11 Top Hotels with Outdoor Water Parks for Families with Kids
Kids generally love the perks of staying at hotels but add on a water park and that regular family getaway suddenly hits thrilling new heights. Think of all the family fun: lazy rivers right outside the door, a room nearby for naptime, instant ways to cool down, and no time wasted stuck in traffic to the local pool or beach.
We've rounded up 11 top U.S. hotels and resorts with water parks where families can chill out and cool off at the same time. Find great places to stay (and play) in Florida, Texas, California, and the East Coast.
With an indoor and outdoor water park, Camelback Beach Resort provides year-round water play.
Eastern U.S. Hotels with Water Parks
1. Camelback Resort — Tannersville, PA
Though resorts in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains are usually known for their skiing, the Camelback Mountain Waterpark is all about summertime fun. With a multitude of rides and slides, big and little kids will have a blast. The Kahuna Lagoon Wave Pool features tipping buckets and interactive spray structures where tiny tots can make a splash. Older kids can check out the Pharaoh's Phortress play structure, which boasts eight water slides, a four-story-high tipping bucket, fountains, and spray guns. Thrill-seekers will feel the adrenaline rush they crave on High Noon Typhoon, a six-story tall funnel that lets you experience weightless hang time. Test your balance at the FlowRider, a surfing simulator. Cabanas, strollers, and lockers are all available to rent. Camelback Lodge features 453 rooms, as well as an arcade, indoor and outdoor ropes course, five restaurants, and Aquatopia, an indoor water park that guests can visit for no additional charge.
The oceanfront Crown Reef Beach Resort and Waterpark serves up water slides along with views.
2. Crown Reef Beach Resort and Waterpark — Myrtle Beach, SC
Myrtle Beach draws lovers of surf and sand to its Grand Strand, a 60-mile stretch of gorgeous beaches. This hotel's water park is an oceanfront delight, granting you great views of the Atlantic. Indulge in some water fun at the year-round water park (portions are enclosed in winter), which features two four-story slides for daring single and double riders. At Salty's Splash House there's a kiddie slide and silly sub for the younger set. The resort is ideal for families of all sizes as you can choose from standard rooms up to three-bedroom oceanfront condos with fully-equipped kitchens.
Learn to surf on the new FlowRider at the Gaylord Palms Resort's Cypress Springs water park.
Florida Hotels with Water Parks
3. Gaylord Palms Resort — Kissimmee, FL
This stunning resort, minutes from the Disney World theme parks, recently underwent a $4.2 million addition that includes tons of aquatic fun. Towering nearly 60 feet above the pools, Big Cypress is a water slide structure that beckons guests to climb up and enjoy the thrills and chills of splashing down three new slides. Another super-cool addition to Cypress Springs is The Wake Zone, a Double FlowRider offering a surfable simulated wave where guests can either try it on their own or get instruction from the onsite training staff. In addition to the family water park, grown-ups can escape to the exclusive adult-only swimming pool.
The Grove Resort's water park includes this kids' activity pool with dumping buckets and kiddie slides. Photo by Rose Gordon Sala
4. The Grove Resort — Orlando, FL
If you're looking for an alternative to the Disney properties but still crave kid-friendly fun, you can't go wrong with The Grove Resort, a 106-acre property just a few miles away from the House of Mouse. A relative newcomer, the hotel opened in 2017 and welcomed The Surfari Water Park in March 2018. Featuring water slides that will appeal to grown-ups and kids alike, the park is also home to a lazy river and multiple pools. Doesn't miss the state-of-the-art arcade, featuring glow-in-the-dark mini-golf for hotel guests. The spacious one, two, and three-bedroom suites appeal to families, as do the in-room laundry facilities (in the largest suites), and yummy on-site dining.
Kids can play all day in the five pool complexes at the Wyndham Bonnet Creek in Orlando.
5. Wyndham Bonnet Creek — Orlando, FL
Looking for a more spacious place to stay Wyndham Bonnet Creek offers luxurious condo-style one-, two-, three-, and four-bedroom family suites right near Walt Disney World and close to other Orlando destinations. The resort hosts a full schedule of activities plus five pool complexes where you can cruise along a lazy river and or get your heart pumping on the water slides. The water park is open from 8am to 10pm, so the kids can visit a theme park but still find time to hang out in the hotel water park.
More Hotel Water Parks in the South
The sprawling Schlitterbahn's South Padre Island location offers a little something for everyone.
6. Schlitterbahn — South Padre Island, TX
This name is synonymous with water parks and is a prime vacation destination. With multiple locations, Schlitterbahn is known for family-friendly fun. But this South Padre Island spot offers a chance to spend a day at the park and an overnight at a beachfront resort. Combining the tranquil vibe of a relaxing excursion with the thrills of a water park, there's something that will appeal to every family member. Parents can enjoy a relaxing cocktail at the expansive swim-up bar. Guests looking to get their hearts pumping can check out water coasters like The Tempest, which takes riders on a wild journey up a three-story tower and then down a 45-foot drop. For a more tame experience, the Rio Aventura is a river that connects various rides within the park. Take a leisurely float or opt for rapids.
The Marriott San Antonio Hill Country & Resort's nine-acre water park is a destination on its own.
7. Marriott San Antonio Hill Country & Resort — Texas
Get ready to savor some serious luxury. This resort rests on 600 acres with stunning views of the Texas Hill Country. Even more enticing is the River Bluff Water Experience, a nine-acre water park. Float down the 1,100-foot lazy river or check out the breathtaking scenery from the top of the water slide. A children's play area and an adult pool ensure there's something for everyone. As if this weren't enough to keep guests busy, the resort is near wineries, golf courses, the famous Riverwalk, and even Six Flags.
Cool off in Nashville at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center's water park.
8. Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center — Nashville, TN
Located in the heart of Nashville, this luxury hotel lets guests check out the Music City at the same time they can make a splash at SoundWaves, a seasonal outdoor water park. It's open daily through Labor Day, and then Friday through Sundays through September 28. With something for all ages, the park includes a wave pool, looping drop and body slides, a four-lane mat racer, multi-level kids play area, and more. In addition to four acres of indoor and outdoor water attractions, the resort is home to a full-service spa where Mom and Dad can relax and restore.
Relax in the peaceful lazy river at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale.
Southwest U.S. and California Hotel Water Parks
9. The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa — Scottsdale, AZ
Guests adore this resort's Adventure Water Park, where they can choose from floating the Lazy River to speeding down the 110-foot waterslide. Talk about adventure, you can attempt to surf or try your skill on the bodyboard on the Kierland FlowRider, a wave simulator whose jets push nearly 30,000 gallons of water per minute at speeds of 25-30 mph creating a constant wave and non-stop fun. Golfers can check out the award-winning Westin Kierland Golf Club, designed by Scottsdale architect Scott Miller. Families can rent a poolside cabana to relax in shaded luxury or enjoy their very own Tommy Bahama Relaxation Reef private "island." Check more of the area with our city guides to both Scottsdale with Kids and Phoenix with Kids.
Chill out with a good soaking at the water canons at the Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa's Splashtopia water park.
10. Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa — Palm Springs, CA
With 444 guest rooms, including 22 suites, this stunning Palm Springs resort includes the recently redesigned Splashtopia, an on-site water park is fun for adults and kids. In addition to rafting down the 425-foot lazy river, guests can enjoy two 100-foot water slides and a cliff-side hot tub. Splash Grill serves up delicious burgers and cool, tropical drinks for you to savor poolside. An adults-only pool provides a true respite where you can enjoy a summer read or just relax amid the swaying palms and mountain views. A 20,000 square foot spa and 27-hole golf course offers something for amateurs and pros alike. If you can drag yourself away, check out the rest of area with our top things to do in Palm Springs guide for families.
A pirate theme keeps kids entertained at the Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel & Water Playground.
11. Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel & Water Playground — Anaheim, CA
Ahoy, Mateys! There's plenty of fun to be had at Castaway Cove, a watery pirate playground featuring slides, water cannons, and a pirate ship geared toward toddlers and big kids. A 200-gallon drench bucket, toddler wading pool with beach-style entry, and s-curvy slide keep little ones busy for hours and give Mom and Dad a break from Disneyland, which is just an eight-minute walk away. The spacious rooms can accommodate families of five. For larger families, the two-room bundle features a connecting door that adjoins the Disney-themed rooms.
All photos courtesy of the hotels/resorts except where noted