Best Indoor Water Park (2015)


With a steady temperature of around 84 degrees Fahrenheit, indoor water parks bring the summer fun indoors with the same wave pools, lazy rivers, waterslides and play areas of their outdoor counterparts.

  • Aquatopia at Camelback Lodge

    Aquatopia at Camelback Lodge
    Tannersville, Penn.

    Aquatopia at Camelback Resort in the Poconos boasts 125,000 square feet of water-filled fun, including 7 pools, 13 slides, an adventure river and a water play structure with nearly 100 gadgets and interactive elements and a 1,000-gallon dumping bucket. A highlight for thrill-seekers is Storm Chaser, the longest indoor water coaster in the USA.Visitors looking to relax can work on their tan year-round thanks to Aquatopia's transparent roof.
    Photo courtesy of Camelback Resort

  • Wilderness Resort

    Wilderness Resort
    Wisconsin Dells, Wis.

    Wilderness Resort at Wisconsin Dells features eight (yes, eight) different indoor and outdoor water parks all on site. Among the indoor parks, the 65,000 Klondike Kavern boasts thrill rides and a tall play feature; the 70,000-square-foot Wild WaterDome with its transparent roof actually allows guests to tan in the sunlight; the Wild West is the biggest indoor water park, with tubes, slides, bumper boats and more; and Cubby’s Cove has basketball hoops, geysers and a hot tub that looks out of the lake.
    Photo courtesy of Wilderness Resort at Wisconsin Dells

  • Kalahari Resort

    Kalahari Resort
    Various Locations

    The Kalahari Resort brings the African safari to Wisconsin Dells, Sandusky and the Pocono Mountains. These themed resorts each include an indoor water park where guests can enjoy family-friendly water activities for all ages, including bodyboarding, hot tubbing, a lazy river, spas and a family raft ride. Thrill seekers can surf every day of the year, no matter the weather, thanks to FlowRiders at each location, and to relax, guests can watch TV in a private cabana or grab a drink at a swim-up bar.
    Photo courtesy of Kalahari Resort

  • Great Wolf Lodge

    Great Wolf Lodge
    Various Locations

    Kids rule at the Great Wolf Lodge. In the heart of these family-friendly resorts (with twelve locations from coast to coast) are large indoor water parks kept at 84 degrees. Great Wolf Lodge classic rides include waterslides, mat slides, wave pools, adults-only hot tubs and zero-entry pools for the little ones. After the excitement, guests can retreat to the themed suites, like the Wolf Den Suite, with its cave-themed kids’ sleeping area. Popular Great Wolf Lodge locations include Wisconsin Dells, Williamsburg, Pocono Mountains, Grand Mound and Concord.
    Photo courtesy of Great Wolf Resorts

  • Massanutten

    McGaheysville, Va.

    Guests of Massanutten in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley have 8 waterslides, a leisure river, hot tubs and the state's first and biggest FlowRider surf simulator to choose from. Kid-friendly Frog Pond offers pint-sized thrills, while the whole family will enjoy the water cannons and gadgets of the Massanutten Meltdown play structure. An indoor/outdoor hot tub sets the scene for year-round relaxation.
    Photo courtesy of Massanutten

  • Water Park of America

    Water Park of America
    Bloomington, Minn.

    The Water Park of America, not far from the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., is the tallest indoor water park in the nation. It’s flagship attraction is the Eagles Nest 10th Floor Body Slide, the country’s tallest indoor waterslide, at nearly 10 stories high. But this 70,000-square-foot park also offers water activities for the milder visitors, including a lazy river and family tube ride. The Water Park of America offers more than two dozen rides. Guests can stay the night at the Radisson Bloomington, too.
    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

  • Splash Lagoon

    Splash Lagoon
    Erie, Penn.

    The Polynesian-themed Splash Lagoon Indoor Water Park Resort is home to the biggest indoor wave pool in the Eastern United States, as well as other unique water-centric attractions. Guests can test themselves on the ropes course high above the water, or immerse in the lazy river. For adrenaline-seekers, the Black Hole water slide submerges riders into total darkness. Splash Lagoon, in Erie, Penn. features nine different waterslides; one tube reaches 40 miles per hour. This water park also offers guests five on-site restaurant/bars and shops.
    Photo courtesy of Splash Lagoon

  • KeyLime Cove

    KeyLime Cove
    Gurnee, Ill.

    The Lost Paradise Waterpark in KeyLime Cove aims to offer a tropical vacation – just north of Chicago. The indoor water park, always kept at 84 degrees and inspired by the Florida Keys, has activities for all ages and adrenaline-rush preferences. Beyond thrilling water rides, Lost Paradise also has a kiddie pool, lazy river and an adults-only grotto. The hotel is only a mile from Six Flags Great America and boasts 414 rooms; admission to the park is included in the stay.
    Photo courtesy of Daniel X. O'Neil / Flickr

  • Kahuna Laguna

    Kahuna Laguna
    North Conway, N.H.

    New Hampshire's 40,000-square-foot Kahuna Laguna indoor water park was the first of its kind in northern New England. Located on the grounds of Red Jacket Mountain View Resort, the park offers a bit of splashy fun for everyone, including high-speed tube slides and a wave pool for adrenaline junkies, water basketball for competitive sorts and a play tower complete with water cannons and a 175-gallon tipping bucket.
    Photo courtesy of Kahuna Laguna

  • Wilderness at the Smokies

    Wilderness at the Smokies
    Sevierville, Tenn.

    Located just outside of family-friendly Pigeon Forge, Tenn., Wilderness at the Smokies is home to Wild WaterDome, Tennessee's largest indoor water park. Exclusive to resort guests, the park features a transparent roof for year-round tanning, a 10,000-square-foot wave pool, a 1,000-square-foot hot tub, five-story family raft ride, waterslides, an aquatic play structure and a surf simulator.
    Photo courtesy of Wilderness at the Smokies

We asked USA TODAY 10Best readers to vote for their favorite indoor water parks, and after four weeks of voting, the votes have been counted and we have a winner!

It was a tight and well-fought battle to the end, but Aquatopia at Camelback Lodge beat out Wilderness Resort for the top spot.

The top 10 winners in the category Best Indoor Water Park are as follows:

  1. Aquatopia at Camelback Lodge - Tannersville, Penn.
  2. Wilderness Resort - Wisconsin Dells, Wis.
  3. Kalahari Resort - Various Locations
  4. Great Wolf Lodge - Various Locations
  5. Massanutten - McGaheysville, Va.
  6. Water Park of America - Bloomington, Minn.
  7. Splash Lagoon - Erie, Penn.
  8. KeyLime Cove - Gurnee, Ill.
  9. Kahuna Laguna - North Conway, N.H.
  10. Wilderness at the Smokies - Sevierville, Tenn.

Other nominees for Best indoor Water Park included Avalanche Bay, Big Splash Adventure, Breaker Bay, Castaway Bay, Chula Vista, Evergreen Wings & Waves, Fallsview Indoor Waterpark, Schlitterbahn Galveston Island, Silver Rapids and Six Flags Great Escape Lodge.

10Best and USA TODAY extend their congratulations to all the winners.


License the 10Best Readers' Choice Award Logo



AlertThe Experts

Dave Parfitt

Dave Parfitt

Dave Parfitt

Lydia Schrandt

Lydia Schrandt

Lydia Schrandt