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Six Indoor Waterparks Turn Spring Break Tropical. Take a break where snow gear and sunscreen will not be needed but flip-flops are essential; a place where being all wet is part of the experience plan and wave pools, tunnel slides and lazy river floating is part of the fun. Body Surfing Wilderness in the Smokies Tennessee

If snow sports, snowmen, and snow angels do not sound like a recipe for a spring break then the advantages of time at an indoor waterpark will obvious. 

I have shared indoor waterpark experiences at three locations and each time it was crazy fun. Any place which allows splashing , squealing and laughing is good for the spirit. When not being splashed myself I took the opportunity to ask nearby adults whet the thought about waterpark adventures. All agreed it is an effortless way to escape for a bit and be a kid with the kids. They also agreed, it isn’t always size that matters (although for teens the thrill factor is essential) but the quality of the space which allows children of different ages to have fun without conflict.
Here's the scoop. One has to have the right mind set to become immersed in the cocoon of a water park. The cacophony of sounds, thickness of the air with almost 90 humidity (no chance of rain) and bodies of all ages dressed in beach wear is almost surreal. But with the right mind set, the idea works well for a family escape when wintery, gray days prevail. The obvious advantage for parents or grandparents is one location with self-contained family fun.  

With feedback from our readers and my own research I have also identified a few new spring break options at waterparks in the mid Atlantic area, Great Lakes region and in Canada.Wave Pool at Wilderness in the Smokies, Ten

Wilderness at the Smokies in Tennessee. In Seviervile surf’s up every day under the 60,000-square-foot Wild WaterDome Indoor Waterpark at River Lodge. The complex spans seven acres and includes a wave pool, tubing rides, hot tubs, water bucket dumps, countless waterslides, wading pools and slides for tykes. It is also the Surf Rider in the Southeast. Bonus Points: Adjacent to the Wild WaterDome is the Adventure Forest a 25,000 square foot family adventure center created for guests and visitors as well. Expect to enjoy family adventure activities including: three-story ropes course, a 23-foot-tall indoor rock climbing wall, miniature bowling, nine holes of black-light miniature golf, a laser light maze, a 25-foot-high indoor drop ride plus more than 100 arcade games. (1424 Old Knoxville Highway Sevierville, TN  37876. Toll-free 877-325-9453 FREE or

Wingate Indoor Waterpark in Montana. Staying Missoula can be a tropical experience if your room is at the Wingate. While not in the grand scale of Edmonton Mall’s Water World, the cozy oasis offers an indoor pool and hot tub. Guests may enjoy three-story water slides, a pool just for tykes, mushroom shaped water feature, and a giant green froggy slide. Bonus Points: Missoula Children's Theatre offers terrific theater experiences for families and no visit to the city would be complete without at least one spin on the handmade (artful) Missoula Carousel which showcases 38 ponies spinning to music provided by the largest band organ in continuous use in the United States.  (5252 Airway Blvd., Missoula, Montana 59808. (406) 541-8000 or
CoCo Key Water Resort in Nebraska. No matter what Mother Nature dishes out in Omaha at CoCo Key it will be balmy and lively. The water island complex offers a rich menu of ways to enjoy time in and around water from interactive play island, water cannons, a giant bucket dumping water and basketball in the water to a lazy river, zero depth entry, and slides for tykes. For extra thrills with loops and turns, slide Barracuda Blast. Bonus Points: For adults there’s warm water therapy at the indoor/outdoor spa. (Ramada Plaza Hotel & Convention Center 3321 South 72nd Street Omaha, NE 68124. (402) 393-3950 or Bucket at Great Wolf Lodge in Texas

Great Wolf Lodge & Waterpark in Texas. Not far from DFW Airport Great Wolf Lodge is an indoor water paradise for families – a place where the crazy fun of summer prevails at a comfortable 84 degrees. The water complex spans more than 80, 000 square feet and creates an oasis of fun for kids of all ages. From tubing runs, water rafting for the whole family and twin three-story water slides to interactive splashing adventures at Fort Mckenzie, the choices for high energy fun are plentiful. Little surfers will appreciate the features zero-depth entry wave pool action. Perhaps the biggest thrill is Alberta Falls the four-story slide that twist its way to the plunge pool. Bonus Points:  When water is not enough buckle up and enjoy the ride in the Howly Wood XD Theater. (100 Great Wolf Drive Grapevine Texas 76051. (817) 488-6510 or
Silver Rapids Indoor Waterpark in Idaho. For families staying at Morning Star Lodge, the waterpark is an obvious benefit. How convenient to have a tropical oasis just a few steps from your room. The complex offers wet and wild experiences for all ages including teens. From spraying fountains, lazy river floats and bubblers to a floating lily pad crossing, basketball in the water and the amazing  FLOWRIDER which creates the perfect wave every time, it feels like summer all day long. There’s even an indoor family hot tub meant for relaxing. Bonus Points: Moose Sluice, a raft waterslide that sends parties of four careening through a dark tunnel is ideal for a family adventure. (610 Bunker Avenue Kellogg, Idaho 83837. Toll-free 1-866-344-2675 or Silver Rapids Indoor Waterpark)

Timberfalls Waterpark in Missouri. Tan-Tar-A Resort in the Ozarks is a marvelous destination for active families. Timberfalls makes it even better no matter what the weather delivers during the coolest months. Just imagine an oversized three-story treehouse with water slides, six-foot wide water bucket, water basketball and a lazy river. There is even whirlpool ideal for family relaxation. Bonus Points: Also at the resort you will find bowling, bumper bowling, horseback trail rides, and a spa. (494 Tan Tar A Drive, Osage Beach, Missouri 65065.  (573) 348-3131 or

Spring BreaksMore waterpark family adventure spots may be found in the Great Lakes region, mid-Atlantic US, and in Canada or for more ideas view our collection of Spring Breaks for families.   

Content researched and posted by Nancy Nelson-Duac, Curator of the Good for the Family Travel Files. Image courtesy Wilderness at the Smokies, and Great Wolf Lodge. Copyright 2018.  

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