Winter’s icy chill may be upon us, but that doesn’t mean that warm summertime-style family fun has to be so far out of reach. Beat the blues of snow and storms by escaping to a place that’s got steady 80-degree outdoor temps, loads of wave pools, lazy rivers, and waterslides, along with the thrills of tropical island bliss no matter what time of year it is.
Yes, that’s right-- sun and bliss await even as the days get darker and the nights get colder at an array of indoor water parks in and around the Keystone State. If what you seek is a perfect beach day come Christmas time, escape the city to a warmer locale that’s still close to home. Here are the five best indoor water parks in Pennsylvania.
The 5 Funnest Indoor Water Parks In Pennsylvania
1. Splash Lagoon – Erie, Pennsylvania
This Polynesian-themed water park resort is home to the biggest indoor wave pool in the Eastern United States, along with numerous other unique water-centric attractions. Test your skills on rope courses high above the water, tackle the challenging Black Hole water slide that’s known to submerge riders into total darkness, or simply immerse yourself deep into a lazy river.
This Northwestern Pennsylvania favorite has got nine different waterslides, five on-site restaurants, bars, and shops, as well as dry activities to enjoy as well. Try out the new Aqua Tumbler, play some Lazer Tag, or head over to the Treasure Island Arcade. There’s even a half fortress to check out and a humungous tube that reaches 40 miles per hour. It’s no wonder why Splash Lagoon has been listed as one of America’s top indoor water parks.
2. Kalahari Resort – Pocono Mountains
A little under two hours from Midtown Manhattan, this year-round paradise brings the African safari to areas such as the Wisconsin Dells, Sandusky, and, of course, the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania. It’s a fantastic themed resort featuring an indoor water park full of family-friendly water activities for all ages, including bodyboarding, hot tubbing, lazy rivers, spas, and family raft rides. Thrill seekers can even surf no matter what the weather is on the outside, thanks to FlowRiders—a handy dandy surf simulator. Adults get to relax away those winter worries while lounging in a private cabana or grabbing a drink from the swim-up bar. Yes.
Having opened just in 2015, Kalahari is broken up into six indoor spots to play, ranging from Tiko's Watering Hole, which is perfect for toddlers, to Splash Down Safari, which offers bigger thrills like ten run-of-the-mill water slides. What’s more is that if you happen to visit during warmer weather, the entire park is housed under a retractable roof. So go frolic in the sun, before checking out the on-site arcade and then retreating to a spacious guestroom or suite. Some suites even offer up to ten bedrooms!
3. Great Wolf Lodge - Scotrun, Pennsylvania
The folks behind Great Wolf Lodge have long known how to ignite family-friendly fun to folks of all ages during any sort of season. At this Pennsylvania hot spot-- which is pretty much always 84 degrees inside-- find a giant four-story indoor water park with thrilling slides, tons of spas, kiddie pools, gaming zones, water sport options, and theme based rooms. There are even depth entry playgrounds for little kids, along with eclectic attractions such as a 1000-gallon tipping bucket, an interactive tree house, a water basketball court, and plenty of lazy rivers to float around in.
Make sure to relax in a hot spring water tub if you’re feeling chilly and to take the kids on a treasure hunt come dusk. The munchkins will for sure enjoy turning into wizards for the night by following clues that are given to them at each stop.
4. Aquatopia at Camelback Resort — Tannersville, Pennsylvania
It may be newcomer to the scene that just opened in spring 2015 but it’s definitely one to take note of. Located within the Camelback Resort in the Pocono Mountains, the 125,000-square-foot park features seven pools, thirteen slides, a Penguin Play Bay perfect for toddlers, a Bombora FlowRider surf simulator, as well as the Camelback Mountain Ski Resort just outside if you find yourself getting overheated.
Aquatopia also boasts a thrill-seeker favorite, the Storm Chaser, which happens to be the longest indoor water coaster in the U S of A. Guests looking to relax can also work on their tans year-round thanks to Aquatopia's transparent roof—just be sure to keep the sunscreen at hand. After all the excitement, be sure to refuel with convenient snack shops, Swim-Up Bars, or by reserving your own private cabana for a delightfully delicious family-style meal.
5. H20ooohh! Indoor Family Waterpark — Lake Harmony, Pennsylvania
Kids will no doubt adore splashing around in the Jungle Falls and the Leapin' Lizards play areas of this Pennsylvania favorite located within the Split Rock Resort. Adults will also love the chance to relax in the Lava Springs hot tubs, as well as float through the huge wave pools on site or the four-story high slides.
Just a mere couple hours’ drive from the Big Apple, this Lake Harmony water wonderland is open to both resort guests as well as the general public. It’s truly got something for everyone, from five exciting body tube and raft slides, to crossing activities, and giant play structures built especially for little kiddies. The nearby Split Rock Resort also offers other sports activities like bowling, golf, and mini golf. Fun times await.
This article was written by Pamela Chan.