Sandusky, Ohio is famous for its amusement parks, especially historic Cedar Point with its stable of 16 (!) roller coasters. Being situated on the shores of Lake Erie, it’s is also known for outdoor recreation like boating and swimming. But here’s one more thing Sandusky is known for: long, cold winters. Fortunately, the fun doesn’t have to end when the weather turns cold. Here are some indoor water parks in Sandusky, Ohio that provide balmy environments for people to enjoy even in the dead of winter.
The great thing about these water parks is that they’re all connected to full-fledged resorts that include lots of other things to do without ever setting foot outside. However, if you’re staying elsewhere, each indoor water park also offers day passes to the general public.
Kalahari Waterpark Resort
Let’s start with the big daddy. At 173,000 square feet, the Kalahari is not only the biggest indoor water park in Sandusky, but arguably the biggest indoor water park in the United States (depending on how you measure). It’s got a massive wave pool, two surfing simulators, and far more attractions than we’d care to list here. The water park features a unique African theme, which carries through to the attached resort. By the way, with 900 rooms, the resort is also humongous. All in all, you’ll have a hard time finding another indoor water park resort that does things on this scale – unless you visit the Kalahari’s other location in Wisconsin Dells, that is.
Great Wolf Lodge
Another big name in indoor water parks is Great Wolf Lodge. However, at 33,000 square feet, the water park in Sandusky doesn’t measure up to the ones at other locations in the United States and Canada. Still, there’s a good assortment of water attractions here, with the northwest lodge style that characterizes this wide-ranging franchise. Besides the water park, this resort also lures in families with lots of activities for the kids. As we always like to point out when writing about these resorts, they offer rooms with miniature cabins inside them where children can sleep. Makes you want to be a kid again.
Here’s another indoor water park that will seem puny compared to the Kalahari, but is actually pretty decently sized at 38,000 square feet. Like the previous two options, it also has some real heavyweights for owners – in this case, it’s the same group that owns Cedar Point and many other popular amusement parks around the country. Given the background of the owners, it’s no surprise that the centerpiece of Castaway Bay is a “water coaster” (a cross between a water slide and roller coaster). There are also some nice, tall slides here, along with all the standard attractions you’ll find at any indoor water park worth its salt. The theme here is Caribbean – not too original, but it effectively suggests the tropical escape many people are looking for when they come to an indoor water park.
Maui Sands Resort
After closing for a time due to financial troubles, Maui Sands Resort was sold to new owners and reopened its Hawaiian-themed indoor water park in 2013. At 45,000 square feet, it can boast being the second largest indoor park in town (granted, it’s a distant second). The attractions are very respectable, too – a toilet bowl slide, Vortex Pool, tube and body slides, kiddie play area, and the mandatory lazy river, among other attractions. One option beleaguered moms and dads will enjoy is Ka’anapali Spa, which is reserved for adults 18 and over.
You won’t find many cities that have four indoor water parks as good as these – at least in the state of Ohio. If you have chance to visit Sandusky, we suggest you give one or all of them a try – especially if you have young children. During the summer, staying at one of these resorts means you never have to worry about driving somewhere to find things for the kids to do. During the offseason, the indoor water parks in Sandusky offer something even better – relief from the winter doldrums.