Lounging by the pool, splashing in the surf and slipping down water slides are no longer just for summer. Even when there’s snow on the ground, the weather is always perfect for swimming at indoor water parks where the temperature is maintained at a balmy 80 degrees year-round.
If you’re looking for a memorable family getaway, consider a road trip to a nearby indoor water park resort. Head out for the day or stay the weekend. Many of the parks are part of hotels with dining options, arcades and other kid-friendly indoor and outdoor activities to help you make the most of your visit. If you prefer to sleep off-site or are traveling to a park without lodging accommodations, we’ve included booking links to local hotels with great rates.
CoCo Key Water Resort
Water lovers never have to go too far for a day of adventure. CoCo Key has indoor water parks throughout the country and two are right here in the Northeast (the other is in Mount Laurel, N.J.) With attractions targeted to ages 2 through 12, CoCo Key features wet and dry fun for the whole family, including lazy rivers, water obstacle courses, plenty of water slides, indoor/outdoor whirlpools for adults, dining options and arcades. Day passes are available, as well as overnight packages for those staying at the park’s partner hotel, DoubleTree by Hilton Boston North Shore.
Don’t forget to take advantage of your AAA discount! AAA members get $10 off advanced ticket purchases.
Sahara Sam’s Oasis Indoor & Outdoor Water Park
West Berlin, N.J.
Wind along the lazy river, catch some waves on New Jersey’s only surfing simulator, challenge your friends to a game of pool basketball or get dunked on by the deluge bucket in the treehouse village – these are just some of the ways to enjoy a day of fun in the sun (or not) at Sahara Sam’s. Several slides offer a variety of experiences, from the speedy Nile Mile to the family-friendly Snake Eyes, which allows up to four people to ride on a raft at the same time. A toddler play area, bar and concessions are also on site.
Six Flags Great Escape Lodge & Indoor Water Park
Just minutes away from Lake George, the White Water Bay indoor water park at Six Flags Great Escape Lodge features over 38,000 square feet of waterlogged fun and attractions, including racing slides, a whitewater raft ride and surfing simulator. With an adults-only warm water spa, a beach for the little ones and a lazy river the whole family can enjoy, there’s something for everyone. Water park passes are included with overnight stays; day passes are also available.
Big Splash Indoor Waterpark at Rocking Horse Ranch
Take a family road trip to this AAA Three Diamond Rated resort in the Hudson Valley for a weekend of all-around, all-inclusive good times. You’re sure to keep busy with all of the on-site activities available like skiing, snow tubing and ice skating, but there’s no doubt the kids will want to spend some time at Big Splash. There they can ride the 250-foot-long Gold Rush Flume slide, play on the interactive aqua station and attempt to conquer a slippery obstacle course. This water park is exclusively for guests.
Cascades Indoor Waterpark at Greek Peak Mountain Resort
After taking on the Finger Lakes ski slopes, experience a different kind of thrill on one of the four slides at Cascades. Standing at three stories tall, the two larger slides take you on enclosed rides of twists and turns outside of the building and back to the pool inside. If you want to slow down, head outside to the heated Northwoods Pool and Hot Springs where you can relax beside the mountain year-round. Other attractions include a basketball cove and children’s play area. Water park tickets are included with stay. Day tickets are also available, but must be purchased in advance on the resort’s website.
Aquatopia at Camelback Resort
After skiing and snow tubing on the mountain, the fun continues for guests heading back to Camelback Lodge in the Poconos, where the multi-level Aquatopia awaits. Voted the best indoor water park by USA Today in 2015, Aquatopia boasts seven pools and 13 slides, including the longest indoor water coaster in the U.S. With a wave pool, surf simulator, lazy river, aqua play structure, adventure lagoon for the little ones and more, there’s hours of playtime. A swim-up bar, spa lagoon and private cabanas provide refuge from all the excitement for adults. This water park is exclusively for guests.
H20ooohh! Indoor Family Waterpark at Split Rock Resort
Lake Harmony, Pa.
The name of the park sums it up: Water + thrilling water attractions = H20ooohh! Hot tubs, a wave pool, an aqua play structure, surf simulator and five slides – including the Amazon Blast slides, which drop four stories – are among the exciting things you’ll experience at this Pennsylvania retreat. Refuel in the snack area before going back to ride your favorites again. Day passes are available, as are discounts for those who stay at Split Rock Resort.
Pocono Manor, Pa.
At 100,000 square feet, the Kalahari Resorts location in the Pocono Mountains is among the largest indoor water parks in the country. The Africa-inspired escape features a swim-up bar, surf simulator, toddler play area, water coaster, lazy river, indoor/outdoor family whirlpool and slides like the surprising Barreling Baboon and the Zimbabwe Zipper, which can reach speeds of 40 mph. Enhance your pool-side experience with a private indoor cabana, which includes a flat-screen TV, chaise lounges and a refrigerator. Water park passes are included with overnight stays; day passes are also available.
Great Wolf Lodge
Scotrun, Pa. & Fitchburg, Mass.
PA: 800-768-9653 / Mass.: 866-678-9653
These popular indoor water parks feature wave pools, lazy rivers, water tree houses, obstacle courses, several play areas for the littlest members of the family and a bunch of multi- and single-rider slides. Cabana rentals and separate hot springs for adults-only and families are available for relaxing. Try slideboarding in the Poconos location, where riders use controls on their rafts to play interactive games. These water parks are for lodge guests only.
AAA members Save 10% off the best available rate at Great Wolf Lodge locations. Get discount.
Splash Lagoon Indoor Water Park Resort
Nine water slides, a lazy river and the largest wave pool in the eastern United States – just to mention a few things – make Splash Lagoon a destination worth visiting. You’ll want to try out the Aqua Tumblers, which let you walk (and fall and roll over) water. They look like too much fun to resist! Several dining options round out the day. For an on-land adventure, brave kids can take on the challenging ropes course when they dry off.
Have you been to any of these indoor water parks? Tell us your favorite in the comments.