Biggest Best Playgrounds Indoor Playgrounds

Great Wolf, Kalahari or Rocking Horse?

Editor’s Note: So we wanted to add a great deal below for The Great Escape at Lake George, we have not gone yet, but plan to, if you have gone, let us know and we’ll share your experience about it!  We love sharing people’s reviews!

Hi there Playground People! So are you looking to go away for Spring Break, just for a little getaway?  Amy and I have been to many cool places and wanted to highlight 3 favorite one or 2 nighters that get you a taste of vacation even if it is for only a couple days.  We also are hooking you up with the deals via Groupon for each!

Where are these three not too far places?

Great Wolf Lodge in Scotrun PA

Kalahari Resorts in the Poconos

and

Last, but not least,

Rocking Horse Ranch in Highland NY

So what’s the deal with the high prices?  Many of these places are $500+/night which you may find pretty pricey.  Well we did! So that’s why we always look for the discounts on Groupon/Living Social and other deal places.  The fact is these are pretty neat resorts that give you a waterpark that is fully staffed, and some other cool amenities.

Want to skip the summaries? WE HAVE OUR FULL REVIEWS FOR EACH PLACE HERE! 

Let’s start with Great Wolf…

Amy did a fantastic review, and I actually went after she reviewed the place.

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Great Wolf Lodge – Amy’s Photo

Here’s an excerpt: “The water park was also pretty much perfect with “right sized” activities for everyone. There is a kiddie/toddler area with 3 or 4 smaller slides that are completely managable for a 3 or 4 year old but that my 6 year old enjoyed too. That same area has lots of little fountains and a water basketball area.  Not far from that area is a very large hot tub perfect for warming up if you do get chilled.  The same side of the water park area also includes a large wave pool that the bigger kids couldn’t get enough of… the shallow part of that pool also features fountains that are sure to keep a 2 or 3 year old occupied for hours.

There are 3 or 4 larger slides that weren’t too scary for my 4 year old but gave us adults just the right amount of thrill too.  Everyone enjoyed the lazy river and all 3 kids had a ton of fun trying to traverse the lily pad/stepping stones and the larger pool with taller basketball hoops and a floating snake.  Another HUGE hit was the large playground structure that featured a few more water slides and the huge bucket of water that rained down us on a regular basis.” For her full review, check it out here!

Other positives: She loved the cabin-type room, and we did too, the kids got to have their own little nook with their bunk beds, which was perfect.  Also they have MAGIQUEST!  Great game and it is fun for the kids to go around the atrium and solve puzzles, and get gold!

Latest Deal? Best case is to go directly to Great Wolf Website, groupon didn’t have a better deal! For example for 4/4-4/5 stay the lowest rate is $309.99/night via their site. Video at the end of the post!

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Kalahari Photo- By Sheila

Next up Kalahari Resorts in the Poconos!

We loved it here, and took a big group. Very similar to Great Wolf, with a giant arcade and no magiquest. We loved the wristbands so you can leave your wallet in your room so you can charge your food and drinks from the restaurant and swim up bar. The kids loved the thrill water rides, and the little ones equally had fun in the baby lazy river and the splash playground in the middle with the big buckets of water raining down intermittently. The hot tub for kids was awesome and the kids got a kick out of the wave surfing. No wave pool here like Great Wolf though but a great boogie board surfing type attraction. You have to check out our review here! It was fun, and we’d definitely visit again!

Rocking Horse Ranch pool

Pool Section of Indoor Water Park at Rocking Horse Ranch

Rocking Horse Ranch in Highland NY is our pick for the most diverse of outdoor and indoor!

It is also ALL-inclusive but you pay per person, so for 4/1-4/2 (family of 4 is spending 480/night  (2 adults 2 kids, but the kids are free for their daily special. Meals included!) From their site: “Rates are nightly per person, based on two (2) adults per room and include dinner on day of Check-In, thereafter three meals daily, lodging, use of all facilities, sports, equipment, instruction, cocktail parties, day camp program, evening entertainment, and concluded by breakfast and lunch on day of Check-Out.” What we loved about Rocking Horse was there was horseback riding, a rifle range for the little kids to shoot bb guns, snowtubing in winter and skiing (free lessons) and a nice indoor waterpark (small in comparison to the other big ones Kalahari and Great Wolf) The buffet had a chocolate fountain, I had to mention that, cause the kids wouldn’t stop talking about it. Meals included! Here is our complete review!

Our Conclusion
Great Wolf Lodge is fun, and has a wave pool and Magiquest but definitely is a bit more expensive. Plenty to do for the whole family. You will get a better deal via Kalahari and it is similar to Great Wolf with the cool wristbands, but both Great Wolf and Kalahari are primarily indoor water parks and not much outdoor stuff. If you want outdoor and indoor fun, esp. winter time, Rocking Horse rules, with horseback riding, snow tubing, skiing options, rifle range, playground and their indoor waterpark is smallish, but still fun for the young ones! No thrill rides however in the indoor park. They did recently get a zip line, which looks cool! Also FOOD is included in the all inclusive price, but you have to work the deal for specific dates to get “kids free”.

Best Value- Kalahari
Indoor Diverse Entertainment- Great Wolf (for the Magiquest for providing an alternative to the arcade)
Best Indoor and Outdoor Variety- Rocking Horse Ranch

Videos of Great Wolf, Kalahari and Rocking Horse!
Video is from Maranda (great compilation)

Video is one of my early ones (Sheila), kids were so little.. sigh…

This Kalahari video is more recent when we took a big group. (Sheila)

Got a special place that’s within driving distance?  Share in the comments below!  We want to know about Camelback, Aquatopia, Woodloch, and other gems that we don’t know about! Tell us about your experience!

New Place to Consider- in Lake George! check it out!

Six Flags Indoor Water Park Resort for 6

Six Flags Indoor Water Park Resort for 6

The Destination
Dubbed the Queen of American Lakes, the scenic village of Lake George, New York, has always been about the water. Named for one of America’s most beautiful lakes situated at the base of the majestic Adirondack Mountains, this historic town has been attracting visitors to its shores for summer swimming and sport for centuries. But this isn’t your typical Escape for fun in the sun. Always a balmy 82 degrees, Six Flags Great Escape Lodge & Indoor Water Park turns the family vacation into a wet-and-wild wonderland?no matter what the weather’s like outside.

The Digs
Nestled amid the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains and Lake George, Six Flags Great Escape Lodge & Indoor Water Park is a 200-room family resort featuring an unbelievable 38,000-square-foot indoor water park, with nine thrilling white-water attractions. Arrive in boater style at the rustically charming Adirondack-inspired lobby; then, float on pure luxury to your spacious suite designed to fit the whole family. Each plush pad offers cozy sitting areas, full-size sleeper sofas, and plenty of room for watching movies or playing games. While parents indulge in the amenities, kids can check out exciting activities in the Kids Klub area, play in the Star Light arcade, and enjoy special meet-and-greets with the lodge’s Timbertown characters. Plus, entertainment like the Adventure Trek interactive gaming system takes players throughout the lodge on a series of missions, unraveling mysteries for endless fun.

The Diversions
Smack dab in the middle of the water park lies Tall Timbers Treehouse, with more than 160 interactive water features, a trio of twisting body slides, and plenty of water-operated swivel water rifles, hydro-blasters, arch jets, and steering wheels that will let your kids’ imaginations run wild. There’ll be plenty of splashes and squeals as you and the family ride on inner tubes through the curves and tunnels that wind through the 38,000-square-foot park. Navigate the thrills of white-water rafting down the lazy river, or catch a wave and do some surfing at Boogie Bear Surf. And parents can take a “vacation from their vacation” with a visit to the Tranquility Spa.












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