Boston itself is short on indoor water parks – you can’t pop down to one whenever the kids fancy some water play, as many involve a many involve a drive of an hour or more. The advantage is that they are mostly located in resorts and hotels, and are for the exclusive use of hotel guests, plus a few others who are allowed day passes if the hotel is not full. This means that they usually don’t have the long lines or the health and safety issues that may occur at overcrowded public water parks. The room rate packages are very reasonable, and usually include free access to the waterpark for the duration of your stay, with some even including a free buffet breakfast. Plan ahead and see how many you can put on this summer’s to-do list – the kids will love you for it.
Always at a perfect 84 degrees, the kids’ activities and a fitness center add to the pleasure of a controlled environment and a park that is super kid friendly. The waterpark is just over an hour’s drive from Boston. Book into the hotel to use the amenities here – one night’s accommodation gives access on the day of arrival and on the day of departure – until the park closes. The number of rides and water play areas are extensive as the park covers 68,000 square feet, guaranteeing an enormous amount of fun. There are also land-based activities like the Forest Friends Show, the Rustic Ridge Climbing wall, a ropes course, Magiquest, Howling Timbers Play Park, Howly Wood XD Theater, Laser Frenzy, a gaming area, ten-pin bowling, and even a kids’ spa.
When: Usually open daily from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm but may open even earlier and stay open later – check specific hours posted outside the waterpark during your stay.
Phone: 800-905-9653 (Central Reservations)
Cost: Specials are available at 50% of the normal cost if booked 60 days in advance. Average room rate is around $247 upward.
Situated on Boston’s North Shore this is the closest indoor water park to Boston. The resort belongs to Hilton’s DoubleTree brand so overnight guests at DoubleTree by Hilton Boston North Shore get admission to the water park included in their room rate. With a constant temperature of 84 degrees, the family can have a splashing good time even in midwinter. Day visitors are welcome but should book online in advance to avoid disappointment at the gate. The parks have something for all age groups from the super fast slides to lily pads for littlies and a whole barrel of fun for everyone.
When: Open year round – usually from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm on weekends – but check the calendar on the website for full details of times.
Cost: Buy day passes (10 am to closing at 8 or 9 pm) at $45 per adult and child over 48 inches, $35 for kids under 48 inches. The twilight pass (4 pm to closing time at 8 or 9 pm) $35 per adult and child over 48 inches, $30 for kids under 48 inches. Check out the website for annual passes. Children 23 months and under are admitted free.
Part of the Red Jacket Mountainview Resort, North Conway, the park covers 40,000 square feet and is the largest water park in New Hampshire. Besides the Wiki Wave Pool with its crossing waves, waterfalls and zero depth entry there are the water slides with high-speed twists and turns that dump you into the 43,000-gallon pool. For younger kids, the Bamboo Bay Adventure Tower provides hours of fun with the water cannons, slides, rope bridge, and its giant 175-gallon tipping bucket. There is the water basketball court, the Little kahuna play area with fun slides just right for tiny tots, and the 25 person hot tubs for persons older than 6. Completing the fun is the Aloha Arcade with plenty of games, and the Tiki Tide Café with popular food items.
When: Open Mon to Thurs 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm, Fri 12:00 pm to 9:00 pm, Sat and Sun 8:30 am to 9:00 pm.
Phone: 603-356-5411 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Cost: For resort guests the water park costs $25 per day and an observation pass $10. A few day passes are sold online but mostly registered guests receive preference. Same day passes are offered at $40 to $50 depending on the season but Day pass holders may only enter at noon or 3:00 pm.
The Cape Codder Family Resort and Spa, which is about 95 miles from Boston, has a 30,000 square foot indoor/outdoor waterpark, access to which is included when reservations are booked directly with the hotel. It has high-speed water slides of 160-foot, a 50-foot and an 80-foot water slide that wind their way through the pirate ship replica. In addition, there’s a stormy river with waterfalls and rapids, and even a spouting humpback whale! The Pirate Bay area has a spray pool, dumping bucket, water cannons, and slides suited to little ones. The roof is retractable and the outdoor pool is heated. A wave pool with two-foot waves, a water umbrella, water fountains, and a 24 person Jacuzzi complete the scene. The Gazebo Café serves appetizers, salads, pizza, and sandwiches as well as beverages.
When:Monday – Thursday 10:00 am – 8:00 pm, Friday 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
Saturday 9:00 am – 10:00 pm, Sunday 9:00 am – 8:00 pm.
Phone: Toll Free 855-896-6203, Local 508-771-3000
Cost: Locker rental $7 per day, Towel rental $5 per day. Entry to the park is included in the hotel price.
Recently opened is the 50,000 square foot water park that has a lazy river, the first indoor Aqualoop slide in North America that drops riders at 60 feet per second and propels them along at 40 miles per hour. The park also features two Flowriders. Access to the water park is gained when you book into the resort, but you can get day passes in advance online. Jay Peak is around 4 hours north of Boston so staying over on one of the packages makes sense.
When: Check the website for daily details, but hours are usually from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm.
Phone: 802-988-2611 (Resort) or 866-966-4819 (Central Reservations).
Cost: Day passes are $39 per adult, $29 per child aged 4-14, $10 per supervision ticket for adults who are not using the water park but need to accompany small children into the Mill River Splash Pond area.
The John Carver Inn has the Pilgrim Cove Indoor Theme Pool with a life-size replica of the Mayflower through which an 80-foot water slide winds. There is a waterfall, and a relaxing whirlpool set on a replica of the Plymouth Rock, accessed by a bridge over the waterfalls below. Changing area, showers, pool towels, and lockers are provided. Lockers are complimentary, on a first-come basis but guests must provide their own locks.
When: Hours are displayed below – remember the pool is closed for maintenance between 1 and 2 pm daily, but then the restaurant is available or various vending machines for snacks.
Pool Hours: Monday – Thursday: 9:00 am to 8:00 pm, Friday: 9:00 am to 10:00 pm, Saturday: 8:00 am to 10:00 pm, Sunday: 8:00 am to 8:00 pm
Slide Hours: Monday – Thursday: 3:00 pm to 7:30 pm, Friday: 9 am – 9:30 pm
Saturday: 8:00 am – 9:30 pm, Sunday: 8:00 am – 7:30 pm.
Phone: 800-274-1620 or 888-906-6181
Cost: $20 per person for a day pass – a limited number are available online. Free for guests of the Inn who have first preference.
Hampton Inn & Suites n North Conway is a 2 ½ hour drive from Boston – so book into the hotel and spend a weekend to enjoy the indoor water park, especially after a day spent hiking. If you manage to drag the kids away from the four-story water slides or the toddlers’ area with its frog slide and mushrooms, a visit to the White Mountain National Forest or Storyland (a great amusement park nearby) could provide alternative recreation.
When: Check with hotel for daily hours. The waterpark isn’t huge and is available for guests only.
Cost: Free use of waterpark if a guest of the hotel.
Although it is just over a two-hour drive, the Coco Key Water Resort at the Hotel ML offers gallons of fun – 150,000 to be precise – across 55,000 square feet of an indoor water park. The slides are legendary – be brave enough to take on the twists and turns or splash down at Parrot’s Perch. There are various dining options and a state of the art game arcade should the kids have had enough water play for the day.
When: Usually operates Friday from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm, Saturday from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm and Sunday from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm. Check calendar online for daily changes.
Phone: 877-494-COCO (2626)
Cost: No cost to residents, as access for up to 4 people is included in the special room rates. Other visitors require a day pass – except for kids under 24 months and people over 65 years who can enter free of charge. The all day pass is in the region of $25 per person and the twilight pass is around $20; rates do vary according to the season and day of the week.