Are you longing for summer fun during the long, cold winter months of Chicago? Try an indoor water park within driving distance from the Chicago suburbs. During the bitter months of our Chicago winter my family plays at libraries and indoor play places. When we start longing for summer fun, we bust out the bathing suits and head to an indoor water park! The only extra item I bring to a water park in the winter is a hair dryer so the kids don’t freeze with wet hair when departing. There are plenty of indoor water park locations in the suburbs and beyond whether you are looking for an afternoon out or whole weekend of fun. Enjoy a little taste of summer this winter!
Indoor Water Parks Near Chicago
Indoor Water Parks in Illinois
Pelican Harbor (Bolingbrook)
Pelican Harbor is an indoor-outdoor facility, so the fun doesn’t have to stop when the temperatures drop. Inside, you’ll find zero-depth and lap pools, two big water slides, a toddler slide, tumble buckets, and a hot tub. With water temperatures set above 82 degrees, you won’t notice how cold it is outside. Prices drop during non-peak hours. Check their website for more information.
Oak Brook Park District Family Aquatic Center (Oak Brook)
When the outdoor Splash Island is closed, the indoor section of this aquatic center boasts a zero-depth-entry pool with a 105-foot water slide and splash playground. There’s also a six-lane lap pool and a 10-person whirlpool. Check out the website to see their winter schedule and a 360-degree interactive tour.
The Water Works (Schaumburg)
Water Works has all the features of a great water playground. With three small slides in a zero-depth-entry pool, a diving pool, lap pool, and rapid water channel for older swimmers, there’s something for everyone.
Kroc Center Chicago (Chicago)
Kroc Center features multiple pools. A competition pool, including diving boards, and a leisurely pool for family fun. This area has a water play structure, a vortex, and two slides.
Pirate’s Cay (Sheridan)
Pirate’s Cay is a 31,000-square-foot resort-style indoor water park with two tower water slides, two body water slides, a lazy river, and a pirate-ship-themed water playground. There’s also an arcade and gift shop when you’re ready for a break from the water. Hotel guests are welcome throughout the entire resort, while daily guest passes can be purchased for the waterpark area only.
Grizzly Jack’s Grand Bear Resort (Utica)
Grizzly Jack’s indoor water park includes water slides, a lazy river, a wave pool, a tot pool, ranger station and a hot tub. Daily admission is available, but the waterpark is free for resort guests. Check out Annie’s new review of Grizzly Jack’s. If the weather is milder, combine your trip with an afternoon hike at Starved Rock.
Great Wolf Lodge (Gurnee)
Great Wolf Lodge has a new, closer location in Gurnee. This brand-new facility features a four-story water slide, a water fort tree house, tot-only water slides and pool, and much more. With character visits, story-time and family games, there’s plenty to do outside of the pool. See the full lineup of attractions here. Check out Katie’s review of the Great Wolf Lodge here for tips and discounts!
Arctic Splash Indoor Pool (Wheeling)
This smaller center is great for little kids, with a toddler slide, zero-depth entry pool, mini lazy river, and water play structures. There’s also a four-lane lap pool.
Splash Central Indoor Aquatic Center (Bartlett)
Splash Central contains a 12-foot waterslide, diving board, whirlpool, lap pool, and zero-depth-entry pool that has a water playground and a twisty slide.
Indoor Water Parks in Wisconsin
Timber Ridge Lodge and Waterpark (Lake Geneva)
Timber Ridge Lodge is a resort water park with family activities for all ages, from a safe spot for tots with swings and a tiny waterfall to an activity pool with a rope climb, lazy river and slides. Join in the family movie nights, play games at the arcade, or stop in the activity room for an art project. Don’t forget to check out their deals page or look for a Groupon to get a discount on certain dates!
Breaker Bay Water Park (Sheboygan)
Breaker Bay Water Park is a 54,000 square foot water park at the Blue Harbor Resort and Spa in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. My toddlers loved the toddler play area, with bubblers and two toddler slides (one has a height requirement of 36 inches). Older kids would love the surfing simulator, basketball court pool, water obstacle course, and slides (height requirement is 42 inches). My favorite was the lazy river! My whole family piled on tubes and we all floated through the lazy river. Admission is included if you are staying on the resort. Public access prices are $29, ages 2 and up, for a full day pass. Check out my review of our family trip to Sheboygan to make a weekend out of it!
Springs Waterpark (Pewaukee)
Attached to the Ingleside Hotel, you’ll find this indoor water park that boasts more than 45,000 square feet. It includes tube and body slides, a lazy river, a water basketball court, a lily pad walk, zero-depth-entry pool, and an indoor-outdoor hot tub. Take a break from swimming and enjoy more than 50 games at the arcade, or stop in the Whistle Saloon for a bite to eat. Check the website for a 3D tour of both the arcade and waterpark.
Crawdaddy Cove (Madison)
Inside the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Madison West, Crawdaddy Cove features multiple slides, a kiddie area with a shrimp boat playground, and hot tub. Day passes available Sunday through Thursday only, while the water park is open to hotel guests every day.
Indoor Water Parks in Wisconsin Dells
Chula Vista Resort’s Los Rios Indoor Waterpark
The world’s fastest and longest uphill indoor water roller coaster zooms around this indoor waterpark. Little ones can enjoy the kiddie area, while older children can race down the mat slides, test their balance at the croc crossing, get drenched under the tipping bucket, or float down the lazy river. Wrap up your visit with a trip to the mega arcade. Waterpark passes are included with an overnight stay, and you can sometimes find Chula Vista deals on Groupon, Expedia, Trivago, and other travel sites.
Great Wolf Lodge
There’s hours of fun to be had at this 80,000 square-foot waterpark. Click here for the full list of indoor water attractions, which include a water fort tree house, activity pool, countless body and tube slides, toboggan-style mat slides, and more. Don’t forget all of the out-of-water attractions such as the arcade or Creation Station. Great Wolf Lodge was one of Parents magazine’s top 10 water parks in 2016.
You don’t need to head to the ocean to catch some waves! Kalahari Resort has both an indoor water park and an indoor theme park. The water park is the largest in the Wisconsin Dells at 125,000 square feet, with everything including body and raft slides, a lazy river, a water rollercoaster, wave pool and a surfing simulator. The little kids area has its own mini lazy river, a water play structure, and slides. Check out their entry on Parents magazine’s top 10 water parks of 2016, and be sure to visit the specials page to find packages and deals.
Mt. Olympus Water Park
Mt. Olympus features four water slides, a giant play structure, a lazy river, a swim pool, a whirlpool, and a hot tub. At the Hispaniola Bay play area, kids can play on a 35-foot pirate ship, slip down five water slides, and run through water spouts and geysers.
Wilderness Waterpark Resort
Wilderness Waterpark Resort was another one of Parents magazine’s top 10 water parks in 2016. There are four separate indoor waterparks, and another four outdoor waterparks if you decide to visit in warmer temperatures. Whatever you’re looking for, Wilderness Waterpark Resort has it. Water attractions include the country’s biggest indoor wave pool, tons of waterslides, zero-depth play features, and much, much more. After toweling off, take a ride on the go-karts, play a game of laser tag, or win some prizes at the arcade. There’s so much to enjoy at Wilderness Waterpark Resort. You can’t purchase day passes, but admission is included with resort stays. Also check out their specials page before you book.
Indoor Water Parks in Indiana
Big Splash Adventure Indoor Water Park and Resort (French Lick)
Enjoy an afternoon in Big Splash Water Park, where the glass ceiling gives this space a tropical feel, even in the winter. Inside, families can climb a three-story play structure, splash around the toddler pool, float down the Lost River, whirl around the tube and body slides, enjoy a long soak in the hot tub and more.
Indoor Water Parks in Michigan
Surfari Joe’s Indoor Wilderness Water Park (Rochester Hills)
A smaller park at 18,000 square feet, Surfari Joe’s is a part of a Fairfield Inn & Suites. With two slides, activity pools, a lazy river, and a kiddie area with a big dumping bucket make for plenty of water fun. There’s also an arcade for post-swim entertainment. You may find coupons on their promos page.
Double JJ Resort’s Gold Rush Waterpark (Rothbury)
Double JJ’s is a rustic resort. Accommodations can be made to stay in a log cabin, suite or RV campsite. Guests ride horses, take sleigh rides to roast s’mores, and cruise down a tubing hill. At the 60,000-square-foot water park, you’ll find thrill slides, a wave pool, a toddler pool, water basketball, hot tubs and a multi-story water fort outfitted with water guns. You’ll even find non-water attractions such as indoor mini-golf or two 18-hole golf courses nearby.
Indoor Water Parks in Iowa
Grand Harbor Resort (Dubuque)
The Grand Harbor Resort is about 3 hours from Chicago. This hotel’s water park is geared towards younger children. The water playground contains tipping bucket and water features. You’ll find water sprinklers, slides and shallow waters.
Want to go to an indoor open swim time with your family? We have a great list of Indoor Pools with Family Swim Times with descriptions, prices, and schedules!