If cabin fever has kicked in thanks to the low temperatures and mounds of snow outside, it's time to bring a little summer fun to your winter.
The Grand Rapids area has several family oriented water parks, one of which is within 10 miles of downtown and the other two are slightly over an hour away, making them perfect destinations for a quick day trip out and about.
The Little Dip Splash Pad at the Holiday Inn Express Grand Rapids South
The 10,000 square feet of water park fun at The Little Dip Splash Pad includes a 3-story figure eight-shaped waterslide, a vortex pool, zero depth entry (perfect for young children), and a hot tub for adults and teenagers 16 and older. The air temp is a balmy 85 and the pool water is kept at 80-82, a pleasant change if you're seeking refuge from the wintery outdoors.
Overnight guests in a standard room receive five waterpark passes with their room and can purchase additional passes for $15. Day passes for non-overnight guests are also $15.
The waterpark is open from 9:00AM to 10:00PM daily.
Go back to the Old West at the Double JJ's Gold Rush waterpark!
Photo Credit: Double JJ Resort
Gold Rush Water Park at Double JJ Ranch & Golf Resort
While you may think of the Double JJ Ranch as a place to play in the summer, their Gold Rush Indoor Waterpark is a great winter destination. At just over an hour-long drive in Rothbury, it is far enough to feel like you're getting away but close enough to justify a day trip.
Thrill seekers will love racing down Rustler's Gulch, West Michigan's tallest indoor waterslide. Gold Rush also boasts three other waterslides, including Thunder Canyon, a four-person white-water raft ride that will keep the whole family laughing. Kids who like waves will go crazy for the wave pool, while others will enjoy shooting water guns in The Lost Mine, playing basketball in the Golden Pond, or floating around the Lazy/Crazy River. Little ones can also splash around in their own toddler pool, while adults can relax in the adult-only hot tub. There is also a hot tub available to all ages.
Passes for the water park are sold separately from the rooms. The water park passes cost $20 for a two-day pass for overnight guests. Ages 3 and under are free. Double JJ Resort often offers packages that include water park passes with the room check their website for details. Day passes are $25, and ages 3 and under are still free.
Gold Rush is open Friday 4:00PM to 9:00PM, Saturday 10:00AM to 9:00PM, and Sunday 10:00AM to 5:00PM. They also open up full time between Memorial Day and Labor Day for the summer.
Surfari Joe's at Fairfield Inn & Suites, Watervliet
At this 20,000 square feet wilderness-themed water park, you can zoom down two enclosed tube slides, Rhinos Rage and the 305-foot Hippos Hollow, to say the least! Guests can also enjoy the lazy river, heated pool, hot tub, and a kids play area with mini-slides. When you're ready for a break from the water, Surfari Joe's also includes an arcade with games for all ages, or you can grab a bite to eat at the Water Hole Grill and Bar right inside the park.
Surfari Joe's is a little over an hour south of Grand Rapids, at the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Watervliet. During the winter, the water park is open on Friday 11:00AM to 6:00PM, Saturday 11:00AM to 10PM, and Sunday 11:00AM to 6:00PM. Friday and Sunday all-day passes are $23 and 3-hour session passes are $18. Saturday all-day passes are $28 and 3-hour sessions come to $18.
"You can purchase a day pass for Surfari Joe's," says Andrew Edwards, Guest Services with Surfari Joe's, "as long as its not at capacity. Be sure to call ahead to check!"