Splashing up north

 A vacation isn’t a vacation until you hear Grandma screaming her way down a Wisconsin water slide, with her grandchildren sliding along behind.

My four kids, my mom and I recently enjoyed fantastic water fun when we traveled 2½ hours north, to Sheboygan, Wis., and the Blue Harbor Resort and Conference Center. We stayed two nights in the Captain Suite, courtesy of the resort.

Blue Harbor Resort was built along the shores of Lake Michigan, with one side of the building facing the lake. The view from the lakeside rooms is so beautiful that we’re already talking about going in the summer and booking a room on the lake side so we can run right out onto the beach.

The waterpark

By far the best part of the resort is the waterpark, where there’s lots for all ages to enjoy. Plus, the waterpark is all in one room so you can easily keep an eye on all the kids without worry.

The seven slides (four for the big kids, three for the little ones), a kiddie zero-depth pool, a larger pool with basketball nets, a very large whirlpool and a lazy river kept my kids endlessly entertained. In the center is a four-story activity center with suspension bridges, rope crawls and squirt guns. At the top of it all is a 1,000 gallon bucket full of water that dumps on those standing on the floor below.

My kids, who now consider themselves waterpark experts, were wishing for one really big slide, but I noticed it did not dampen their fun.

After a little prodding, Grandma got up the nerve to try a big slide. I could hear her screaming all the way down. She loved it so much that, bad knees and all, she climbed up all those stairs to slide down again. At the bottom, with a big smile on her face, she said, "I give it an A+!"

Lots more to offer

When you’re ready for a break from the water, there are four restaurants, a snack bar and a sweet shop. The food is good and affordable.

The front desk loans out board games, the gift shops loan out digital cameras and there’s a kids’ club for little ones while you visit the spa.

All the rooms come with a small fridge, microwave and coffee pot; larger rooms have full kitchens. Two themed rooms, the KidAquarium Suite and the Boathouse Suite, offer bunk beds in a separate area so the kids can have their own space.

The resort also offers two- and four-bedroom condos. The Family Suite sleeps six and costs $249 a night.

Sandi Pedersen

Kids Eat Chicago

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