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.)
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