine considering all the dining options at Camelback. Eat a buffet-style meal, sit down to burgers or pizza, chill at a café or sports bar, or enjoy fine dining at Berrelli’s Italian Chophouse.
Lodge at a deluxe suite or request a one or two-bedroom room. Do you and the family require even more space? Camelback offers condos with two to four bedrooms.
By the way, Camelback offers immense entertainment beyond indoor water parks. The resort has an outdoor water park, tubing, a mountain coaster, UTV tours, ziplining, snow tubing, and skiing, so you can plan a full family getaway here!
The 520-acre OWA Parks & Resort is best known for Tropic Falls, an indoor water park (and the largest in the region) with 23 rides, a surf simulator called Coastal Curl, and an outdoor wave pool known as Big Water Bay.
The entire park is situated under a glass roof. Some of the slides are an immense 75 feet tall! If that sounds too intimidating, Castaway Creek is a lazy river for relaxing, while Tuki’s Tower is a kid-friendly play zone.
That’s merely scratching the surface of what you can do at OWA! The resort has an outdoor water park and a theme park.
The range of dining options includes all your kids’ favorites, from soft pretzels at Auntie Anne’s to Cinnabon, Hershey’s Ice Cream Parlor, and Starbucks. You can also sink your teeth into sushi, pizza and Italian, and tacos at a taqueria.
OWA’s Marriot TownPlace Suites offer more than a place to sleep. You can enjoy live entertainment or partake in a paint party at a studio to create something unique.
Monticello, New York
Winter doldrums? Not here! As resident New Yorkers, we’re practically neighbors to The Kartrite Resort & Indoor Water Park in Monticello.
The indoor water park opens from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. and is the biggest of its kind in New York State. The transparent texlon roof keeps the water park bright, yet the temperature is always a perfect 84 degrees.
The Kartite water park features thrills, spills, and chills. Race your way down a tandem water slide, spin around on the three-person Nor’easter, laze in Empire Bay, or play some B-ball at Cannon-Ballers.
Kartrite Island features a huge dump bucket the kids will wait eagerly to spill, and when it does, they’ll get soaked to the skin. It’s all worth it, though!
Puddle Ducks is a water exploration area for small children with a shallow lagoon, water features, and slides.
You have more than enough options to fill you up when your tummy begins rumbling. Bars and restaurants across the resort provide buffet dining, steaming hot pizza, and of course, plenty of sweets.
Speaking of suites, your family can book a junior or two-to-three-bedroom suite at The Kartrite. The two-bedroom suites are recommended for groups of up to eight.
Your stay includes four discounted water park passes so you can enjoy the fun right away.
Have you always wanted to take the kids to Vermont but couldn’t find the right place? You haven’t been to Jay Peak Resort yet.
It’s the home of the Pump House, the only indoor water park you’ll find in the area. The roof stays closed most months, but it retracts in the summer to let in the temperate air and sunlight.
Test your skills on the Double Barrel FlowRider, ride across the Big River (a lazy river), or explore the multitude of slides this park has to offer.
The Pump House features the Mill Pond Kids’ Play Area for little ones who aren’t yet ready for big slides.
When the kids begin asking what’s to eat, you can take them to Mountain Dick’s Pizza or perhaps the Sky Haus Deli. The restaurant selection includes bars and sports pubs, a ramen noodle stop, a coffee shop, and a stationary food truck.
The lodging options here are utterly gorgeous! Beauteous cottages overlook mountainous peaks, and townhomes and condominiums invite large groups to lodge.
The resort is an ideal winter visit, with great skiing accommodations.
Childcare is available if you and your partner are interested in exploring spa treatments, hiking trails, and mountain biking for just the two of you.
Great Wolf Lodge has locations across North America, including Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut, Ohio, Kansas, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, Virginia, Florida, Colorado, California, Arizona, and even one in Niagara Falls on the Canadian side.
The indoor water park attractions vary by location but reliably include an interactive water display with a large dumping bucket, a lazy river, tube slides and water slides aplenty, and wading pools for relaxation.
The thrill levels vary across the park so you can entertain the whole family.
What are you craving? The restaurant selection differs for every Great Wolf Lodge but runs the gamut from ice cream joints to pizza parlors, sandwich shops, grilled offerings, stationary food trucks, and drink stops.
Choose from standard, themed, or premium lodges no matter which Great Wolf Lodge Water Park you select for your next family vacation. The themed suites have a rustic cabin influence.
Upgrade to a premium suite if you have a larger group of six to eight.
The Gaylord Opryland & Convention Center is a premium Nashville hotel home to SoundWaves, Music City’s indoor water park and resort.
The water park spans over 111,000 square feet and is open all year. The family can ride a thrilling raft on Rapid Remix, go body sliding on Stage Dive, practice on the FlowRider known as the Crowd Surfer, or hang out on the Down Tempo Lazy River.
The Groovin’ Lagoon Activity Pool is recommended for kids of all ages, as it boasts a 30-foot water curtain, basketball hoops for fun family sports, a challenging lily pad walk, and a rock wall for climbing.
There’s something for the whole family to eat at SoundWaves. Decibels has appetizers, entrees, desserts, and cocktails (or mocktails!) for parents. Food trucks pop up seasonally and offer mouthwatering fare.
SoundWaves includes a seasonal experience where kids can swim with a mermaid. That’s sure to make any kids’ vacation extra special.
The whole family can dry off and play in The Bass-ment, an arcade with an indoor climbing wall and countless games.
Stay at the Gaylord Opryland in spacious guest rooms or deluxe suites. Packages are available for planning your getaway.
You’ll look for every excuse in the book to plan a vacation to Virginia when you can take the kids to the Massanutten Resort.
USA Today declared it the best indoor water park in America in 2017 and 2018, and the resort has also received nods from Budget Travel Magazine and Parents Magazine.
The indoor water park invites the kids to explore the FlowRider, tube slides, body slides, or hot springs. The Massnutten Meltdown is an interactive display that will soak the kids when the bucket drops.
Frog Pond is the dedicated play area for babies and toddlers, as the pool is no more than 12 inches deep. Kids will delight in sliding down the large frog’s tongue.
Massanutten Resort also has an outdoor water park that’s open seasonally, so you and the family can enjoy double the wet, wild fun if you visit in the summer!
The indoor water park has its own dining menu, including The Snack Shack, Sweetz, The Chill Grill, and Chill Grill Slideside.
When you’re elsewhere on the resort grounds, treat yourself and the family to a meal at Virginia BBQ & Pizza Co. or something light and casual at Splash’s Bar & Grill. Base Camp is a polished, sit-down dining experience.
A Valley room puts you close to all the action at the water park. You’ll stay in an upscale casa that looks and feels like home.
The Mountain villas are nearer the park’s pool and the golf course and offer an equally luxurious alternative lodging option.
Arnolds Park, Iowa
Iowa’s only indoor water park is at Bridges Bay Resort. The Boji Splash Indoor Waterpark is open all year long from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and weekends.
I love this park due to its all-ages entertainment. The Lil’ Squirt play features allow toddlers to get in on the fun, and the water slides are for younger and older kids alike. The 500-gallon dump bucket will make any kid smile.
You won’t suffer from too many options at Bridges Bay Resort, as three top-notch restaurants serve up everything you’re craving.
Visit The Pickled Parrot Cantina when you’re in the mood for burgers, pizza, and slushies.
Bracco World Café & Beach Bar opens seasonally. It gets quite busy due to its gorgeous oceanic views.
The Waterfront American Grille serves gourmet crepes, salads, seafood, and steaks.
Make a whole trip out of your time at Bridges Bay Resort with a seasonal outdoor water park and ziplining. The kids will talk about it all summer long!
Select from lodging options for all budgets and group sizes, from hotel rooms for smaller broods to condo suites and cabins for bigger families.
The condo suites can accommodate up to 12 people if you rent adjoining rooms. Your stay will include a private patio or deck, a sofa sleeper, a king-sized bedroom, spacious living and dining rooms, a kitchen, and a bathroom.
Cortland, New York
Only about two and a half hours from Letchworth State Park by car is Greek Peak Mountain Resort, the only place to find the Cascades Indoor Waterpark.
The temperature is always 84 degrees here, and the range of rides and attractions make this a top-class water park. The Whitewater Wave Pool features a 13-foot waterfall that’s 30 feet wide. It’s filled with more than 67,000 gallons of water.
The four wider slides offer something different for each, and two are more than two stories high and 100 feet long. Big Bear Falls has a 360-degree dumping bucket, two slides, and water blasters.
Don’t worry; there’s a tamer, miniaturized version for the young ones called Little Bear Falls.
You won’t have a hard time finding something to eat at Greek Peak, whether you’re seeking breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Sit down with the family at a lounge, taverna, café, pub, or steakhouse.
A stay at Greek Peak Mountain Resort means rooming in a stunning cabin. Don’t worry that the kids might be bored, as the Barefoot Den includes plenty of toys, games, crafts, and activities every weekend.
Box Elder, South Dakota
Adventure calls at WaTiki Indoor Waterpark, a resort with more than 30,000 square feet of fun. The Dakotas don’t have a bigger indoor water park than this.
Open throughout the year, WaTiki’s water park boasts tube and body slides, an activity pool with lily pads, an oversized hot tub for soaking, a lazy river, and Koko’s Kingdom for the little ones.
Towel off and let the kids have a ball at the arcade, which has more than 50 games.
They’ll surely want to eat after exploring the arcade, so chow down. The Bistro Bar is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Sliders Bar & Grill is as beloved for its food as for the water slide coursing right through it.
Stay in a hotel room by major names in hospitality such as Marriott, La Quinta, and Hilton. The Courtyard by Marriott is the closest to the water park.
Your stay at any hotel under the WaTiki umbrella earns you two free spectator passes and 20 percent off water park admission.
Across more than 50,000 square feet, Zehnder’s water park is so big you might need several days to explore it.
You can start your day off easy at the Crooked Brook Creek Lazy River or the Whimsical Whirl Hot Tub, then crank things up a notch with four-story tube slides, a dumping bucket, water volleyball and basketball, or looping body slides.
Families who are feeling extra daring can ride a six-story raft ride. There’s room for adults and kiddos!
The place to eat when you’re done getting drenched is Zehnder’s Restaurant. Dine in for lunch or dinner, with kids’ menus available.
On Sunday evenings, you and the family can indulge in a lavish dinner buffet with menu offerings such as salads, prime rib, fried chicken, fried shrimp, and the entrée of the day.
You know the kids will ask, “what’s for dessert?” The buffet doesn’t disappoint, offering soft-serve ice cream and a seasonal bakery dessert.
The Splash Village deluxe hotels load you up with everything you need to make this family vacay the best one ever. You can enjoy free Wi-Fi and access to the resort’s 2,500-square-foot arcade with more than 40 games.
Ride a complimentary shuttle to the nearby restaurant or the golf course without paying a resort fee.
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
Wisconsin has more than its fair share of indoor water park resorts, but Timber Ridge Lodge is among the best.
Moose Mountain Falls is its onsite water park that’s part of the 50,000-square-foot resort (along with the hotel and outdoor water park).
That’s right, there is an outdoor water park if you visit seasonally, but Moose Mountain Falls is open no matter the month.
While romping and playing the day away, the kids might spot any of the resort’s mascots walking around the grounds.
There’s Bruce the Moose (the official water park mascot), Crazy Coyote at the arcade, Smokey the cook, Trader Jack, and Chelsea Chipmunk.
The Hungry Moose is the resort’s food court that’s available for eats for all three meals. Smokey’s Bar-B-Que offers a casual family dining experience. Resort restaurants are also available just outside the hotel, with views of Lake Geneva.
Choose from single-bedroom or two-bedroom suites with a dishwasher, stovetop burners, microwave, and full-sized fridge in the kitchen.
You can also take advantage of amenities like flat-screen TVs, a covered patio or balcony, a fireplace, and private bedrooms for getting some good shut-eye so you’re ready for a day of fun tomorrow.
15. Splash Lagoon
Explore to your heart’s content at Splash Lagoon, an Erie indoor water park resort.
Now is a great time to visit, as the park has expanded to add slides like Riptide Racers and Typhoon Twister and a water feature called the Tree House. It has a Giant Tipping Coconut perfect for soaking guests.
The Family Splash Pad is child-friendly with a zero-depth pool and plenty of vibrant, exciting imagery.
Once the kids have had their fill of the water park, they can play at the arcade or experience thrills on a dark ride.
By then, everyone will surely be starving, so it’s a good thing you can plan a meal at Quaker Steak & Lube. The restaurant is attached to the resort and includes bowling lanes.
The nearby Comfort Inn, Hawthorn Inn & Suites, and Holiday Inn Express & Suites are connected to the resort for easy, efficient booking.