Whoa Zone waterfront playground opens for summer

The little town of Whiting, just 15 miles from Chicago across the Indiana state line, opens a new summertime water attraction/obstacle course on Lake Michigan Saturday, a first for the Chicago area. 

“Think American Ninja Warrior,” says Ron Romens, president of Commercial Recreation Specialist and Empire Recreation Management, the two companies that designed and manage the facility. 

The one-acre sports park includes slides, trampolines, ramps, wiggle bridges, towers and jumping platforms. The huge inflatable floating island sits over about 12 feet of water just off Whihala Beach. About 120 people ages 7 and up can be in the park at once. Participants must be at least 45 inches tall. “We’ll clear the ride every 60 minutes,” Romans says.  

“Whoa Zone is only the first of three or four projects that are in the works for Whiting,” Whiting Mayor Joe Stahura says. “We’re adding attractions to hopefully get people to eventually stay here.” 

A short safety orientation is required to play and lifeguards are on duty. All participants also must wear a life jacket. 

The Whoa Zone will operate 10 a.m.-6 p.m. seven days a week just off Whihala Beach, 1561 Park Road, in the northwest corner of Indiana. Kayaks, boats and paddle board rentals are also available. Tickets are $20 for a 60-minute session, $30 for a double session, and are available at WhoaZoneWhihala.com

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