I know you feel me when I say this – I am sick of winter. If you need an escape, even just for a little bit, hit these water parks for a splashin’ good time. Here are a few nearby indoor water parks open year-round, which is especially nice when you need a last-minute getaway.
Arctic Splash in Wheeling
Families with younger children will enjoy chilling out at Arctic Splash. Splash away in the zero-depth pool, slide down Petie the Polar Bear, go round the mini frosty lazy river or play with the interactive water play structures. Older children and adults can enjoy the lap pool. The family locker room makes changing a breeze.
For fun on the cheap, drop by Parent/Tot Swim Drop-in every Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m.-12 p.m., throughout the winter and spring months. (Free for kids 3 and under; $3 for adults.)
Cost: $6.50 for adults, $5.50 for kids ages 3-9, free for kids ages 2 and under
Splash Landings in Glenview
This North Shore favorite is popular for good reason; families have so much fun! Little swimmers will adore the air traffic control tower-themed waterslide, plus all the fun interactive water play features. Parents can rest assured knowing that little ones can be safe entering the zero-depth pool. Swimmers can swim 25-yard laps in one of the six lap pool lanes. Adults can relax in the Splash Landings Whirlpool or the warm therapy pool.
Cost: $5 for residents, $6 for non-residents, free for kids ages 23 months and under
The Water Works in Schaumburg
Plenty of water fun awaits at this Schaumburg hotspot with options for both young and old. Littles ones enjoy the zero-depth pool and water play structure with all sorts of fountains, slides and other fun contraptions. Those more adventurous will enjoy the plunging down the slide and the dive well.
Cost: $7 for resident adults ($9 non-resident), $5 for resident children ($7 non-resident)
Pelican Harbor in Bolingbrook
Tots will get a kick out of sliding out of the mouth of Parkie the Pelican, while those older can slip and slide down the two water slides. Add in a zero-depth entry pool for shallow adventures and tumble buckets and you’ve got the perfect place to forget the winter time blues.
Cost: $6 for residents ($9 non-residents) during peak hours, $4 for residents ($6 non-residents) during non-peak hours, free for kids ages 2 and under.
Stay and play
Breaker Bay Waterpark at Blue Harbor Resort in Sheboygan, Wisconsin
Want to go surfing? You can try out The Riptide which is the only double surf simulator in eastern Wisconsin. Toddler Tides, a new area for younger children, has slides and splash zones. Watch out for the water tipping ship while playing in their water playground. With four water slides, cargo nets and a lazy river, you’ll find everything a family could ever want here.
Moose Mountain Falls at Timber Ridge Lodge & Waterpark in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
Just a hop, skip and a splash away lies Moose Mountain Falls at Timber Ridge Lodge & Waterpark. Tiny tots will absolutely go gaga at Tiny Timbers an area with slides, swings and all things fun. Other activities include climbing the ropes or challenging each other to a game of water basketball. Need to calm down a bit? Take a relaxing lazy river ride around the entire waterpark.
Springs Indoor Water Park in Pewaukee, Wisconsin
Located minutes outside Milwaukee, Springs Water Park at Country Springs Hotel (soon-to-be The Ingleside Hotel) boasts more than 45,000 square feet of water park adventures for you and the family. Tiny swimmers will have a blast at the water playground, Waukesha Waterworks, with its 600 gallon bucket, water cannons, water geysers and dump buckets. With zero-depth entry and two small water slides, it’s perfect for the tiniest swimmers! Three water slides, water basketball, lily pad rope walk await those more adventurous. Parents can enjoy a dip in the indoor/outdoor hot tub that is sure to keep you warm, even in the coldest temperatures.
Great Wolf Lodge Illinois in Gurnee, Illinois
The newest water park to hit the area will be arriving to the Chicagoland area starting July 1. Extensive renovations will be made that will include an 80,000 sq. ft. water park with all that you would expect from a water park: interactive water playground, wave pool, thrilling water slides, plus, of course, tot-friendly water fun. For fun out of the water, the entertainment center with ropes course, bowling, mini golf, rock climbing wall and arcade will no doubt be a family hit.
Read more about the changes along with a nice discount for booking before by March.
Grand Bear Falls Waterpark at Grizzly Jack’s in Utica, Illinois
The 24,000-sq. ft. water park located by Starved Rock will reopen sometime during the spring after undergoing repairs from a fire in January. Look out for a completely refinished and restored water park from floor to ceiling with slides, a lazy pool, water playground and a wave pool.