Cortland, New York
When your family is arguing whether to go to a ski resort or a coastal beach resort, check out our No. 1 pick. Hope Lake Lodge gives you the best of both seasons – ski down the slopes of Greek Peak Mountain, then shed some layers and relax in the 84-degree weather of Cascades Indoor Waterpark.
While offering over 30 trails of downhill skiing, hiking trails and all the activities on adjacent Hope Lake, the spectacular indoor waterpark at Hope Lake Lodge takes the cake. As the first indoor waterpark in the New York Finger Lakes region, Cascade Indoor Waterpark contains 150,000 gallons of water, spread out across 41,000 sq. ft. The smaller kids will love Little Bear Falls, featuring 6-in. to 12-in. water depth, air and water bubbler features, a tiny tot's swing and a kid-sized slide. Older kids will love the rush of two 100-ft. long, two-story high slides. The Whitewater Wave Pool, a year-round outdoor heated pool and an onsite café complete this exhilarating waterpark! Plus, Hope Lake Lodge gives you a variety of other family-friendly features, including their Starlight arcade and family specials at the relaxing Waterfalls Spa!
Make sure to try out the 250-ft. enclosed body slide and the three-story tube slide, rushing at over 1,000 gallons of water per minute in a 52-in. enclosed slide.
From NYC, take I-80E, then turn onto I-81N and drive until Exit 9. Take Route 11 North to NY-392W.
Hope Lake Lodge, 2000 NYS Rt. 392, Cortland, NY 13045
Palm Trees. Straw-roofed huts. Inland lagoons. It’s hard to believe you’re in Sandusky, Ohio. But Castaway Bay Indoor Waterpark is a pot of gold for a child’s imagination, featuring coves with creature floating toys, swaying suspension bridges and loads of interactive activities!
Castaway Bay goes beyond the average waterpark. Instead of construction solely age-appropriate areas, this resort offers a space for whole families: the Lookout Lagoon Family Funhouse, a multi-story interactive play area, complete with four exciting slides and a 1,000-gallon tipping bucket. Don’t miss out on the spectacular Rendezvous Run, a 35-ft.-high and 520-ft.-long water rollercoaster, pushing you up the inclines by water jets! Toddlers will love the Toddler’s Tide Pool, offering a tandem slide, water pipes, spraying gadgets and creature play structures. The Castaway Bay Wave Pool generates 3-ft.-tall waves that guests can body surf. And for adults, the two 50-person whirlpool spas, one indoor and one outdoor, is the perfect place to wind down. Plus, a variety of onsite dining options, including TGI Friday’s, add convenience to your waterpark vacation!
Castaway Bay Indoor Waterpark, 2001 Cleveland Road, Sandusky, OH 44870
Take Ohio Turnpike (I-80) to Exit 118 and follow the signs north on U.S. 250.
Related Onsite Offerings
Someone forget their swimsuit? No problem – Castaway Bay features the onsite Pearl’s Swimwear, carrying brand name swimwear like Roxy and Quicksilver.
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
If you still feel like something’s missing as you float along the water in a climate-controlled indoor waterpark, perhaps our next pick can color in the missing element – the sun! At the Great Wolf Lodge in the Wisconsin Dells, you can choose from indoor and outdoor waterpark fun.
Work on your tan at Thunder Bay, Great Wolf’s outdoor component to their indoor waterpark, including an activity pool with water basketball, children’s play area and sundeck. Then take the excitement indoors for the same pleasant temperature with no UV rays. Indulge in all everything that makes Great Wolf Lodge in the Dells such a standout: MagiQuest, a 4-story live-action adventure game the kids will love; the winding lazy river of Crooked Creek; Mountain Edge Raceway, the nation’s first indoor competitive mat racer waterslides! And make sure to check out the Howlin’ Tornado, a heart-pumping 6-story tube ride that propels you through a giant funnel! To top off your family vacation, stay in the lodge’s themed Wolf Den Suite or KidCabin suite, giving the kids their own little log cabin or caved area. Ask about Great Wolf Lodge’s great summer rates!
Great Wolf Lodge in the WI Dells features the Elements Spa for grown-ups, plus one for the kids: Scoops Kids Spa!
From Chicago – Take I-90 towards Rockford and WI. Continue on I-90/94 W to Exit 92 (Hwy 12) to Gasser Road. Take a left on Great Wolf Drive. Great Wolf is straight ahead.
Great Wolf Lodge, 1400 Great Wolf Drive, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Though being along the beautiful Myrtle Beach and Atlantic coastline, our No. 4 pick gives you plenty of reasons to stay off the sand. Kingston Plantation Resort gives you 50,000 sq. ft. of outdoor oceanfront waterpark.
When you’re competing with one of the most popular beaches in the U.S., you better have something under your sleeve. And Kingston Plantation Resort does – Splash! Waterpark. The kids will love this Caribbean-style water playground, featuring waterslides, water spouts, arch jet sprays and a giant bucket of water that dumps 500 gallons of water! While the kids are playing, relax near one of the two pools, partaking in a delectable poolside menu with tropical drinks. Relax in one of the three Jacuzzis, while indulging in the spectacular ocean views. A lazy river and poolside kids activities complete this exciting outdoor waterpark. Kingston Plantation Resort adds Hilton-style luxury to this kid-friendly charm through oceanview suites with private balconies, luxurious bedding and more. Plus, this location is unbeatable – Myrtle Beach offers spectacular golf, tennis, shopping, dining and more. To make your getaway more affordable and convenient, ask about their packages!
Related Onsite Offerings
Kingston Plantation offers complimentary shuttle service to some of the Myrtle Beach attractions, including Tanger Outlet Mall, Arcadian Shores Golf Course and more!
From Atlanta, follow I-20E to Florence, SC. Take I-95N to Exit 170. Follow Hwy 327 to its end and turn left onto Hwy 76/301. Take Hwy 501S to the exit for Hwy 22E. Take the Kings Road exit, turn right at the bottom of the exit ramp. Kingston Plantation will be on the left.
Kingston Plantation, 9800 Queensway Blvd, Myrtle Beach, SC 29572
Whether it’s the bold animal prints or the waterslides that reach speeds nearing 40 mph, you’ll feel your adrenaline pick up speed as soon as you arrive at our No. 5 pick. The African-themed Kalahari Waterpark Resort in Sandusky, Ohio, is the largest indoor waterpark in the U.S.
For the thrill seekers – experience what a 40-mph waterslide feels like on the Zimbabwe Zipper, the fastest in the waterpark. Or work your way up to it by starting on the 20-mph Zip Coaster, a tube ride that features 500 ft. of gut-wrenching free falls, dips and high-banking turns. Learn to surf on the FlowRider, which simulates a 5-ft. ocean wave. And don’t worry if you’re not an adrenaline junkie – there’s plenty for you to do. Relax on a tube along the 920-ft. lazy river, complete with geysers, waterfalls and other fun surprises. And the 12,000-sq.-ft. wave pool is perfect for more subtle excitement. The kids will love the outdoor waterpark, featuring an interactive kids’ activity pool, spacious dry play area, sand volleyball, shuffle board and more!
Kalahari Resort, 7000 Kalahari Drive, Sandusky, Ohio 44870
The resort also offers their spectacular Safari Outdoor Adventure Park, featuring a ropes course, sky trail explorer, zip line, adventure climbing walls and the Zanzibar Grille!
From Cleveland, take I-90W to Exit 170B. Continue to follow I-90W, which will turn into Rt. 2. Follow Rt. 2 to the exit for Sandusky/Norwalk Rt. 250. Turn left onto Rt. 250. Kalahari will be on the left.
Experience central Ohio’s largest indoor waterpark – a mix of Old Western style and thrilling water adventure! Fort Rapids Indoor Waterpark Resort presents you with 60,000 square feet, filled with exhilarating rides, kids activities and more!
Let the kids loose at the Kiddie Korral, featuring 2 small slides, an interactive play structure and a zero-depth entry pool. They’ll love the 1,000-gallon tipping bucket at the Rascal Round Up! Fort Rapids offers 12 unique waterslides, some of which extend outside the building, then wind back in! For an adrenaline rush, check out the Black Out Pass, a tube ride with lightning turns that shoots you into a giant funnel then empties out onto the lazy river. Have a friendly family mat race down the Shoot Out Racer. The 30-person hot tub is only for guests 18 years and older – a great place for quiet relaxation. After you’ve had your fill of waterpark adventure, visit the 5,000-sq.-ft. Gold Rush Arcade or the Cold River Mining area to find gemstones and fossils. Ask about Fort Rapids’ birthday party package!
At the onsite Old Tyme Photography, you can dress up as Civil War soldiers or Southern Belles and take a family portrait!
From the West – Take I-70 to Hamilton Road South. Cross over Hamilton Road at end of exit ramp (appearing to merge onto I-70E). Turn right on Truro Station Drive. Turn left on Hilton Corporate Drive. Fort Rapids will be on left.
Fort Rapids Indoor Waterpark Resort, 4560 Hilton Corporate Drive, Columbus, OH 43232
This next resort goes beyond making a “big splash.” Stories beyond it. Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos has unleashed their all-new, one-of-a-kind Double Barrel Drop – a six-story drop into a vortex of rushing water.
Expect to spend hours at this exciting 7,800-sq.-ft. waterpark between the 12 waterslides, the Crooked Creek lazy river and Slap Tail Wave Pool. For the younger kids, Great Wolf Lodge offers Fort Mackenzie, a 4-story interactive treehouse, complete with suspension bridges, thrilling slides, and soaker buckets – the largest of which holds 1,000 gallons! Take a ride down the signature twists and turns of River Canyon Run. Play a game of water basketball in the Chinook Cove Activity Pool. This waterpark resort is perfect for all ages – toddlers can enjoy the zero-depth entry wading pool and kiddie slides and adults can enjoy the North and South Hot Springs and cocktails from the Spirit Island Snack Shop! Take advantage of the fun games at the Northern Lights Arcade and Race Zone, convenient onsite dining and much more when you stay at Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos!
Great Wolf Lodge, 1 Great Wolf Drive, Scotrun, PA 18355
The live-action adventure game, MagiQuest, is a children’s favorite, composed of a series magical challenges throughout the resort.
From NYC, take I-80W (through New Jersey) across the Delaware Water Gap Bridge into Pennsylvania. Continue on I-80W to Exit 298 (Scotrun). Turn left onto Route 611. Great Wolf is on the immediate left.
Queensbury, New York
Located in upstate New York, our No. 8 pick offers 38,000 sq. ft. of indoor waterpark excitement, perfect for all ages. Holding a steady 82 degrees year-round, Six Flags Great Escape Lodge and Indoor Waterpark is aptly named – it’s a great escape to the north for a vacation that feels far south!
Right as you enter the waterpark, the kids will want to explore the Tall Timbers Treehouse, a multi-level play structure with waterslides and 160 interactive water activities! The Boogie Bear Surf replicates an ocean wave, giving guests the opportunity for body boarding and surfing – you can even take group surf lessons with an experienced instructor! Take a leisurely spin around the Tak-it-eesi-Creek, an adventure river that has sporadic water sprays. And make sure to try out the Avalanche family raft ride, a four-person tube ride that takes you through a 41-ft. drop to simulate a white water rafting adventure. The adults-only Soakum Springs, several tube-shaped waterslides and a shallow activity pool specifically for tots and young children round out your Six Flags Great Escape experience. Ask about the lodge’s waterpark packages!
Make sure to stop by the onsite Johnny Rockets restaurant, featuring juicy hamburgers, tabletop jukeboxes and a dancing wait staff!
From NYC, take I-87N (NYS Thruway) to Exit 24 (to Albany). Continue north on I-87 to Exit 20. Go south on Route 9 for approximately ¼ mile and turn right onto Six Flags Drive.
Six Flags Great Escape, 89 Six Flags Drive, Queensbury, New York
Capping off our Top 10 list is the impressive Water Park of America, combining with the Radisson Hotel in Bloomington, MN, to create the largest waterpark hotel in the U.S. This waterpark is designed to highlight Minnesota’s unique attractions.
Surfing in Minnesota? That’s right – this waterpark features Minnesota’s only FlowRider Surf Simulator. Take a swim in the Lake Superior wave pool, or sit back on a tube as the lazy river takes you underneath bears and along cliffs. But the biggest gem of the waterpark – literally – is the indoor family raft ride, the longest one in America! This ride is ten-stories-tall and over a mile long. The activity pools are great for a friendly game of water basketball. And for the smaller children, Fort Snelling play area gives them all the interactive water activities they could want. Plus, they’ll love the tipping bucket with 500 gallons of water that empties every two and a half minutes. Make sure to stop by the Northern Lights Arcade, featuring 5,800 sq. ft. and more than 100 games. Ask about the birthday party packages!
Water Park of America, 1700 American Blvd E, Bloomington, MN 55425
The Mall of America is just minutes away from The Water Park of America!
The FlowRider cycles through 24,000 gallons of water per minute; its sheet of water moves between 25 to 30 miles per hour!