When it’s January and there’s a foot of snow on the ground, the advantages of visiting an indoor water park are clear. Even if it’s only for a weekend, hanging out in the man-made tropical splendor of an indoor park can do wonders for the body and spirit. Just ask all those landlocked Midwesterners who make winter pilgrimages to places like Water Park of America and KeyLime Cove.
But while indoor parks always seem to get props for slaying the winter blues, they have many advantages over outdoor parks that apply year-round. Even during the summer, when everyone prefers to be outdoors, there are plenty of good reasons to visit an indoor park. Here are some of the best ones we could come up with.
1. They’re Worry Resistant
While everyone might prefer to be outside during summer, the weather doesn’t always cooperate. This isn’t such a big deal if you have the flexibility to visit a water park on any day of your choosing. But if you’re planning a vacation or weekend getaway, the prospect of having your water fun evaporate in an instant is worrisome to say the least. There are always circumstances that can come along to ruin your vacation, but with indoor facilities, you can rest assured that rain won’t be one of them.
2. They’re Convenient
Most indoor water parks are connected to hotels or resorts, so you can stay where you play (sorry for the cheesy brochure-speak). While booking a room at a resort might cost extra, it’s worth it to be able to walk to and from a water park whenever you get the notion. Feel like a few trips down the tube slide before you turn in for the night? How about a nice float on the lazy river before breakfast? You can do that.
3. Sunscreen is Optional (Usually)
Applying sunscreen can be a real pain, especially if you have to do it for yourself and other people (read: kids). With a roof over your head, you generally don’t have to worry about it. There is one important exception, though. Some indoor parks have transparent roofs that let the sun shine down – a fabulous feature, but one that requires you to keep your skin protected.
4. They Make it Easier to Keep Track of the Kids
As a rule, indoor parks are smaller and more contained, with just a few points of exit/entry. For parents, this makes it easier to keep tabs on rambunctious kids. Some indoor parks (Klondike Kavern at Wilderness Resort, for example) are even built with a lazy river encircling the facility, making it easy for parents to relax while they supervise.
5. You Don’t Have to Choose
Perhaps best of all, you don’t actually have to choose between an outdoor and an indoor water park. Many hotels and resorts with indoor water parks also have outdoor water parks onsite. In theme park meccas like Wisconsin Dells or Sandusky, you can stay somewhere with an indoor park while making plans to visit an outdoor park if the weather is good enough. Simply having the option to get your splash on indoors insures against disappointment, while packing extra fun into your vacation.