The Best Poconos Resorts for a Family Vacation
The Pocono Mountains draw families to Pennsylvania from the Northeast, the Mid-Atlantic, and beyond for their picturesque landscapes and outstanding family resorts. Plus, there are so many things to do in the Poconos with kids all year long, from skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing in the winter to hiking, swimming, and boating in the summer. Many Poconos resorts boast zip lines, adventure ropes courses, and other outdoor activities for families, plus indoor fun for kids like arcades and bowling. And some Poconos family resorts, including the popular Camelback Resort and Kalahari Resort Poconos, even have indoor water parks offering hours of splashy, weatherproof fun.
We've rounded up eight of the top Poconos resorts for families, including Poconos all-inclusive resorts, so you can see which one best fits your next Poconos family vacation.
Poconos Resorts with Indoor Water Parks
Float along the lazy river at Aquatopia Waterpark. Photo courtesy of Camelback Resort
No matter the season, Camelback Resort offers fun-filled adventures for active families. Embrace the snow with skiing, snowboarding, or tubing at Camelback Mountain, just two minutes from the resort. It's always summer at Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark, home to a wave pool, a lazy river, and slides and water features for every age. When the weather's right, head outside to Camelbeach Mountain Waterpark, one of the largest outdoor water parks in the area, with over 37 slides and attractions. The Mummy's Oasis section is perfect for younger kids. Other active warm-weather activities include a dual zip line and ropes courses at Camelback Mountain Adventures.
Accommodations at Camelback are fairly modern, and some rooms have scenic mountain views. Large families can opt for lofts with full kitchens and multiple bedrooms. While there are many dining options at the resort, our favorite is Trails End, serving American pub cuisine like juicy burgers and a large menu of locally brewed craft beer.
After the water park, hit the kids' salon for a little pampering at Great Wolf Lodge.
Great Wolf Lodge is a surefire hit with kids of all ages. We've visited multiple times and have never been disappointed. Splash around the 84-degree indoor water park with slides to satisfy everyone from preschoolers to teen thrill-seekers. For those who prefer to stay dry, Great Wolf has a multitude of kid-perfect activities that don’t require getting wet. Little ones will be delighted by woodland-themed costumed characters and nightly storytime in the lobby. Older kids will like interactive games such as MagiQuest, arcades, and the invigorating aerial adventure of Howlers Peak Ropes Course. Innovative extras include a spa just for kids and yoga classes where children can discover their Zen side.
The resort offers standard motel-style rooms as well as themed suites that feature tents and cave-like sleeping areas. There are lots of simple food options, but while nobody will go hungry, this is not the place to indulge your culinary whims. With so much to do, this is one of those Poconos resorts many families never want to leave.
Kalahari's toddler area features fun slides, water interactives, and whimsical animal designs. Photo by Rose Gordon Sala/Mommy Poppins.
Visit America's largest indoor water park at this African safari-themed Poconos resort. Its 220,000 square feet of fun features dozens of slides, a lazy river, a water coaster, whirlpool spas, a toddler area, a wave pool, a surf simulator, and more. Parents can grab a drink at the swim-up bar. The outdoor water park is open seasonally from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Both parks can get pretty crowded on weekends due to the availability of day passes.
The rest of the resort offers everything families need, including several on-site restaurants and shops and a lovely full-service spa with a sauna, a steam room, and a pool. Kid-friendly activities include blacklight mini golf, escape rooms, a 7-D motion theater, an expansive arcade, and bowling. Gorilla Grove Treetop Adventures has ropes courses, zip lines, a monkey climb, and mini golf available in the warmer months. Rooms at Kalahari Resort Poconos are comfortable, and families can choose from standard hotel rooms, kids' bunk rooms, and one-, two-, or three-bedroom suites.
Split Rock Resort is nestled in the Pocono Mountains on the shores of Lake Harmony. It's big, encompassing a patchwork of three enclaves connected via shuttle. While there's no on-site ski mountain, the location is minutes from family-friendly Jack Frost and Big Boulder, so you can ski, snowboard, or snow tube. In summer, enjoy a day on Lake Harmony in a kayak or canoe, or give fishing a try. Tennis, volleyball, mini golf, and basketball are a few of the many activity options. The H2Oooohh! Indoor Waterpark is the big winner with slides for all shapes and sizes, and you can even catch a wave on the Komodo Dragon, an indoor flow rider. The Town Center is where you’ll find families enjoying the arcade, movies, bowling, and much more.
Rooms are clean and spacious, many with kitchens. There are adequate dining options at the resort, or families can be adventurous and head out into the surrounding area in search of regional comfort food.
Poconos All-Inclusive Resorts
Hit the slopes at Shawnee Mountain. Photo courtesy of the Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort
This century-old Delaware River inn is just three miles from Shawnee Mountain, one of the best family ski spots in the area. With 23 trails, 100% snowmaking, and a fantastic children’s learn-to-ski program, it’s hard to top. When the snow melts, the inn has nature-focused programs such as guided hikes, scavenger hunts, and riverside glamping. There’s a championship golf course, so it’s a good choice for those who enjoy swinging a club. Families will also find axe throwing, "beach" volleyball, a playground, and a game room among the many activities.
Rooms at the inn offer many creature comforts yet are simple at heart. Dining options include the Buckwood Bakery and Café for drinks and homespun baked goods. For a casual meal, the Gem and Keystone Brewpub is a fine option and the kids' menu is loaded with easygoing choices like pasta and chicken tenders. Shawnee Inn has an all-inclusive add-on allowing families to get daily breakfast, dinner, or both with a room reservation. Lunch isn't included in any of the meal plans.
Woodloch Resort offers a rotating list of daily family activities in a gorgeous setting.
Established in 1958, the family-owned Woodloch Resort is one of the most popular Poconos resorts, with a loyal clientele that returns each year. Farm-fresh meals, activities, and bedtime-friendly evening entertainment reminiscent of Dirty Dancing are all included in the price at this lovely resort on a scenic lake. Looking for adventure? There’s a petting zoo, playgrounds, paintball, zip lining, bumper cars, go-karts, kayaking, and water-skiing on the lake in summer. The full-service kids' club has every activity imaginable for children under 10. The resort's crystal-clear water is great for a swim. In winter, consider snow tubing and ice skating, or hit the indoor pool and splash park.
There are multiple room options, from guest houses and multi-bed suites to more classic two-bed hotel rooms. If you crave adults-only relaxation, The Lodge at Woodloch, just a few miles down the road, offers top-notch spa treatments for parents seeking some well-earned serenity. Woodloch also offers all-inclusive packages with two or three meals per day.
More Poconos Resorts for Families
Spend the day swimming, kayaking, or fishing on the lake at the Silver Birches Resort. Photo courtesy of the resort
Silver Birches is one of those traditional Poconos resorts that occupies a serene setting on Lake Wallenpaupack. Thirteen historic structures face 700 feet of pristine shoreline, offering top-notch views. The property has been renovated in recent years while keeping its original rustic charm. Cottages and spacious houses are available alongside guest rooms. The rooms have a cozy feel with extra-comfy beds. Recreation is focused around the lake, so summer is a winning time to visit. Swim or coast along the shore in a kayak or do a bit of fishing. Plan on spending time at the fire pit, toasting marshmallows for s’mores. The comfortable family vibe at Silver Birches makes it a stellar place to create lasting memories.
Related: 10 PA Weekend Getaways for Families
Explore the great outdoors at Skytop Lodge. Photo courtesy of the lodge
8. Skytop Lodge
Skytop Lodge is loaded with old-fashioned charm and easy elegance. If you’re searching for a multigenerational getaway with the grandparents or a family reunion spot, this is it. During our visit here, we enjoyed modern comforts while noting the yesteryear quality that permeates each nook and cranny. Take on the great outdoors and engage in a multitude of fresh-air activities for all seasons, like archery and boating in the summer and skiing, ice skating, and tubing in the winter. Explore the ropes course or ride the zip line at Treetop Adventure Course.
If you’re looking for low-key pleasures, the lake has a small sandy shoreline and is excellent for swimming, while the sprawling grounds are perfect for strolling before a game of golf. Other activities include paintball, hiking, biking, and indoor and outdoor pools. Skytop's food is excellent, and options range from classic American cuisine at the semi-formal Windsor Dining Room to light bites at the casual Tea Room, a throwback to a corner drugstore serving yummy egg creams and other treats.
A version of this article originally ran in 2017. It has been updated in 2022 with additional reporting by Danielle Smith.