The best indoor water parks near Chicago


Water parks aren't just for the summer. In fact, since we live in Chicago, where the cold weather months far ournumber the warm ones, we think these all-season water parks are a wish come true. And here in Chicagoland, we've got a handful of indoor water parks that are within four hours from home. The hardest part: Choosing which one to enjoy.

P.S. We didn't include prices since they all have plenty of specials throughout the winter, so call about their current deals.

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KeyLime Cove Indoor Waterpark Resort

Drive time from Chicago 45 minutes, Gurnee

Reason to go It's a small water park, but it's got something for everyone: Three super-scary slides for the adventurous teens and parents, along with multiple smaller slides and a lazy river. When we checked it out on a Monday afternoon, it was practically empty.

Restaurants They've got a few grill and ice cream spots, but we suggest you hop into your car instead. Within a five-minute drive, you'll hit about a dozen restaurants.

Need to know When you're done splashing around, check out the massive arcade area. Most rooms in the hotel have a microwave and a fridge.

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Wilderness Wildpark Resort

Drive time from Chicago 3½ hours, Wisconsin Dells

Reason to go It's one of the largest water parks in the Midwest, and it's spread out into three separate water parks, so there's tons to do. They've got great water slides for the swimmers and tons of shallow areas for the tots.

Restaurants Everything from burgers to pasta to sandwiches to please even the pickiest eaters. You also could rent a condo, which comes with a small kitchen if you want to BYO meals.

Need to know During the off-season, they usually close one of their water parks. Also, due to the sheer size of the water park, expect to do lots of walking, so bring a stroller if necessary.

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Kalahari Resort

Drive time from Chicago 3½ hours, Wisconsin Dells

Reason to go They've got everything you'll need for a great staycation, so you'll park your car and won't return to it till it's time to go home. We're obsessed with the really crazy slides that drop you, free-fall style, into the water and the baby area, which will entertain even the tiniest babies.

Restaurants We love their cheesy options: Cheese curds made onsite or pizza are the way to go here.

Need to know When you're tired of the water activities, let your kids blow off the rest of their energy at the bowling alley or the climbing wall. Hire a sitter, and relax at their movie theater after the kids go to bed. Feel free to BYO food, since each room has a microwave and a refrigerator.

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The Water Works

Drive time from Chicago 40 minutes, Schaumburg

Reason to go It's close, it's cheap and it's an easy way to do a water park without making a huge commitment. The many shallow areas make it great for tiny tots, but the slides guarantee that your slightly older child (under 10 is probably best) also will enjoy their day here.

Restaurants Leave the water park to go to all the chain restaurants nearby.

Need to know This is a bare bones park. It's operated through the park district, so there's no hotel or other amenities.

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Timber Ridge Lodge & Waterpark

Drive time from Chicago 2 hours, Lake Geneva

Reason to go It's perfect for children ages 0-10. They've got a wading pool, plus a pool that maxes out at less than 4 feet. Your older children can entertain themselves by playing water basketball, going down a massive water slide or checking out the lazy river.

Restaurants A food court and a barbecue restaurant are available. You also can drive five minutes to dozens of restaurants in the Lake Geneva area.

Need to know When you're done with the water park, check out the arcade, the movies, crafts and pajama storytime. If you plan on bringing your own food, you can request a suite with a full kitchen.

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Find more water parks in our directory

Find over 40 water parks, indoors and out, located around Chicago in our water park directory.


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