Pittsburgh is a fun town, but it’s lacking in one area – indoor water parks. In other words, if you want to get your splash on in the dead of winter, you’re not going to find what you’re looking for inside city limits. That’s the bad news. The good news is that there are some seriously awesome indoor water parks near Pittsburgh. In fact, some of the biggest and best indoor water parks in the country are within driving distance.
The four indoor water parks near Pittsburgh are all in Erie, Pennsylvania (2 hours) and Sandusky, Ohio (3 hours). All of them are connected to hotels, so you can stay and enjoy an evening or weekend in warm, weatherproof splendor.
Splash Lagoon (Erie, Pennsylvania)
If you’re looking for the closest major indoor water park, here you go. At 80,000 square feet, Splash Lagoon is large even by national standards. Located in Erie, it’s close enough that you could conceivably make a day trip out of it. However, we don’t recommend it. With all the attractions – funnel slide, tube and body slides, lazy river, and so on – you won’t want to rush things. Besides, the water park is connected to three different hotels, so you have lots of options for lodging.
Kalahari Waterpark Resort (Sandusky, Ohio)
If you don’t mind traveling a little further to the tourist town of Sandusky, Ohio, you can visit the largest indoor water park in the United States. The Kalahari is 173,000 square feet, which is several times bigger than a lot of other “large” indoor water parks. Needless to say, this water park has everything – including two surfing simulators and a massive wave pool. The resort itself also offers a memorable experience, with its African theme and luxury accommodations.
Castaway Bay (Sandusky, Ohio)
Another indoor water park in Sandusky is Castaway Bay, a 38,000 square foot facility whose owners also run the famous Cedar Point amusement park. Obviously, this water park is not nearly as large as the above two, but it still manages to pack in a lot of great attractions – including a “water coaster” (a cross between a water slide and roller coaster). The attached resort ain’t bad, either. It features a full day spa and a massive 6,000 square foot arcade.
Great Wolf Lodge (Sandusky, Ohio)
Great Wolf Lodge is a national chain of resorts known for their large and well-equipped indoor water parks. However, the one in Sandusky is only medium-sized at 33,000 square feet. This is still a great place to take the family, though. Like the other Great Wolf Lodge resorts, it spoils its younger guests with games and activities. And make no mistake – while it might be small by Great Wolf standards, the water park is still pretty impressive when judged on its own merits.
While these indoor water parks might not be as close to Pittsburgh as you might like, you certainly can’t complain about the quality of the options. Whether you live in Pittsburgh or are traveling to the area, these water parks are well worth the few hours it takes to get there. However, if for some reason you want even more options, there are two indoor water parks in the Poconos (about 5 hours away) that are not only top notch, but are part of resorts that include many more activities.