Winter Waterpark Adventures
Find respite from the cold at indoor waterparks that are only a short drive away.
The temperature is a tropical 84 degrees. Kids splash in the pool and you lean back in a lounge chair, palm trees in sight.
This isn’t a scene from a faraway island destination. In the middle of winter, you can find respite from the cold at area indoor waterparks that are only a short drive away. Here’s a rundown of what each park offers.
CoCo Key Water Resort
Attached to The Hotel ML in Mt. Laurel, NJ (formerly the Mt. Laurel Marriott), CoCo Key is a built-in attraction for the hotel’s overnight guests and is open to the public for anyday visits. Parrot’s Perch — the main water play structure — dumps water from a giant bucket every 10 minutes and features several slides and water cannons.
Family Favorites: The slippery balancing act of the Lilly Pad Adventure and water basketball games at Coral Cove’s Slam Dunk. Little ones can watch cartoons at the foot-deep Dip-in Theater, parents can relax at the adults-only Palm Grotto Spa and everyone can enjoy the not-too-intense Coconut Grove Lazy River tube ride.
Day passes: $24.99-$32.99 per person or $119 for family 4-pack. Overnight packages start at $199 per night. 877-494-COCO (2626), MtLaurelCocoKey.com
Great Wolf Lodge
While most other Poconos resorts are famous for their snowy mountains and winter sports, Great Wolf Lodge in Scotrun, PA forgoes ski slopes and snowtubes and instead offers extreme waterslides and relaxed raft rides in the pool. The waterpark is one of several guest-exclusive amenities, so you need to plan an overnight getaway to play.
Family Favorites: The water rollercoaster Hydro Plunge and the River Canyon Run raft ride. Daredevil teens can try the Double-Barrel Drop, while the youngest members of the family can splash in the zero-depth-entry Cup Paw Pool and slide down the kiddie slide, Whooping Hollow.
Starts at $239 per night. 800-768-9653 (reservations), 570-688-9899 (resort), GreatWolf.com/poconos
Sahara Sam’s Oasis Indoor Water Park
This stand-alone southern New Jersey attraction in West Berlin caters to all ages, whether your toddler plays in the ankle-high Lizard Lagoon pool or your teen hangs out at the no-parents-allowed H2O Beach Club, a safe, underage nightclub experience on Saturday nights.
Family Favorites: The FlowRider surf simulator, ages 8 & older, and Snake Eyes, a series of tube slides. Take a raft down Mount Kilimanjaro or challenge yourself in the water obstacle course at Crocodile Flats.
Families with special needs: Plan to visit on exclusive Special Needs Evenings. The next event is Feb. 3, 2012.
Day passes only, $19.95-$31.95. 856-767-7580, SaharaSams.com
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Stephanie Halinski is calendar editor of MetroKids.