Thursday and Friday we were so blessed to have the opportunity to go to the Kalahari in Sandusky, Ohio, the biggest indoor waterpark in all of the United States! Whether attempting to surf on their Flowrider or pushing each other along in the lazy river, we enjoyed the time to take a step back from preparing for our trip to India and working, to soak up some “indoor” sun and warmth.
Leaving on Thursday morning we grabbed Dustin’s favorite Carmel Macchiato from Starbucks and explored the backroads of Ohio on our way to Sandusky from Delaware. The package we purchased included our dinner, a one nights stay, tickets for two days to the waterpark, arcade tokens and a breakfast buffet. Taking advantage of our work flexibility we got a great middle-of-the-week deal. When we arrived we hurriedly checked into our room and made a beeline for the water park.
Kalahari is huge and has many rides, water slides, and an indoor wave pool. We jumped into the wave pool before running to the first slide, the Tanzanian Twister, which sends you down a shoot into a huge toilet bowl where you swirl around until you fall down the bottom hole into a 6 1/2 foot pool! As disorienting as the ride was, it was fun and the larger version named the Swahili Swirl (which could hold four individuals on a raft) became our favorite attraction in the whole park since we could make faces and yell together while being hurled into oblivion.
After climbing up and down steps a zillion times we decided to rest and recoup in the lazy river where we took turns re-enacting the Titanic “drowning scene” where I yelled for Leonardo (aka Dustin) to hold on as he slipped into the frigid waters to pop up and attempt to tip my inner tube and splash me and the confused onlookers.
Embracing our belief of living young we explored the Leopard’s Lair, a huge play park with water squirting from every corner and attempted to drench a few unsuspecting kids. After squirting and spraying we stood under the large bucket to get drenched then huddled while shrieking to the “grown up” hot tub.
Dinner at The Reserve was delicious and we took our gift card seriously, ordering a cocktail, two entrees and dessert. For once Dustin ordered better than me and we both tried his Stir Fry which was offered with 15-20 year old fermented soy sauce. My pasta was good but left me yearning for something sweet as I ordered their carmel and chocolate new york style cheesecake.
A highlight of our trip was feeding the most adorable ducks in the front pond of the resort. Lovingly named Tweedle Dee and Dumb by myself these little guys loved to take corn right out of the palm of your hand and also allowed you to pet them. I’ve never been so close to a grown duck in all of my life and would make the drive just to enjoy these little fellas. We also starred at the cute baby lion in the lobby which was taking pictures with guests willing to pay $40 or so.*
Time at the Big Game Room was one of our favorite parts of the trip. Although I didn’t win many tickets with Deal or No Deal we played skee ball and tried to win mass amounts of tickets with token games. At the end of a good hour or so we added our tickets together to purchase: a baby pink slinky, 90′s bracelets, a watermelon push pop, owl candy, and chewy sweet tarts. Enjoying our sweets by the lobby fire we relaxed and reflected on our day.
The next morning we awoke to grab breakfast and then slept another good hour thanks to the upgrade to a late check out. Braving the Flowrider we both mastered body boarding and rode the rest of the rides. On our way home we stopped at a quirky thrift shop and wandered around in an old graveyard overlooking the hills. A perfect ending to our trip included ice cream with the Montgomery’s (Dustin’s family) and Starbucks with my family.
Although we enjoyed our trip to the Kalahari we found it to be too pricey and not very relaxing for a couple with no kids. There aren’t a lot of adult activities and there are a ton of kids which can be hectic when looking for a get-a-way. As a couple we’d choose another resort to spend our time and money next time.
If you’re looking to take your kids to an indoor water park check out The Great Wolf Lodge, also in Sandusky, Ohio or Fort Rapids located in Columbus, Ohio. These resorts appear to be a little cheaper although the water parks are smaller in size.
*Unfortunately our camera took a swim in the wave pool which explains the lack of personal pictures.