Water parks aren’t just for the summer. In fact, since we live in Chicago, where the cold weather months far outnumber 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 worth the drive. Indoor water parks are currently open during the pandemic and many locations have implemented safety requirements to help keep families safe.
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- Address: 1700 Nations Drive, Gurnee
Looking for an easy drive from Chicago? One of the newer waterparks to hit the area is all about family fun. The two-family raft rides, a four-story tandem tube ride and a funnel water ride will satiate your thirst for adventure. Families can literally roll with the waves at the tide pool. If you’d rather relax, you can float around in the lazy river or challenge each other to a game of water basketball. Little kiddies can splash around in either a padded splash pad, the slides or the water playground with the ever-so-popular tipping bucket.
It’s one of the largest water parks in the Midwest and it’s spread out into three separate water parks, so there is a lot to do. They’ve got great water slides for the swimmers and tons of shallow areas for the tots. For climbing enthusiasts, they’ve added three more rock climbing walls ranging in difficulty to their Timberland Playhouse area. 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.
They’ve got everything you’ll need for a great staycation, so you’ll park your car and won’t return to it until 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. When you’re tired of the water activities, let your kids blow off the rest of their energy at the 10,000-square-foot indoor theme park. Go bowling alley or conquer the climbing wall.
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.
Timber Ridge Lodge and Waterpark is perfect for children ages 0-10. They’ve got a wading pool, slides and a mushroom fountain — 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. A food court and a barbecue restaurant are available
- Address: 200 Lindsey Lane, Bolingbrook
If you live in the west and south portions of Chicagoland, this option works great for your family. There are two water slides and a Parkie the Pelican tot slide, tumble buckets and a 10-person hot tub (when parents need a break). This is operated by the park district and it’s smaller than other indoor water parks.
- Address: 2810 Golf Road, Pewaukee, Wisconsin
Springs Waterpark is a kiddie haven with a zero-entry pool water playground, dump buckets and tame slides. Chill out on the lazy river. Daredevils have 3 slides to choose for thrills: a 362-foot long boat slide, a long tube slide or a 206-foot long body slide that twists and turns all the way to the bottom. The indoor and outdoor hot tub will surely be a family favorite.
- Address: 350 Bell Street, Dubuque, Iowa
If you’re looking for a weekend getaways, Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark is great for younger kids. The highlight is the water playground with tipping bucket and water features. You’ll find water sprinklers, slides and shallow waters. Once you’ve dried off, head to the arcade which offers plenty of fun and of course prizes.
Hang ten at the water park and try surfing indoors. If you don’t know where to start, you can take a private lesson. Toddlers can splash away in an area made just for them with slides and splash zones, while all kids will have a fun time exploring the 4-story activity center. Thrill-seekers can slide down from any of the three-story slides. Even if the weather isn’t great, take time to head outside and take in the lakefront views.
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