Our neighbors have two young sons who start counting down to their school’s spring break the day after New Year’s. Since they live in Wisconsin and cannot afford to take off from work and fly to Hawaii during the week-long school break they have made a family tradition of driving to Wisconsin Dells a.k.a. “The Waterpark Capital of the World.”
The area is filled with dozens of indoor waterparks. Vacationing there gives the boys a chance to spend time in the water no matter how much snow is on the ground or what the thermometer might read. And while the Dells might be the reigning champ of indoor water adventures there are dozens of other waterparks across the country (many within a reasonable distance from your home) where you can escape the winter blues.
Take a look:
Castaway Bay at Cedar Point, located in Sandusky, Ohio, makes you feel as though you’ve been transported to a tropical island. It has a vaulted wood ceiling, palm trees, huts and inland lagoons. Your kids will love Cargo Crossing, a play area where you cross a pool of water by balancing on floating lily pads while clinging to a cargo net. Creature Cove is another popular spot. It consists of a pool area with basketball hoops and flotation devices. Older kids will love Rendezvous Run, a 35-foot-high, 520-foot-long water roller coaster. It propels riders uphill with water jets, and the coaster travels through the water park and shoots you into an enclosed slide. If you have younger children head over to the Lookout Lagoon Family Funhouse. It is a huge padded play area with more than 100 different water devices.
Located in the Adirondacks of Lake George, New York the Six Flags Great Escape Lodge and Indoor Waterpark is home to spectacular water rides. The waterpark also houses the Tall Timbers Treehouse, which is a multilevel play structure that looks like an Adirondack lodge and features a huge wooden bucket that spills water on any one standing under it. There are more than 150 interactive water features, including an array of colorful slides for kids of all ages. Other popular water attractions include the Boogie Bear Surf ride, which creates simulated waves for body boarding and surfing. On the Tak-it-eesi-Creek, you ride on an inflatable tube while water sprays you. The waterpark also boasts the Avalanche raft ride where you go down a 41-foot drop with simulated white water. And for younger children there’s the Tip-A-Kanu-Beach, which consists of a shallow activity pool specially designed for tots.
If any state could benefit from an indoor waterpark it’s Alaska. The H2Oasis Indoor Waterpark in Anchorage is as popular as they come, especially since it boasts a massive pool with 84-degree water year-round. The park’s main attraction is the Lazy River, a 575-foot-long river that circles the park, where you can ride on a tube or kayak. (The park even offers kayak lessons.) Parents can get in a little exercise by walking against the current in the park’s Riverwalk, and then join their kids in the Wave Pool, which simulates 3- to 4-foot waves. There’s also a Children’s Lagoon, Pirate Ship and a Master Blaster-—a 43 feet high and 505 feet long water coaster.