Indoor Water Park Hotels Near Chicago
By Brittany Anas
Indoor pools are standard at many hotels near Chicago. But, indoor water parks? They’re sure to make a big splash, especially with families who are traveling with children. Of course, a major perk of indoor water parks is that fun isn’t dependent on favorable weather forecasts. Instead, hotel guests can zip down slides or float in lazy rivers any time of year. A mid-winter weekend getaway to an indoor water park could help hold the kids over until the pools re-open in the summer. At these hotels near Chicago, water parks are star amenities.
Timber Ridge Lodge and Water Park at Grand Geneva
About 90 minutes from Chicago, the Timber Ridge Lodge and Water Park at Grand Geneva is a family-friendly destination that offers, not just water slides and pools, but also arcades and mini-golf. The 50,000-square-foot water park has attractions that kids of all ages can enjoy. The Tiny Timbers features swings, mini-slides, spouts and a mushroom waterfall to engage the little ones. An activity pool has a rope climb on which kids can monkey their way across, plus basketball hoops and waterslides. Canyon River is the water park’s lazy river with single and double tubes available. The Timber Rapids and Avalanche Falls slides are synced to upbeat country and pop songs. Of course, there’s a hot tub to warm up in as well. Guests who stay at the Timber Ridge Lodge receive four complimentary water park passes with a one-bedroom suite, and six passes with a two-bedroom suite.
Great Wolf Lodge in Wisconsin Dells
First, some good news: The Great Wolf Lodge plans to open its newest location in Gurnee, Ill., just about an hour from Chicago in mid-2018. Great Wolf Lodge is renovating the former KeyLime Cove indoor water park that closed. Otherwise, the closest Great Wolf Lodge to Chicago is about three hours away in the Wisconsin Dells. Some fun attractions include the Mountain Edge Raceway that’s akin to tobogganing, except with a mat and on a waterslide; Frog Bog Log Walk that challenges kiddos to cross floating lily pads with the help of cargo nets; and the Slap Tail Pond, a wave pool. Other highlights include indoor cabanas, hot springs warming pools and lots of water slides. Water park passes are exclusive to guests.
Grizzly Jack’s Grand Bear Resort in Utica, Ill.
Bob in the waves at the water park’s rock-lined wave pool or slip and slide down the waterslides. It’s your move at this resort, which is about 90 minutes outside of Chicago in Utica, Ill. and near Starved Rock State Park. The water park also has a play structure for children, a lazy river and a hot tub. A small fire contained to the water park area prompted the water park to shut down for renovations, but it’s scheduled to re-open Memorial Day 2018. Water park admission is complimentary to hotel guests. Day passes are available, starting at $17.95 per person.
Country Inn and Suites in Galena, Ill.
The swim area at the Country Inn & Suites in Galena, Ill. falls somewhere between standard hotel pool and full-on water park. A twisting waterslide empties out into the main pool. Plus, a kids’ section has a mini-frog water slide and play structure.