There was a time when water parks could only be enjoyed in warm weather. Residents of cold climates had to wait for summer to arrive or spend the money to travel to warmer climates. With indoor water parks, however, you can now enjoy the rides, rivers and waves all year long. Here are some of the best parks you can find, as well as what makes them so tempting to visit.
Anchorage, Alaska is home to a water park that can be enjoyed all year long. Visitors to this water park don’t have to travel far to enjoy 84 degrees and the joy of a water park. H2Oasis offers swim lessons, water exercise courses and water therapy sessions. This water park doesn’t have its own accommodations, but the Millennium Alaskan Hotel and Hilton Garden Inn are nearby for people wishing to spend the night. A miniature golf course next door allows people some variety in entertainment for those days when they are ready to dry out. There are also times set aside for the lazy river to become a river walk. Walking through the water of the slow-moving river is excellent exercise for people of all ages. Many people choose to spend time relaxing in the whirlpool spa after their invigorating walk.
Some water parks have slides, some have wave pools, and some take it to the next level with water coasters. Visitors don’t have to settle for gravity drops at H2Oasis. They can enjoy a thrill riding a water coaster that takes them 43 feet into the air and 505 feet across the park in comfortable, fast inner tubes. Other cool rides include a children’s area, water cannons, and a 575 foot lazy river. An enclosed body slide is 23 foot high and 150 long while an open flume slide takes guests through 368 feet of turns and excitement.
- Avalanche Bay
Boyne Falls, Michigan gets cold, but the summertime entertainment doesn’t have to end. Vacationing families enjoy the largest indoor water park in Michigan year round. Offering convenient overnight accommodations at their resort and spa, it is an all-inclusive resort. Avalanche Bay is more than an indoor pool with slides and rides; it’s a true escape with designing that transports you to a Swiss-Austrian village in the wintertime, even though the temperature is maintained at a comfortable 84 degrees. When you’re ready for entertainment on dry land, this resort also offers an arcade and dining.
While other parks have wave pools, Avalanche Bay has regular avalanches. 800 gallons of water pour down the mountain as people play safely on various levels and bridges with dumping buckets and water sprays. This truly unique water park also offers the Rip Zone, an area for people to practice their surfing skills or enjoy the thrill of going on a water board. The Vertigo Slide sends riders careening into a huge bowl where they are then flushed into the pool. Rock climbers can take their sport to the next level as they climb South Wall, a 25-foot tall rock climbing wall that has water spilling down it as you are climbing. The lazy river, 4-lane racing slide, and rope net above the Haute River add to the interest and fun.
The Sandusky, Ohio water park transports visitors to the heart of Africa at this African themed resort. In addition to a massive, indoor water park they also offer shopping, indoor mini-golf, a spa and salon, the “Big Game” arcade, pottery painting, a fitness room and a range of family activities. Rooms and suites are available so guests can stay for a few days and enjoy all this resort has to offer.
In addition to the fast and exciting Zip Coaster, Kalahari also has a surf-simulator known as the FlowRider. 5-foot waves allow guests to practice their balance even when the weather outside is frightful. Parents love the cabana rentals where they can relax with private attendants, fresh linens, televisions, refrigerators and docking stations. They kids can enjoy vacation in their style while Mom and Dad truly kick back and relax.
- World Waterpark
One of the largest water parks in the world is actually located in a mall in Edmonton, Alberta. This 5-acre water park in Canada has more than 20 activities for people to enjoy. Hot tubs and a Caribbean theme transport visitors out of Canada to the warm tropics in a water park that has activities for adults and children alike. When visitors are ready for a break from the waves the mall has plenty of entertainment including shops, an amusement park, a bumper-boat adventure and an aquarium. Hotels located in the mall turn this shopping trip into a true vacation that the entire family will enjoy.
The Raging Rapids ride is a fully enclosed slide that adds strobe-lights to the darkness as tube riders speed through to the pool below. The Tropical Typhoon sends riders spinning in dizzying circles before they enter the splash pool while bungee jumping from the world’s tallest permanent bungee tower adds a new level of excitement to the world of water parks. Lovers of wave pools will want to visit the world’s largest one, found only at this water park.
- Caribbean Cove
Temperatures in Indianapolis, Indiana fall drastically in the winter, but the temperature at Caribbean Cove is balmy and warm throughout the year. The largest indoor water park in the state of Indiana, it is located inside the city’s Holiday Inn North. Filled with games, rides and entertainment, it’s the ideal vacation spot anytime of the year. Other activities include an arcade, dining and the indoor recreation center located in the Holiday Inn.
The Aqua Whiz tube slides send riders careening down 40 feet and more than 267 across the park, outside the building and then safely back inside. The Super Flume slide is a daring adventure ride that sends riders careening over 388 feet in a spiraling frenzy through the park. Two body slides are available for thrill seekers to race down while youngsters can enjoy activities and a wading pool at Kastaway Kidz Island.
- Key Lime Cove
Gurnee, Illinois also has an indoor water park that will transport visitors to the sunny tropics. Located near Chicago, this water park is inspired by the Florida Keys, home of the famous key lime pie. The atmosphere is relaxed, the rides are plentiful and the fun never ends at this indoor water resort. Lazy floats area available for relaxing and the kiddie pool is perfect for smaller swimmers.
In addition to slides, rafts and a wave pool, Key Lime Cove also features an interactive play structure where games abound and mini waterslides will keep the kids entertained for hours. The kids can climb, run, jump and spray other people in between trips down the slides. People who ride the Hurricane Vortex know how it feels to be whipped through the air as tube riders are whipped through a swirling vortex before being dropped off in the Lazy River.
- Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Indoor Waterpark
The cold and snowy north doesn’t have a monopoly on indoor water parks. This indoor park in Galveston, Texas protects visitors from the dangerous rays of the southern sun. Located only 50 miles from Houston, this park is in a convenient location for visitors to the Lone Star State.
Unlike the lazy river found at most parks, the Schlitterbahn has the Torrent River. Waves are added to a river for an exciting trip around the park. The Guada-Loopy Tube Chutes take riders through a white-water journey filled with unexpected turns and twists as they travel through the dark. The Boogie Bahni allows bodysurfers to enjoy waves that never fade and the Dragon Blaster takes riders uphill as well as downhill. What really makes this park unique, however, is the fact that the roof can be opened for indoor or outdoor fun.
- Silver Rapids Indoor Waterpark
Kellogg, Idaho offers a massive indoor water park. Rent a cabana with all the comforts of home or enjoy the exciting rides that are located throughout the park. Part of the Silver Mountain resort, this water park is the largest in the state. Available only for guests of the Morning Star Lodge, it features a wide range of thrill rides, relaxing rides, and family friendly activities.
The Flow Rider allows guests to body board or surf in water that is moving at 35 miles an hour. The Cub Cove is more than a simple wading pool with slides; it’s an interactive spray deck with water fountains, misters and bubblers that will keep the little ones entertained throughout the day. Take the temperature up another notch by hopping in the Warm Springs. It’s not as steamy as a traditional hot tub, but the water is warm, comfortable and perfect for the whole family. Another unique attraction is the crossing. Located next to the activity pool complete with basketball hoops, the Crossing features floating lily pads that travelers must navigate in order to reach the other side.
- Water Park of America
The Radisson Hotel Bloomington, located near the Mall of America in Minneapolis, MN is one of the largest water parks. Featuring a spa, restaurants, an arcade and wireless internet, this water park provides entertainment for the entire family. Accommodations are available through the Radisson Hotel. Located next to the Mall of America, dry entertainment is never far away.
One of the park’s key features is a massive, 10-story waterslide for rafts that sends whole families careening around curves and down drops for an impressive mile. Water basketball, enclosed tubes, racing slides and floating balancing logs add to the entertainment.
- Massanutten Resort
Warm temperatures and eight impressive attractions are waiting for you in McGaheysville, Virginia. Shaped like a pyramid with a glass ceiling, plenty of natural light flows into the temperature controlled water play land. In addition to the water park, visitors can also enjoy golf, the arcade, shows shopping, fishing, mountain biking and many other local activities at this resort.
The center of the park is dominated by Massanutten Meltdown, a playground featuring water falls, water cannons and a giant tipping bucket. Blue Ridge Rapids is more than a lazy river; it’s an exercise in avoiding waterfalls and other sprays. The water comes from all angles for a ride that’s fun and exciting. The Pipeline allows visitors to surf in the first and largest FlowRider found in the state of Virginia.
Water parks are fun for kids of all ages, and their parents can’t help but relax and have a good time. Body slides, tube slides and speed slides can be found alongside Flow Riders and Lazy Rivers. Indoor water parks can transport you to exotic locations, even when the snow is piling up outside. Enjoy bungee jumping and thrilling rapids before retreating to your cabana while the kids keep playing. Visiting an indoor water park will provide entertainment for the entire family.