By Joanna Stone
According to Parkvault, water parks made their appearance in the United States in the late 1940s and early 1950s. However, George Millay gets credit for opening the first official water park, Wet & Wild, in Orlando, Florida, in 1977. (Water park.com)
You may enjoy water park adventure at Great Wolf Lodge, Kalahari Resort and Convention Center, and Camelback Aquatopia here in the Poconos.
Great Wolf Lodge and Aquatopia are somewhat smaller than Kalahari. Great Wolf Lodge boasts five slides: Double Barrel Drop, Hydro Plunge Coyote, Canon, River Canyon Run, and Alberta Falls. Adding to the splashing fun are fifteen diverse areas catering from toddlers to adults. Great Wolf also has attractions specifically designed for the younger visitor. One such prevalent game is Magical Quests which transforms the Lodge into a live-action game with your child as the star. Using a magic wand (theirs to take home), your child can spend a half-hour or a full day exploring a quest. The entertainment continues with various shows throughout the day, a ropes course, The Howl at the Moon Glow mini-golf, a wave pool, an arcade, art projects in the arts and crafts room, and the outdoor fire pit. The day of non-stop fun culminates with storytime in the lobby as children gather in their pajamas.
Come for a birthday celebration or the Passport Program, and you'll be sure to have value for your purchase.
Kalahari is a 220,000 square foot water park consisting of twenty-four indoor and two outdoor waterpark areas. It is the third-largest water park in the United States.
Among Kalahari's famous slides are the Anaconda, the Barreling Baboon, the Cheetah Race, the Elephant's Trunk, the Rippling Rhino, and the Tanzanian Twister, The Smoke that Thunders, Victoria Falls, the Zig Zag Zebra, and many more. Additionally, they offer a list of them online, where you can search for the perfect slide for your needs.
Many of these slides offer thrill factors rendering them ideal for excitement-seeking visitors. Additionally, they have attractions like Lazy River and a Surf simulator machine called Flow Rider. Surfing lessons are also available. Different parts of the park are designed to entertain children of different ages.
Among the attractions are a huge arcade and a wave pool. Mini-bowling, blacklight, a Mini G70, motion theater, VR experiences, and even escape rooms are popular activities.
Camelback Aquatopia boasts thirteen slides: the New Mountainview Mayhem, Skydive Plummet, and The Himalayan, to name a few. Aqua play structures come in various levels. There is a floating obstacle area with lily pads. The Penguin Play Bay is a shadow lagoon where children can play. Try surfing on the Bombora Flow Rider simulator. Guests can also boogie board or stand-up paddleboard.
Purchasing an Arcadia card gives guests access to Aquatopia's outdoor and indoor activities. The entire family will enjoy the arcade and a turbulent ride on the bumper cars. There is a rope course with obstacles on two different levels to test your balance and climbing exercises for beginners and advanced players. Virtual reality fun is available for those less physically inclined. For convenience purposes, vending machines accept credit cards.
Our analysis only touched the surface of the activities, dining options, and other amenities available at Great Wolf Lodge, Camelback Aquatopia, and Kalahari. The atmosphere at Great Wolf Lodge appears to be cozier and warmer for toddlers and young children. Meanwhile, Kalahari and Camelback offer many arcade games and gaming experiences for older children and young adults.
If you are a visitor to the Poconos or a resident, Great Wolf Lodge, Camelback Aquatopia, and Kalahari offer exciting family entertainment. The bonus: you can enjoy summer fun all year long.