Seeking Warmth Without the Sun? Indoor Waterparks are 84 Degrees.

Snow days getting you down? Waiting for Old Man Winter to head on out? Wishing you were Gadling blogger Willy Volk and you lived in Florida so you soak up some sun and enjoy the beach? You may not be able to get the sunshine you want if you live in the snow addled parts of the U.S., but warm water fun is close by —and it’s multiplying. Hotel owners are seeing their bucks grow when they add a water park to an already existing hotel or build a new hotel with a water park as the main attraction. Read.

Ohio, for example, has seven water parks to date. Last year I went to one of them. Kalahari in Sandusky is in the northern part of the state. This was a family occasion of sorts with my husband’s brothers, sisters and their spouses and kids convening for a day. Honestly, it was a blast and getting wet is not my favorite thing to do. I tend to like my exercise on dry land. With our ages ranging from just turned 4 to 50, there was something for everyone. Even my son, the four year-old at the time, braved the family-sized inner tube slide that, after our long climb to the top of a series of stairs, took us on a wild ride down a curving shoot, out of the building and back inside before dumping us into a tank at the bottom. A highlight for me was watching people try to surf on a simulated wave. Most people shot off the surfboard like a rocket while trying to keep their swimsuits on. Did I try it? Are you nuts?

Some water parks you need to be a guest to go to. Others, like Kalahari, sell day passes. This year we’re thinking of heading to Splash Lagoon in Erie, PA to meet up with a friend of mine and her family. It’s halfway between us. She lives near Rochester, NY. Each of us could stand some 84 degree weather right about now.