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Washington Area Indoor Water Parks

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

If Germany seems a little far to travel for an indoor water park experience, there are plenty of indoor parks closer to home with slides, lazy rivers, whirlpools and kiddie play areas. Here are a few within a day's drive of the Washington area. (Distances and estimated driving times are from the Capital Beltway.)

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Of course, if Naked Town (see main story) is more your scene, well, you'll have to go a little farther afield.

Willow Valley Resort

2416 Willow St. Pike, Lancaster, Pa. 800-444-1714. http://www.willowvalley.com. About 100 miles; two hours.

This resort in Amish country has three heated indoor pools and a "water playground" just for kids, with slides, sprinklers and sprays. There's also a golf course, tennis and basketball courts, a day spa, three restaurants and a bakery.

Admission to the water playground and pools is included in a stay at the hotel, starting at $89.

Massanutten Resort

1822 Resort Dr., McGaheysville, Va., 540-437-3340, http://www.massresort.com. 110 miles; two hours.

The ski/golf resort's water park includes a wave simulator for surfing and boogie boarding, a kids' area, a lazy river, slides, whirlpools and a three-foot-deep pool. Admission is $38 for guests 42 inches and taller, $26 for those shorter than 42 inches. Twilight passes (5 p.m.-closing) are $28, $19. Three-day passes are $75, and five-day passes are $98.

Great Wolf Lodge

549 E. Rochambeau Dr., Williamsburg. 800-551-9653. http://www.greatwolf.com/williamsburg. 135 miles; 2 1/2 hours.

The water park includes slides, a wave pool, a lazy river, a zero-depth spray park for children, family raft rides and a four-story treehouse with slides and other features. Admission is for lodge guests only; rooms start at $209. Other Great Wolf Lodge locations are in Grand Mound, Wash.; Grapevine, Tex.; Kansas City, Kan.; Niagara Falls, Ontario; Scotrun, Pa.; Sandusky and Mason, Ohio; Traverse City, Mich., and Wisconsin Dells, Wis. (Another, in Concord, N.C., opens in April.)

CoCo Key Water Resort

Mount Laurel Marriott, 915 Route 73, Mount Laurel, N.J., 877-494-2626. http://www.cocokeywaterresort.com/Locations/mountlaurel. 130 miles; 2 1/4 hours.

The park features a children's section, a "dip-in" theater area, whirlpools, three waterslides, activity pools and a fast-paced lazy river. Admission is included in packages from Mount Laurel Marriott (from $199). Day passes, available by reservation, are $39 Friday-Sunday, $29 Monday-Thursday, $19 twilight Sundays (5 p.m.-closing).

Splash Lagoon

8091 Peach St., Erie, Pa., 814-217-1111 or 866-377-5274. http://www.splashlagoon.com. 350 miles; 5 3/4 hours.

Near the shores of Lake Erie, Splash Lagoon has three kids' areas, five slides, two water rides, three whirlpools, a lazy river, a five-story treehouse, several dining options, a tiki bar, a macaw exhibit and the adjacent Lazer Tag Arena (extra charge).

Admission is included in overnight packages at any of six participating hotels (starting at $249). Day passes, which are limited and must be reserved during peak periods, are $34.95 for guests 48 inches and taller, $24.95 for those shorter than 48 inches and free for age 2 and younger; evening-only passes (4 p.m.-closing) are $24.95, $17.95. Non-swimmers can purchase spectator passes for $7.95.

-- Christina Talcott


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