30 Top Indoor Water Parks around the World

Regardless of weather, these parks guarantee day and night fun.

By Kyle McCarthy, ContributorMarch 29, 2018
By Kyle McCarthy, ContributorMarch 29, 2018, at 9:00 a.m.
U.S. News & World Report

30 Top Indoor Water Parks around the World

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(Courtesy of Falls Avenue Resort)

Cool off year-round at one of these exhilarating water parks.

The concept of "taking the waters" dates to the Romans, who favored curative mineral springs for relaxation and health. Today, water holidays can range from water parks with thrilling plunge, swirl and slide rides for all ages to wellness spas that provide a therapeutic break – or a combination of both. For a guaranteed escape in the U.S. or abroad, dive into one of these 30 can't-miss indoor water parks.
indoor waterpark

(Courtesy of World Waterpark)

World Waterpark: Edmonton, Alberta

Inside West Edmonton Mall, North America's largest shopping center, travelers can visit a huge indoor amusement park and World Waterpark, which features a zip line, a wave pool and 21 waterslides. Visitors can manipulate music and lights as they fly down chutes on slideboards or travel up to 40 mph through a near-vertical loop.

Cool off year-round at one of these exhilarating water parks.

The concept of "taking the waters" dates to the Romans, who favored curative mineral springs for relaxation and health. Today, water holidays can range from water parks with thrilling plunge, swirl and slide rides for all ages to wellness spas that provide a therapeutic break – or a combination of both. For a guaranteed escape in the U.S. or abroad, dive into one of these 30 can't-miss indoor water parks.

World Waterpark: Edmonton, Alberta

Inside West Edmonton Mall, North America's largest shopping center, travelers can visit a huge indoor amusement park and World Waterpark, which features a zip line, a wave pool and 21 waterslides. Visitors can manipulate music and lights as they fly down chutes on slideboards or travel up to 40 mph through a near-vertical loop.

Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort: Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

This resort comprises two outdoor and three indoor water parks only open to guests staying in one of Wilderness Resort's 1,163 accommodations. A shuttle and water taxi transport vacationers to and from Klondike Kavern's legendary Hurricane funnel and slideboarding rides, Wild West's family rafts and bumper boats and Wild WaterDome's expansive indoor wave pool, which is the largest in America.

Great Wolf Lodge Anaheim: Garden Grove, California

One of the biggest and best water park hotels in the Great Wolf Lodge family, this Southern California venue is a great place to relax in between theme park visits. Eleven slides and four indoor pools meet an outdoor lagoon packed with interactive water play and sports options. Adults can also challenge kids to water-based explorations on suspension bridges, cargo nets and web crawls.

Schlitterbahn Waterpark Galveston: Galveston, Texas

Expectations run high at Schlitterbahn, pioneers of the water park concept since 1979. Voted America's Best Indoor Waterpark for the past eight years by Amusement Today magazine, this 26-acre Galveston property features the 70,000-square-foot indoor Wasserfest area, which has a retractable roof that covers a heated pool, the Torrent tidal wave river, seven tube and speed slides, three kids activity areas and the Boogie Bahn surfing ride.

Kalahari Resorts & Conventions Wisconsin Dells: Wisconsin Dells

Todd and Shari Nelson, along with their kids, launched their first Africa-themed water park in Wisconsin in 2000, and at 125,000 square feet, it's the state's largest one indoors. Of special note: Resort guests can take surfing or mermaid or merman lessons here. There are also character breakfasts, two spas (including one for kids) and an indoor theme park with a Ferris wheel, a bowling alley and a gaming center.

Great Wolf Lodge Mason: Mason, Ohio

Families exploring historic Cincinnati or museum-filled Indianapolis will appreciate a night off at this Great Wolf Lodge outpost. Inside the 79,000-square-foot Bear Track Landing water park, visitors will find signature rides like the Hydro Plunge and The Triple Twist, plus a lazy river and a water playground with large lily pads. Don't miss a chance to play together on the four-story Fort Mackenzie water structure.

Zehnder's Splash Village Hotel & Waterpark: Frankenmuth, Michigan

Since 1856, William and Emilie Zehnder and their relatives have developed this Bavarian-themed corner of Michigan into a popular vacation destination. After outgrowing the original 30,000-square-foot part-hotel, part-water park facility, the Zehnders opened an even bigger water park with family raft rides, speed slides, a zero-entry pool, cabanas and a retractable roof. It's all connected to an arcade, an outdoor pool and the 178-room Splash Village Hotel.

Tropical Islands: Krausnick, Germany

About 45 miles south of Berlin lies Europe's largest tropics-themed resort, Tropical Islands, where you'll find the lush Tropical World indoor water park. Kept at 79 degrees year-round, this water park is located in a former zeppelin hangar and features Germany's tallest waterslide, a South Seas-inspired beach and a kids pool with a fountain and water play table.

Great Wolf Lodge Concord: Concord, North Carolina

Among Great Wolf Lodge's 14 domestic indoor water park hotels, this 402-suite resort in the heart of NASCAR country boasts the most family activities, with more than a dozen dry ways to have fun, including mini-golf, a ropes course and a 4-D space that requires special glasses to navigate. At its heart is the weatherproof, 80,000-square-foot water park, showcasing 11 waterslides, four pools and a four-story treehouse water fort.

Forest Hill Aquaboulevard: Paris

With more than 75,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor aquatic attractions in the heart of Paris, this airy water park offers a refreshing change of pace. At the property's indoor section, vacationers can enjoy a tropical palm garden, a lazy river, a wakeboard simulator and more. The facility also features a life-size whale replica that doubles as a slide.

Schlitterbahn South Padre Island: South Padre Island, Texas

In 2012, indoor water rides and a hotel were added to Schlitterbahn's 25-acre water park on Texas' Gulf Coast. Known as the Beach Resort, it features tube slides, a heated pool with a swim-up bar, a saltwater pool, a tidal wave river and a classic 1950s carousel, among other amenities. Hotel guests have access to extra family programs and golf packages, while day passes are available for non-guests starting at $22.99 for kids and seniors and $26.99 for adults.

Timber Ridge Lodge & Waterpark: Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

This Wisconsin water park hotel, which is about 80 miles northwest of Chicago and 50 miles southwest of Milwaukee, has the expected pools and slides, plus Avalanche Falls, where riders can zip around turns while enjoying their choice of lighting and music. Lodge suites cater to multigenerational families with full kitchens and whirlpool baths, and guests can use the championship and mini-golf courses and spa at the property's luxurious sister resort, Grand Geneva.

Falls Avenue Resort: Niagara Falls, Ontario

The Canadian side of Niagara Falls is home to Falls Avenue Resort, a huge complex of hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues connected by walkways to the 3-acre Fallsview Indoor Waterpark. No matter when you visit, you'll take in views of Horseshoe Falls from a cabana rental or while enjoying the park's 16 waterslides, wave pool, adults-only Jacuzzis and more.

Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs: Colorado Springs, Colorado

Wiley the Wolf has his own year-round water park near Colorado's beautiful Garden of the Gods, a natural wonder with towering rock spires and mountain peaks. At this Great Wolf Lodge, the signature slides, tubes, chutes and pools are all inside, beckoning to drivers who want to break up long road trips through the area. Kids can also pan for keepsake gems and minerals in the park's Oliver's Mining Co.

Wilderness at the Smokies: Sevierville, Tennessee

Tennessee's largest water park resort sits less than 20 miles north of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and offers a recreation center, plus 713 rooms, suites and villas that sleep up to 17 people. Throughout the year, visitors can tan beneath the indoor Wild WaterDome water park's transparent roof and get their hearts racing on rides like Runaway Canyon and the Trail Twister Tube Slides.

Sahara Sam's Oasis Indoor and Outdoor Water Park: West Berlin, New Jersey

This smaller, stand-alone water park features a playful North African desert theme at its 11 indoor attractions. If you're not up for the five-story, head-first mat racing at Tut's Twisters, visit Cleopatra's Cove or the Congo Bongo lazy river. But remember, Sahara Sam's is popular for staycations, themed birthday parties and seasonal events, such as Easter Bunny breakfasts and Monster Splash, so it's best to arrive early.

Badeparadies Schwarzwald: Titisee-Neustadt, Germany

The tropics-inspired Badeparadies Schwarzwald is a surprise find among the Black Forest's traditional farming communities. Catering to different water lovers, the park is divided into three sections: Galaxy Schwarzwald (which has 20 slides, including one that traverses the world's largest steel half-pipe), the peaceful Palm Oasis (for visitors ages 16 and older) and the clothing-optional Palais Vital.

Great Wolf Lodge New England: Fitchburg, Massachusetts

Check out of the snow and into one of Great Wolf Lodge New England's 406 rustic suites to enjoy this property's plethora of family-friendly activities, including live shows, character meet-and-greets, story time and Wolfercise aerobics classes. The hotel also boasts a 68,000-square-foot indoor water park with 11 waterslides, four pools and a lazy river.

Camelback Lodge & Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark: Tannersville, Pennsylvania

Camelback Resort was already popular with families visiting its ski trails and outdoor water park before it added a 453-suite lodge and indoor water park in 2015. Attraction options range from the Venus Slydetrap, a curved raft ride, to the Bombora FlowRider surf simulator to The Great Ka-Na-Gawa Wavepool.

Kalahari Resorts & Conventions Pocono Mountains: Pocono Manor, Pennsylvania

Kalahari went big in the competitive Poconos region when it built America's largest indoor water park, yet this attraction maintains the brand's signature family feel and African theme. Learn to surf or be a mermaid, try waterslides for all abilities or unwind in the indoor-outdoor whirlpool. If you want to have fun on land, you can choose from activities like cookie decorating, character breakfasts and miniature bowling.

Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg: Williamsburg, Virginia

As the birthplace of American democracy and one of the country's most affordable family vacation destinations, Williamsburg attracts families looking for fun, educational holidays. At the town's Great Wolf Lodge, travelers can take advantage of a 79,000-square-foot indoor water park with nine slides and seven pools. Adults can also "Wine Down" with an in-room bottle of wine and sweet or savory treats after the kids fall asleep.

Castaway Bay: Sandusky, Ohio

This Caribbean-themed water park (think: Adirondack chairs, palm trees, tropical huts and lagoons) is the place to chill after experiencing extreme roller coasters at Sandusky's legendary Cedar Point theme park. The beachy decor is everywhere from the Tropical Tube Slides and the Pineapple Pipeline water coaster to the Toddler's Tide Pool. Kids can also participate in Caribbean-inspired activities, such as games with Peanuts characters and arts and crafts projects.

WONNEMAR Wismar: Wismar, Germany

When it's too cold for a dip in the Baltic Sea, families flock to WONNEMAR Wismar to take advantage of its 4,000-square-foot wave pool, sauna and waterslides. The water park is also home to a baby splash zone with heated seats for parents, plus fountains, water cannons, waterfalls and a pirate ship climbing structure.

Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine: Grapevine, Texas

Both Dallas locals and visitors flying through nearby Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport love Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine. With nine of Great Wolf Lodge's signature waterslides, as well as wave pools, a lazy river and spray and play areas for toddlers, this resort's indoor water park is an ideal place to relax.

Chula Vista Resort: Wisconsin Dells

Find Chula Vista Resort's indoor Lost Rios water park on the banks of the scenic Wisconsin River next to a 620-room hotel, a convention center, a golf course, a spa, a riverwalk and the highly regarded Kaminski's Chop House. The 80,000-square-foot water park, open only to resort guests, has 13 waterslides, including the world's longest and fastest uphill indoor water coaster and a mat-racing option.

Kalahari Resorts & Conventions Sandusky: Sandusky

This 200,000-square-foot indoor water park rules in a town known for world-class thrill rides, with options that offer drops into 45-degree tunnels, 360-degree enclosures and extreme plunges from overhead. Must-try slides include the Storm Chaser, an interactive ride that mimics a video game, and the Tanzanian Twister funnel flume.

ABQ Surf N' Slide Waterpark: Albuquerque, New Mexico

It may not be the biggest, but one of arid New Mexico's only indoor water parks offers a 34-foot-tall raft ride that descends 300 feet, a two-person wave simulator and more than 26 water play features, among other amenities. Additionally, ABQ Surf N' Slide sits in the Wyndham Albuquerque Hotel & Conference Center, which boasts extra facilities like an indoor pool and 309 accommodations.

Great Wolf Lodge Grand Mound: Centralia, Washington

Washington state's damp weather is reason enough to lock in year-round pool fun at this Great Wolf Lodge's indoor water park, where you'll find slides, rides and swirling pools supervised by lifeguards. Kids will especially love gliding through River Canyon Run and plunging down the three-story Totem Towers slides while parents watch from the free-form hot tub.

Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls: Niagara Falls

If you and the kiddos need a break from admiring Niagara Falls' famous waterfalls, get wet at this resort's indoor water park, which boasts nine pools and 13 waterslides, including the four-story Canada Vortex. The property also features 406 suites and two spas – one for adults and another for kids.

Beijing National Aquatics Center: Chaoyang Qu, China

The futuristic Water Cube, built for the 2008 Summer Olympics' aquatics events, now hosts performances, swimming competitions, water polo meets and travelers visiting its indoor water park. To achieve its undersea ambiance, designers used transparent bubbles, playful sculptures of jellyfish, seaweed and translucent parts for rides. There are slides, chutes, kiddie pools and a lazy river, but no visit would be complete without taking nighttime selfies outside the property's glowing blue exterior.
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Kyle McCarthy, Contributor

Kyle McCarthy is the author of a dozen Frommer guidebooks, contributor to many publications, ...  Read more


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