Midwest Indoor Water Parks Hours from Champaign-Urbana

The Midwest is full of indoor water park getaways any time of the year

These water parks are all a short drive from Champaign-Urbana, making your family’s great escape less than a day’s drive away.

Do you want to escape to have a good time with your family? Whether you need some “tropical” themed fun or just want to get away from the sun, these indoor water parks provide hours of family fun while being just hours from Champaign-Urbana.

Why plan a family outing to an indoor water park?

If you’re craving a taste of warm weather, but don’t plan on heading south during the winter for a tropical getaway, an indoor water park vacation is a good substitute. . And if you have kids, this trip is bound to be the best time EVER when you tell your kids about it afterwards. Water, slides, sprayers and more are just the tip of the iceberg at many of these destinations. You can often find arcades, kid-friendly food everywhere, and other fun attractions right on or near the property.

The Midwest is the place for indoor water parks

You’ll find indoor water parks all over the country, but the states of Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Ohio definitely top the list when it comes to the ultimate water getaway. . And luckily for those of us in Champaign-Urbana, these states are all a relatively short drive away!

The longest ride we include in our list is about five hours to Missouri. Other trips are shorter than that, and depending on your family’s road trip preferences, we think you can easily complete all of these trips in one day. Much easier than driving somewhere at the ocean!

Indoor Water Park in Wisconsin Dells

Note: This article may include affiliate links and chabanamoms.com earns a commission from bookings through these links. Some Groupon offers may not be active at this time.

Tips for planning an indoor water park vacation with your kids

We’ve visited a few indoor water parks over the years and have some tips for planning your trip.

  • Shop around for the best deals. That goes for all trips, right? But especially trips like this. In areas like Wisconsin Dells, where there are plenty of water parks nearby, you’re going to find mega-deals as they compete with each other. Take a look to see which one offers the best deal for you.
  • Consider skipping school. Hush. We didn’t tell you to. But these places are virtually EMPTY when it’s not 1) a weekend, 2) a widely observed three-day weekend, and 3) a winter vacation. While you can take two days off school and work, it’s worth going early before a weekend or staying late to really maximize your time there, while enjoying small crowds.
  • Be creative with where you stay. Of course, staying put in your water park is attractive. Admission to the water park is included with your stay and it’s so convenient for those mad dashes to the hotel room. But if you want to travel with another family, you might want to consider getting a nearby Airbnb and buying day passes for the water park, as that’s often an option. Just call and ask if it’s not listed on their site.

Escape to Indoor Water Parks in the Midwest

It’s time to hit the road: where are you going?

Indoor water parks within 2 hours of Champaign-Urbana

Grand Bear Falls Resort, Utica – 1 hour 45 minutes.
Features: 24,000 square foot indoor water park with play areas, slides, wave pool, lazy river and spa. Bonus: located near the famous Starved Rock State Park. Day passes and overnight options available. Based on Facebook information, it looks like there are swim time slots lasting 2 hours and 45 minutes for resort guests and non-guests. Call (866) 399-3866 for reservations.

Indoor water parks within 2-4 hours of Champaign-Urbana

Pirate Cay, Sheridan – 2 hours, 15 minutes.
Features: 31,000 square foot indoor water park with retractable roof featuring a lazy river, four water slides and a children’s play area. Day passes and overnight options available. Call (815) 496-3292 for reservations.

Great Wolf Lodge, Gurnee – 3 hours
Features: 80,000 square foot indoor water park featuring a lazy river, wave pool, slides and more. Call (844) 482-9653 for reservations. Gurnee is located 45 minutes north of downtown Chicago near Six Flags Great America. To know before leaving: see our opinion of this fun family day trip. SEE THE OFFER ON GROUPON!

Huck’s Harbor, Burlington, Iowa – 3 hours. Temporarily closed for construction, reopening scheduled for June 2022
Characteristics: Channel River, swimming pool, wading pool and Kiddie City, 12-person spa. Part of the larger PZAZZ! Casino resort. Call (319) 753-2946 for more information.

Timber Ridge Lodge and Water Park, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin – 3 hours 30 minutes
Features: 50,000 square foot indoor water park with lazy river, 35 foot high slides and more. Call (866) 636-4502 for reservations. Day passes not available.

Grand Lodge of Wolves, Mason, Ohio – 3 hours, 45 minutes
Features: lazy river, wave pool, slides and more. Mason is located 30 minutes north of downtown Cincinnati and home to the famous Kings Island amusement park. Call (800) 913-9653 for reservations. GROUPON OFFER HERE.

Splash Universe, Dundee, Michigan – 3 hours, 45 minutes. Temporarily closed
Features: water slides, lazy river with family spa and wading pool for toddlers. Day passes and overnight options available. Call (734) 606-0149 for reservations.

Big Splash Adventure, French Lick, Ind. – 3 hours, 45 minutes
Features: 40,000 square foot indoor water park with retractable roof featuring a lazy river, slides and a tropical oasis for adults. Day passes and overnight options available. Call (812) 936-3866 for reservations. GROUPON OFFER HERE.

Indoor water parks over 4 hours from Champaign Urbana

Blue Harbor Resort, Sheboygan, Wisconsin – 4 hours, 15 minutes
Features: 54,000 square foot entertainment area and water park with dual surf simulator, slides and activity pool. Day passes are limited and cannot be purchased in advance; call (866) 701-2583 for reservations.

Visit Wisconsin Dells, the “Water Park Capital of the World” – 4 hours, 30 minutes
Chambanamoms.com readers recommend Wild region (Groupon offer here), Great Wolf Lodge (Groupon offer here) and Kalahari (Groupon offer here) beach resorts, all with indoor water parks. There are others too, and Wisconsin Dells is packed with attractions. Check out our article “One Tank Road Trip: Wisconsin Dells”.

Timber Falls Indoor Water Park, Osage Beach, Mo. – 5 hours
Features: 20,000 square foot indoor water park with slides, activity pool and lazy river. Day passes and overnight options available. Call (573) 348-3131 for reservations.

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