Easy Escapes

5 Awesome Indoor Water Parks Near NYC

by  Elissa Garay | May 27, 2019
Girl in water park
Girl in water park / Anna_Om/iStock

No pool, no sun, no problem. Summer or winter, day or night, rain or shine, these climate-controlled, aquatic adventure-lands — heated to a tropical 84 degrees — allow you to dive on in some water-filled fun year-round, no matter the weather.

Whether it’s toddler-friendly splash zones, surfing simulators, relaxing lazy rivers, or high-speed waterslides, these five indoor water parks deliver on family-friendly fun for all ages. Added bonus: Each of them are under 100 miles away from NYC and feature resort-style accommodations, attractions, and activities, amenities, and more. Adventure awaits. 

1. Great Wolf Lodge Pocono Mountains: Scotrun, PA (85 miles from NYC)

Great Wolf Lodge in the Pocono Mountains recently underwent $12-million property-wide renovation (including revamped rooms and new attractions). The 79,000-square foot water park comes chockablock with splash-tastic diversion. Here, you can zip down one of 13 waterslides, explore a four-story interactive treehouse water fort (capped off with a giant 1,000-gallon tipping bucket), and swim in several pool zones. There’s also a wave pool, lazy river, and two hot tubs.

Linger longer at the rustic, log-cabin-style retreat and stay in one of the 401 revamped, woodsy themed family suites. When you need a break from the water, explore the newly added attractions, including Oliver’s Mining Co., an immersive, mining-themed educational adventure. Additionally, you’ll find updated food, shopping, and beverage offerings. Rates from $179 per night, depending on the season.

2. Kalahari Resorts Poconos: Pocono Manor, PA (95 miles from NYC)

For a superlative spin on all that splashing, swimming, and sliding, make way for the country’s largest indoor water park — which measures in at a whopping 220,000 square feet — at Kalahari Resorts Poconos. Here, you’ll find 32 waterslides, a wave pool, surf simulator, lazy river, several pools, a toddlers’ splash zone, and an adults-only swim-up bar. There’s also an outdoor water park for when the weather is nice. Additionally, the property offers an array of unique activities (mermaid swim classes, anyone?).

Dry off and extend your stay back in one of the nearly 1,000 guest rooms. While you’re here, be sure to visit the gargantuan arcade (filled with diversions like bowlingmini-golf, virtual reality games, and escape rooms), dine in of the 17 restaurants and bars, and book a treatment at the hydrotherapy- and halotherapy-equipped spa. Rates from $199 per night, depending on the season.

3. The Kartrite Resort & Indoor Waterpark: Monticello, NY (95 miles from NYC)

The Kartrite Resort and Indoor Waterpark in the Catskills is making a splash in the best way possible. The brand-new property, which opened in April 2019, features an 80,000-square foot indoor water park. Highlights include a FlowRider surf simulator, a lazy river, four waterslides, a multi-level play structure, toddler and kids’ activity pools, and several hot tubs. 

For an ideal easy escape, book one of the 324 suites. When it's time to dry off for the day, check out the expansive arcade, the ropes course (complete with a zip line!) or the rock climbing wall, among many other kid-approved activities. Plus, adults can have some fun, too. This property is next door to the new Resorts World Catskills, and up the road from The Monster Golf Course (also part of Resorts World Catskills); the golf course will reopen in 2020 following a major renovation. Rates from $179 per night, depending on the season.

4. Aquatopia at Camelback Resort: Tannerville, PA (85 miles from NYC)

Take the plunge at this much-loved Poconos property, which is complete with a 125,000-square-foot water park facility that's loaded with thrills via 13 waterslides, seven pools, an uphill water coaster, wave pool, lazy river, and surf simulator. While the kids play, parents can unwind in the hot tub or enjoy a cocktail at the swim-up bar.

When the weather’s nice, the fun continues outdoors at Camelbeach; there’s also zip lines, a ropes course, and mountain coaster adventures. Come winter, the resort is situated right on the slopes (there are about three dozen trails for skiing and snowboarding, plus a huge park for snow tubing). If you're looking for a great long-weekend getaway, consider booking one of the resort’s 453 suites. Spend time browsing the shops, checking out the restaurants and lounges; visiting the spa; and exploring the massive indoor family entertainment center. Rates from $169 per night, depending on the season.

5. CoCo Key Water Resort: Mount Laurel, NJ (85 miles from NYC)

This summer, beat the heat without losing out on the fun at this indoor water park in New Jersey. Highlights include a lazy river, an interactive aquatic jungle gym (complete with slides, water cannons, and a 300-gallon tipping bucket), a trio of waterslides, activity pools, an adults-only indoor/outdoor whirlpool, and a wading pool for the wee ones.

Transform your day trip into a mini-escape when you book one of the 283 guest rooms at The Hotel ML, Coco Key's property. Here, you’ll find a fitness center and lounge, as well as several dining options, ranging from a coffee shop, to a grab-and-go shop, to a sit-down restaurant and lounge. In the evenings, the hotel hosts movie nights: the perfect before-bed activity to wind the kids down. Water park packages (includes accommodations) from $149 per night, depending on the season. However, it’s important to note: The water park is generally only open when area schools are on recess, so plan accordingly.

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