You may need to bundle the kids up to send them off to school, but when the weekend comes, get ready to grab the swimsuits, goggles and beach towels. It’s time to splash, slide and get wet at an indoor waterpark hotel, like Caribbean Cove Hotel & Waterpark in Indianapolis or Falls Avenue Resort in Niagara Falls, Ontario.
Whether you prefer to float along a lazy river, stand under a dumping water bucket or get sprayed by a pirate ship, there’s something for everyone at an indoor waterpark. Take a look at 10 of the best waterpark hotels for indoor fun this winter:
1. Caribbean Cove Hotel & Waterpark (Indianapolis, IN)
At Caribbean Cove Hotel & Waterpark, get in a game of basketball in the Boom Bay sports activity pool before splashing down one of three giant water slides. My kids and I spent the night at Caribbean Cove over the summer and easily zipped down the water slides at least three dozen times. My favorite was the Raging Rapids super flume tube slide (the other two slides are body slides that don’t require tubes).
My kids loved the Kataway Bay playscape too, and especially the 700-gallon tipping water bucket. It’s such a rush to hear the bell start to ring and you know the full water bucket is going to tip over with a major splash within seconds. The lazy river was great too, and oh so relaxing, especially after climbing the stairs to the water slides with a huge inner tube a few dozen times. 🙂
Once we finished splashing and playing it was nice to be able to make the short walk back to our hotel room, which was a perfect size for the five of us (two queen beds plus a pull-out couch). As a bonus, there’s an arcade inside the hotel and Caribbean Cove Hotel & Waterpark is super convenient to popular local attractions, like the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and the Indianapolis Zoo.
2. Camelback Resort (Tannersville, PA)
Go skiing and snow tubing all day, then head indoors to splash and slide at Camelback Resort in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. Home of the largest indoor waterpark in the northeast, Aquatopia, the new indoor waterpark has seven pools, 13 waterslides, a wave pool and more across 125,000 square feet.
For the adventurous, try the Storm Chaser, the longest indoor watercoaster in the U.S. Or, ride the waves on the Bombora FlowRider, which offers simulated surfing and boogie boarding. For little ones, there’s Penguin Play Bay, a zero-depth entry pool with geysers and sprinklers.
3. Crown Reef Resort & Waterpark (Myrtle Beach, SC)
Splash, twist and slide at the Crown Reef Resort & Waterpark in Myrtle Beach. Look for two giant waterslides, as well as an eight-foot kiddie slide that’s just right for the smallest ones in your family. Little ones will also love Salty’s Splash House and the Silly Sub.
Crown Reef Resort offers suites and efficiencies that are perfect for families. As a bonus, many offer ocean views, as well as kitchenettes and oversized tubs. Since the resort sits right on the beach, take time out to walk along the sand, even in the winter.
4. Massanutten (McGaheysville, VA)
Less than three hours from Washington, DC, Massanutten is a four seasons resort that offers skiing, snow tubing, golf, pony rides, and yes, an indoor waterpark. After a morning of snow sports, nothing beats heading indoors for water slides and a float along the lazy river.
We went a couple of years ago and my daughter even tried her skills body boarding on The Pipeline, which looks both fun and scary. Little ones will love the Frog Pond, which has a kiddie waterslide, swings and water-spraying noodles. Try a Stay & Play package for a two night stay and four all-day waterpark passes.
5. Boyne Mountain Resort (Boyne Falls, MI)
You’ll find Michigan’s largest indoor waterpark, Avalanche Bay, at Boyne Mountain Resort. Get outside for snow sports, like fat tire snow biking, skiing, snowshoeing and snow tubing before heading inside to take on The Big Couloir, which has one of the steepest drops of any waterslide. WOW.
At Avalanche Bay, you’ll also find five other waterslides, a children’s pool, a lazy river and multiple hot tubs. Kids will also love the Splasherhorn, which dumps 800 gallons of water when the horn blows. Boyne Mountain Resorts offer several Splash & Play lodging packages, so get ready to get wet.
6. KeyLime Cove Indoor Waterpark Resort (Gurnee, IL)
Your kids will flip for all the tube slides, waterfalls and water play structures they’ll find at this 65,000 square foot indoor waterpark. Inspired by the Florida Keys, spend time splashing in the Tsunami Washout Wave Pool or floating in a tube along KeyLime Creek at KeyLime Cove Indoor Waterpark Resort.
Toddlers and preschoolers will love the Play Pond, which has a kiddie pool as well as several mini slides just for them. Book an overnight stay or a weekend at the hotel in a guest suite or stateroom at this Chicagoland resort, then play at the waterpark, in the arcade or at the Enchanted Lagoon Kids Spa.
7. Kalahari Resort (Wisconsin Dells, WI)
There’s almost too much to do at Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells, the waterpark capital of the world. Aside from a fantastic 125,000 square foot indoor waterpark, there’s also an indoor theme park complete with go-carts, mini golf and a carousel, as well as laser tag, a massive arcade, bowling and a spa.
At the indoor water park, look for a 920-foot lazy river, a wave pool and multiple water slides including Victoria Falls, a family raft ride. School-age kids will love Leopard’s Lair, a water play structure with water guns, slides and net crawls. Family Getaway packages include a two night stay, waterpark admission, breakfast and more.
8. Falls Avenue Resort (Niagara Falls, ON)
Splish, splash and slide while taking in the views of Niagara Falls at the Fallsview Indoor Waterpark, which is located inside the Falls Avenue Resort in Canada. The waterpark has 16 waterslides, a huge wave pool and a water play structure with a 1,000-gallon dumping water bucket.
Book a Waterpark Getaway package and stay at one of several connecting hotels, including Sheraton on the Falls and Crowne Plaza Falls View. You’ll also have access to other activities at Falls Avenue Resort, such as Adventure City, an arcade with 125 games, and Hershey’s Chocolate World.
9. Silver Mountain Resort (Kellogg, ID)
At Silver Mountain Resort in Idaho, you can ski, snow board and snow tube all morning, then splash, slide and body board all afternoon at Silver Rapids Indoor Waterpark. Hop on a single or double tube for a float along the North Fork Lazy River, then shoot some baskets at the Hoop Lagoon.
Little ones will love crossing bridges and spraying water at Minors Island, a water play structure, then relaxing with mom or dad in the Warm Springs. For toddlers, head to Pollywog Pond, a shallow pool with kiddie slides and a swing. Splash & Stay packages are available for those who want to stay at the resort.
10. Great Wolf Lodge (14 locations)
No list of the best indoor waterpark hotels would be complete without Great Wolf Lodge. With 14 locations across the country, including the newest in Garden Grove, CA, which is set to open Feb. 19, Great Wolf Lodge is a must-visit with kids for slides, water play structures, a lazy river and body boarding.
Beyond the indoor waterpark, make sure to take a morning Wolf Walk, go mini-bowling in the Ten Paw Alley and enjoy nightly storytimes. Book a stay in one of Great Wolf Lodge’s themed suites that are built out to include a playful forest-themed wolf den. It’s the perfect space for little ones to hibernate.