Outdoor adventures in the winter are great options for a thrilling vacation but no one can deny that hiding away from the cold is also a fun way to spend your free time. When you’re done exploring beautiful national parks covered in snow, relax in a whirlpool while watching your kids race down giant waterslides and having a lot of fun. Take your family and go on a summer-like, splashtastic holiday in the dead of winter without spending a fortune.
It may be named after a desert and be located in the middle of Ohio with a population of just 78,000 people, but this city has the country’s largest waterpark – 173,000 square feet. You may think you’re in Africa when you’re inside because you’ll be surrounded by masks, tribal artifacts, and wild animals’ sculptures. You’ll be riding 5-foot waves, and sliding on a zip coaster, which offers speedy hikes and scary drops. Little kids prefer the Wild Kingdom because it has net crawls, plenty of water guns and a lot of small slides.
This is a Bavarian-themed indoor waterpark, the biggest in the state. The roof is Fiberglass. People go there for the water roller coaster, surfing simulator – the only one in the state – and the Vertigo Cannonball tube slide. Other favorites are the climbing wall pouring water on those trying to reach the top, 900-foot lazy river, and the hot tubs. The waterpark is very close to the Boyne Mountain Ski Resort so many people try the best of both worlds – skiing and swimming in warm waters.
This is the tallest indoor waterpark in the country, which makes sense since it’s in the biggest mall in the nation. Its main attraction is the Eagles Nest 10th Floor Body Slide, also the tallest indoor waterslide in the U.S. So what can fit in this enormous space? Kids pay areas, many other activity pools, body and tube waterslides, many surfing simulators, hot tubs, an arcade, lazy rover, climbing attractions, rafting rides…You can even build snowmen.
The largest indoor waterpark in Idaho is perfect for teenagers. The pride feature of the park is the Hoop Lagoon, a warm-water pool in which you can play basketball like a pro. It is 3 feet deep and is shaped like an actual court. Teens will love the Flow Rider surf waves. They move at 35 mile per hour. If you like rafting, you’ll like the Moose Sluice. You’ll be speeding through a dark tunnel. Parents will probably enjoy the Warm Springs the most and floating along in the North Fork Lazy River.
One day won’t be enough to enjoy everything this adventurous water park has to offer. In addition to the 5-story Tiki Tree House, Hurricane Hole, the Aqua Tumbler, which will catapult you in an endless looping inversion, Monkey Shines Island, and Wild Water Wave Pool, which is actually the largest indoor wave pool on the East Coast, the kids will love the 6,000 sq. ft. arcade and laser tag space. Don’t miss the Black Hole. You’ll dive into the darkness from atop the Tiki Tree House and you won’t see anything until you blast into the pool below.
So what if it’s below zero degrees outside and you can’t swim in Lake Michigan? KeyLime Cove in Gurnee is not far from Chicago. Its tropical trees and other decorations will make you feel as if you’re on the Caribbean. Visitors’ favorite attractions are the RipTide Reef Arcade, Leapin' Lizards adventure spot and the Pinki's Pet Palace. The Tsunami Washout Wave Pool may sound scary but it’s actually very toddler-friendly. The wobbling Hurricane Vortex shoots raft riders 40 miles per hour into a swirling bowl and then drops them on a 44-foot plunge.
This resort has four waterparks. The Wild Water Dome at the resort’s New Frontier Region alone is 70,000 sq. ft. It has an enormous pool that will make you feel as if you’re really swimming in the ocean. The roof is all windows so you won’t miss the sun even a little bit. Kids love it for the bumper rides. The parks include basketball hoops, geysers, and a hot tub that looks out of the lake.
The water is always the perfect temperature – heated to 84° F. Children of all ages will have an enormous amount of fun playing games in the fortress, exploring the inflatable adventures, having fun on the body slides, pools, lazy river floats, and hot tubs. Teens will love improving their skills on simulated waves. This water wonderland also includes a “cove” where families can enjoy some time taking a break from the waves.
Photo via Yelp by Richard S.
Alaska is not all about cruises, wildlife, and the Northern Lights. You can have a lot of fun indoors while wearing a bathing suit. A favorite feature is the 575-foot long Lazy River and the Water Coaster, which is about 45 feet high and 500 feet long. Kids love the Lagoon & Pirate Ship and its four cannons and seven slides that exit into the 12-inch deep lagoon. Parents and children can both take swimming lessons.
Everything about the World Waterpark is impressive. It’s located in the gigantic entertainment hub of Alberta’s West Edmonton Mall, it has the largest indoor wave pool in the world, and it’s the largest indoor waterpark in North America. You can even take surf lessons there. You’ll love the Tsunami, a simulated surfing attraction where you can surf an endless wave. Another feature that is set in this indoor tropical paradise is that you can rent upgraded private cabanas.
It’s about the kids in all of the 12 locations across the country. There are several adults-only hot tubs, but the rest is a children’s wonderland – classic rides, waterslides so you can see what a 40-foot drop into a water-jet-fueled vortex feels like, zero-entry pools, wave pools, a sleeping area that resembles a real cave, a 4-story tree house with suspension bridges and swinging nets. A huge bucket filled with water atop the house will drench them. There is also a spa for kids and miniature golf.
Located in the Sheraton Hotel in Niagara Falls, Ontario, the 125,000 square feet area of action-packed water fun will amaze you and your kids. They will love racing on the Thunder or Kamakazi waterslides; in the meantime you can relax and take a restful dip in the Horseshoe Hot Springs, a whirlpool tub with spinning jets. The park also features a mammoth play area, a massive 1,000 gallon tipping bucket, enormous 6-story high waterslides, year-round outdoor activity pool and sundeck, and a plunge bowl.
This is the only indoor waterpark in central New York. It occupies just 41,000 sq. ft. of space but it has more than 150,000 gallons of water. There are a total of 500 ft. of slides, heated pools and features for toddlers. The temperature there is always 84 F, even when it’s snowing outside. There is also a big wave pool, and another one with two water basketball hoops. The water castle is a kids’ favorite because they can climb up and down shooting each other with water pistols.
You have to be guests at the resort in order to be able to access the waterpark. Its roof is see-through so bring your sunblock lotion. There is a 10,000 sq. ft. wave pool and a 1,000 sq. ft. hot tub (more like pool). The kids enjoy the raft ride which is five stories. The park also features a lot of surf rides and thrilling slides. Many of them are ideal for small kids because they are not aggressive.
This is the state’s largest indoor waterpark – 58,000 sq. ft. It has the only indoor surfing simulator around. The park also features obstacle course slides as well as separate slides for the younger ones. The Samazon Ropes Adventure, the world’s tallest ropes course, is the visitors’ favorite. Hotels nearby offer discounts; guests just have to say they doing Sahara Sam’s “Stay & Play.”