Best Indoor Water Park (2017)


Summer fun is at hand year-round thanks to these 10 indoor water parks, where temperatures stay steady at around 84 degrees no matter the season. These parks feature all the same thrills as their outdoor counterparts – slides, lazy rivers, wave pools and play structures – without the sunburn. 

  • Great Wolf Lodge

    Great Wolf Lodge
    Multiple Locations

    In the heart of these family-friendly resorts (with 16 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 Lodge

  • Kalahari Resort

    Kalahari Resort
    Multiple Locations

    Kalahari Resort bring African-themed indoor waterparks to Wisconsin Dells, Sandusky and the Pocono Mountains (Round Rocks, Texas coming in 2020). These family-friendly resorts each include an indoor water park where guests can enjoy 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 Resorts

  • Massanutten WaterPark

    Massanutten WaterPark
    Massanutten, Va.

    Guests of Massanutten in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley have eight 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

  • Splash Lagoon

    Splash Lagoon
    Erie, Penn.

    The Polynesian-themed Splash Lagoon 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 float along the lazy river. For adrenaline-seekers, the Black Hole water slide submerges riders into total darkness. In total, the park features nine different waterslides – one tube reaches 40 miles per hour – as well as five on-site restaurant/bars and shops.
    Photo courtesy of Splash Lagoon

  • Timber Ridge Lodge & Waterpark

    Timber Ridge Lodge & Waterpark
    Lake Geneva, Wis.

    Timber Ridge Lodge in Lake Geneva, Wis. is home to a 50,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor waterpark, where visitors can zip down 35-foot slides, drift along a calm 500-foot lazy river, get moving in an activity pool or kick back and relax in an indoor/outdoor hot tub.
    Photo courtesy of Timber Ridge Lodge & Waterpark

  • 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 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 and bumper boats; 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

  • Schlitterbahn Galveston Island

    Schlitterbahn Galveston Island
    Galveston, Texas

    Schlitterbahn Galveston Island, the third water park resort in the Schlitterbahn franchise, features 26 acres of aquatic fun, including three indoor areas: Blastenhoff, Surfenburg and Wasserfest. This means no matter the season, guests can bob in a wave pool, face off on dueling uphill water coasters, shoot down waterslides, splash in a kids' activity area or hang ten on the Boogie Bahn surf ride.
    Photo courtesy of Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts

  • Avalanche Bay

    Avalanche Bay
    Boyne Falls, Mich.

    This huge water park in Boyne Falls, Mich. within the family-friendly Boyne Mountain Resort features all kinds of rides and water activities, such as a surf simulator, mat racer slide, tube slide, a launch capsule (the steepest drop in the industry at a 10-degree angle from vertical) and even a hot springs-themed hot tub to wind down after the rush. The resort itself has even more adventures – skiing, zip lining, golf and spa treatments.
    Photo courtesy of Avalance Bay

  • 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, three-story ropes course, five-story family raft ride, waterslides, an aquatic play structure and a surf simulator.
    Photo courtesy of Wilderness at the Smokies

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

  1. Great Wolf Lodge - Multiple Locations
  2. Kalahari Resort - Multiple Locations
  3. Massanutten WaterPark - Massanutten, Va.
  4. Splash Lagoon - Erie, Penn.
  5. Timber Ridge Lodge & Waterpark - Lake Geneva, Wis.
  6. Kahuna Laguna - North Conway, N.H.
  7. Wilderness Resort - Wisconsin Dells, Wis.
  8. Schlitterbahn Galveston Island - Galveston, Texas
  9. Avalanche Bay - Boyne Falls, Mich.
  10. Wilderness at the Smokies - Sevierville, Tenn.

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Jacqui Boland (Red Tricycle) and Mommy Nearest ( were chosen based on their knowledge and experience of family travel in the U.S.

Congratulations to all these winning year round water parks!

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Jacqui Boland

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Mommy Nearest

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