Indoor water parks offer summertime-style family thrills year-round and many are just a car ride away from Des Moines. With winter’s icy chill upon us, many families start looking for ways to escape to a warmer locale. Jet-setting to a tropical island might seem ideal, but if you’re looking to stay a little closer to home, indoor water parks and resorts are a closer option for beating the winter blues.
We’ve found eleven warm and wet indoor resorts perfect for kids and families that are three hours or so from Des Moines. Most indoor parks keep temperatures around a hot and humid 85 degrees year-round, creating a perfect beach day in any season! So, leave the sunscreen at home, dust off that bathing suit, and hit the water.
Here’s where you can find an indoor water park near Des Moines:
630 Linden Drive • Arnolds Park, IA 51331 • (712) 332-2202
You and your kids can make a splash any time of year at ‘Boji Splash Indoor Waterpark. Jet down their all-ages tube slide or float along the lazy river. Then, tell the kids to sail the high seas on their pirate ship, complete with water cannons. Purchase a day pass or make a weekend of it and stay in one of their condos or hotel rooms.
Adam’s Mark Hotel & Resort • 9103 E 39th Street • Kansas City, MO 64133 • (816) 737-0200
CoCo Key resort in Kansas city is home to 55,000 square feet of rides, slides, and pools. The Key West-themed park also features a lazy river and an aquatic jungle gym complete with water cannons and 300 gallons of bucket dumping fun. If you visit in spring, summer, or fall you can take in a Royals baseball game or Chiefs football game, as the stadiums are right next door to the resort.
Ramada Plaza Hotel Resort & Convention Center • 3321 S 72nd Street • Omaha, NE 68124 • (402) 393-3950
This interactive aquatic jungle gym in Omaha brings warm fun for kids of all ages. Water attractions include: a zero-depth entry pool, three water slides for various heights, lazy river, water cannons and 300 gallons of bucket dumping fun. All for the enjoyment of hotel guests.
350 Bell Street • Dubuque, IA 52001 • (563) 690-4000
The Grand Harbor Resort in Dubuque features a 25,000 square foot waterpark with slides, tube rides, waterspouts and a four-story Huck Finn tree house that dumps 350 gallons of water every eight minutes. Day passes can be purchased or stay overnight for a fun getaway.
10401 Cabela Drive • Kansas City, KS 66111 • (800) 608-9653
The folks behind Great Wolf Lodge know what they’re doing when it comes to family-friendly fun, catering to folks of all ages. Here you’ll find water slides for both big and little riders, a challenging water walk for kids to test their balance, Fort Mackenzie – a water fort tree house with slides and toys for the whole pack and even a hot tub area tucked away for teens and adults. The resort offers loads of family activities and even daily kids activities including a character appearance and story time.
1700 American Boulevard E • Bloomington, MN 55425 • (844) 561-9653
Renovated in 2017, families will love the thrilling slides and more at the Great Wolf Lodge Indoor Water Park near the Mall of America. At this Minnesota hot spot (literally, it’s 84 degrees inside), you’ll find a giant indoor water park with slides, a lazy river, multiple activity pools, a surf simulator and more. They also have a ropes course, climbing wall, MagiQuest and bowling on-site. Receive access to the water park with your hotel registration or purchase a day pass.
1420 Cuming Street • Omaha, NE 68102
Hotel guests have exclusive access to a small waterpark featuring a leisure pool, whirlpool, water slide, and activity center with splash pad. At post date, kids ages 18 and under stay for FREE when sharing their parents’ room. Up to four kids ages 11 and under eat free any time of the day in any Holiday Inn on-site restaurant.
12633 Resort Drive • Moravia, IA 52571 • (866) 797-5308
The Buccaneer Bay indoor water park, located in Honey Creek Resort, is home to a two-story water slide, lazy river, zero-entry pool and a hot tub. Buccaneer Bay also features a snack bar and arcade. If you’re not a guest at the resort, day passes are available to purchase. Check out our tips for visiting Honey Creek Resort.
3001 Winegard Drive • Burlington, IA 52601 • (319) 753-2946
Head on over to “Fun City” at Huck’s Harbor. While this water park may not have the “bells and whistles” of some of the others on this list, it features a large pool area, channel river, wading pool and kids play area. In addition, there are a myriad of other activities to enjoy including an indoor go-kart track, arcade and lazer tag.
1520 E Lakeshore Drive • Storm Lake, IA 50588 • (712) 213-4500
At King’s Pointe, stormy seasons are no match for fast water slides like the Runaway Rebel and stress-free dips in their zero-depth entry pool. Ride inner tubes around the lazy river and enjoy the lily pad walk. Parents can rest and re-energize at their poolside patio tables. Day passes are available for purchase or book one of their modern guest rooms or suites.
5000 Merle Hay Road • Des Moines, IA 50322 • (515) 200-2398
The only indoor water park located in the Des Moines metro area, Buccaneer Bay features 18,000 square foot of splash-tastic fun including two large pools, a pirate ship play area and slides. The indoor water park is for the use of hotel guests only, but they do host birthday parties. Find more tips for visiting in our guide to family fun at the Ramada Tropics Resort.
Have you ever been to these indoor water parks? Tell us about it in the comments section below!