Family Travel Adventure: Wiping Out At the Kalahari Waterpark Resort, Sandusky


Ride Wives in Winter

Waterparks are a definite summertime privilege that we all look forward to.  However, Florida waterparks in the summer also come with the perils of scorching hot pavement when you come out of the water, bugs that like to fly around and ruin the fun, and those pesky summer storms that roll in just about everyday with their ominous clouds and thunder and lightning that forces you out of the water to seek shelter.  It’s a real struggle bus sometimes.  But what if I told you there was a glorious place where you can enjoy the waterpark rain or shine, cold or hot, and there are no wasps, ants, or mosquitos around to harass you . Where is this mermaid mecca?  It’s the massive indoor waterpark at Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, Ohio, the largest indoor waterpark in America! 

Disclaimer: We received a complimentary night stay and access to the waterpark in exchange for providing my feedback on our experience.  Full disclosure.

My son and I kicked off our summer with a visit to the largest indoor waterpark in America.  This was the last stop of our Lake Erie Love family travel tour and this was the part of the trip the teenager was most looking forward to.  We have been to numerous outdoor waterparks so we tend to think of ourselves as waterpark fans but this was our first indoor waterpark adventure.

The Room

The rooms are very spacious and appointed with African themed motif. The teenager said the room had “much swag”.   In other words, it was a very nice.  LOL   There was a microwave and refrigerator as well as a sofa sleeper couch.  There was also a fireplace heater.  From our balcony we had a fantastic view of the outdoor play area and in the distance we could see the animal preserve on property. The bathroom was spacious and clean.  I would give our room 4.5 out of 5 stars.  It really did exceed our expectations.

Hotel Amenities

The kids will love the huge arcade downstairs. There is also a glow in the dark miniature golf course.

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Additionally there were quite a few restaurants to take advantage of and plenty of food choices. They have sit down restaurants, a grill for quick service things like pizza, fries, and sandwiches.  They also have deli style sandwiches and a salad bar for a healthier option.

There is also a place to satisfy sweet tooth lovers like us. We stumbled upon this little counter teaming with all kinds of desserts and we couldn’t resist trying them. I mean look at these. Can you blame us?  They tasted as good as they looked.

The Waterpark

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When you walk into this aquatic atrium the first thing you will notice is that it is very warm and humid.  There are all sorts of colorful tubes swirling and twirling and intertwining all over the place.   We were so excited, we didn’t know where to start first.  We played in the wave pool and floated along the lazy river. If there was a slide with a float then we rode it.  It wasn’t crowded at all so we rode them over and over and over.  I’m not a big fan of the enclosed tube rides but my son convinced me to race him on one particular set that was pretty wide and not too narrow.

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His favorite slide of the day was the Tanzanian Twister.  It starts as a narrow tube that swirls around and then shoots you out into a big funnel where you go around and around until you go down the drain into a 6 foot pool.  I lost track of how many times he did this ride but it was at least 5 times.

There is a big splash area with a bucket that dumps a massive amount of water on you, water cannons, and not so scary water slides that are mild enough for little ones but still fun for us big kids too.  There is also an area for the toddlers and the babies.  The tween kids, especially the boys, spent a lot of time in the Shooting Star basketball pool.

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While the teenager was getting his NBA live on in the pool, I took that time to go over to the adult only area.  There is a swim up bar and spa area that you can enjoy indoors or outdoors or both.   This area was 21 and up and not so crowded.  There is another spa area on the other side of the atrium with the warm spa waters minus the bar that is open to everyone.  The water coaster was closed for repairs so that was a bummer because we both really enjoy the water coasters.

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The Flowrider

The Flowrider is a bodyboarding/surfing simulator.  It’s an attraction the waterpark is known for and you just can’t come to Kalahari without giving it a shot.  First my son gave it a go the first evening we went into the waterpark.  He actually did manage to get up on his knees…..and then….wipe out! He made the fatal mistake of trying to adjust his swim trunks and down he went.   The next morning we went back bright and early and the line was short so he went a multiple times.  He never did manage to stay up very long.

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It looked like so much fun that I decided it was too good of an adventure to let it pass me by.  Luckily they gave me a t-shirt to wear to prevent any possible wardrobe malfunctions in the event of a wipeout.  Ladies…don’t argue with them. Just take the shirt. Trust me.  Take the t-shirt. You will likely need it.

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It was a blast even though I completely sucked at it. LOL But I had so much fun.  I went a few times managing to achieve what I like to call the aquatic Superman.  On the second time around I somehow jumped down and missed the board completely.  It was so embarrassing.  I realized mid-air that I was in trouble but I was powerless to do anything about it. Down I went, body surfing without a board and man did it hurt!  The water shot me back up like a canon.  All I could do was sit there and laugh at myself.  The guys in the line were all cracking up and my son teased me to no end.  Thankfully there is no video proof of my embarrassing moment.  If you visit the Kalahari Resort the Flowrider is a must do attraction, even for us moms!  Don’t chicken out. Go for it.  It really is fun and it will raise your cool factor a few points.

Other things to note:

  • Waterpark has changing room and lockers available.
  • You are able to still enjoy the waterpark for some hours after you check out.
  • There is a food available inside the waterpark atrium.
  • Floats are provided in the wave pool and the lazy river so no need to worry about renting.

One night was truly not enough to experience all that the resort had to offer.  I was pleased with the service from the bell hops, to the food staff, to the front desk.  We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  I would love to visit again when there’s actually snow on the ground outside just for the effect of knowing that you’re in a tropical fun zone with a blizzard outdoors.   Special thanks to the staff at the Kalahari Resort for having us and to Lake Erie Shores and Islands.

Lauren G. , Outdoorsy Diva™
“Adventure is a lifestyle.”

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  • Reply
    January 15, 2016 at 7:45 am

    How fun! Your son is going to have such amazing memories of your adventures.

  • Reply
    Joyce Brewer (@MommyTalkShow)
    January 15, 2016 at 10:32 am

    Looks like you had a blast.
    When our son is a few years older I can see him enjoying the water slides!

  • Reply
    January 15, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    If he says it had swag than that is a great things for the other teens out there! I was looking into going to the one in PA. Now I will def look more into this. Looks like a great time.

    • Reply
      January 15, 2016 at 4:44 pm

      Holly the one in PA is the newest one. You should most definitely try to make that visit. It was a really fun experience.

  • Reply
    Mimi "MimiCuteLips" Green
    January 16, 2016 at 11:34 pm

    This place looks like fun, my kids would love it. Meanwhile I would be checking out those sweets, my gosh they look amazing.

  • Reply
    January 17, 2016 at 1:14 am

    This looks like so much fun. I love visiting water parks with my children. I’ll definitely have to look into this one.

  • Reply
    January 17, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    I’ve never been to an indoor waterpark, but this looks fun especially for families with kids. We do have a resort in my area that has a waterpark, and it stays busy all year round.

  • Reply
    Patrice M Foster
    January 17, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    Looks like lots of family fun that kids will enjoyed…Water Parks are always great way to cool off in the summer. The sweets my favorite.

  • Reply
    January 18, 2016 at 1:12 am

    Looks like one big kiddie playground! How much fun is this! Super fun and exciting and I cant wait to have a family and visit this funland!

  • Reply
    January 18, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    This sounds like a blast. Waterparks have always been my favorite too and I think I passed the feeling on to my little ones as well. Definitely sounds like a cool place to visit

  • Reply
    January 18, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    Wow! This looks like a lot of fun. I would never think to go to a waterpark in the winter, but I see why you went! I’d be a little scared to get on the surfer simulator though, I know for sure I would fall!

  • Reply
    January 18, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    I don’t think I realized there were inside water parks. This one looks amazing. I love seeing you and your son on adventures together.

  • Reply
    Tyra (@BarrisTourista)
    January 20, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    Seems like a lot of fun! It is definitely easier to hit waterparks in nice warm climates like Florida and SoCal but I think something like this should be available everywhere.

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