Where does the time go? It has already been almost two weeks since we took a mini-vacation to Fort Rapids Indoor Water Park. Indoor water parks are a great family getaway - in fact, we try to go one or two times every winter. Typically, we do a late fall trip and an early spring trip. We often try to align to a day off of school, but sometimes go on the weekend.
I have been to several indoor water parks and I feel like each of them has their pros and cons. I love how they all do a great job of theming the entirety of the resort. They also offer a variety of non-water activities to entertain your group when the water park is closed.
This was our second trip to Fort Rapids. The theme at Fort Rapids is the wild west. The lobby is large and features a giant fireplace. It is around this fireplace that you can gather in the evening for a bedtime story and cookies & milk (at least on the night we were there)
The water park is not a huge place, but this is a good thing.
The centerpiece of the park is their Rascal Round Up. Featuring several slides and constant running water, the highlight is the 1000 gallon bucket that is perched atop the play area that tips over on a regular basis, sending a lot of water splashing down.
My daughter is a big fan of the purple slide in the Rascal Round Up Area. I think she likes the blue tube as well, but since it is enclosed and dark, she is less inclined to choose that slide. What is nice is that your child can grow through the slides - there are three lower level ones and then the two larger ones at the top.
For the younger crowd, you can spend time at the Kiddie Korral. This area features low depth water with water toys, an umbrella that I call a 'mushroom' and four kid size slides.
One nice thing that you will see throughout the park are a number of 'Science of Splash' signs. They have partnered with COSI and share about the science behind some of the attractions.
They do not have a wave pool, but they do have a lazy river. They also have three large tube slides that all empty into the lazy river, including Black Out Pass - which is the ride my family calls the toilet bowl, because after a course through a winding tube, you are shot out into a large bowl and you circle it a few times before dropping down the tube into the middle and into the exit pool. For all three of the tube slides, you can ride alone in a single tube or pair up in a double tube. My son was tall enough to ride and even adventurous enough to ride on his own. I liked that we could experience the slides together or 'race' each other to the bottom.
Speaking of racing, they have a set of slides called Shoot Out Racer, we just call them the racers. It features four tubes that you ride through on your stomach on a racing mat. They all follow a similar course and finish four across. At the tubes, each slide is a different color, at the bottom they are all open, yellow slides. My daughter was a little nervous about riding them the first time. The lifeguard was very kind and suggested that she try the yellow tube. Turns out that the yellow is translucent, making the slide more light than dark through the tube portion of the ride.
Catching pictures of your family sliding can be a challenge, but can give you some rather 'artsy' looking pictures.
The water park has a very limited supply of towels available. They make this very clear on their website and encourage you to bring your own. Having been to other parks where they are readily available, it was a little disappointing to not have them easily available. They also have a limited number of life jackets available for the little ones. Again, they have some, but not many - so it is a good idea to plan ahead and bring your own if you have it.
After a long day at the water park, we were happy to go back to the room for the evening. The resort has a variety of rooms that will meet a variety of needs. They have guest rooms and family suites. The guests rooms are available for parties of 2 - 6, with the 2 being the room with one king bed and an in-room Jacuzzi. Have a bigger party, or want some common space where the parents can stay up longer than the children? Then, I would recommend the family suites, which can sleep from 6 to 12 guests. We have stayed in both the Havazu Canyon and the Kings Canyon. The Havazu sleeps 8 and the Kings Canyon, 10. I like the set up of the smaller room, because sleeping for 6 of the 8 are in bedrooms. This means that the kids can go to bed and the doors be closed, while the adults hang out. The common area featured a couch and a chair. I also like that it had a kitchenette and a small table that makes it easy to eat a meal in the room (we picked up some food to go and relaxed and ate it in the room). The Kings Canyon had sleeping for 2 in a bedroom and 2 in a loft, with the other 6 spots in the common area. It had a sofa and a chair in the common area, but the only other seating was on the 2 beds in the common area. I definitely loved though that this room featured 3 bathrooms! This made changing to go to the water park a lot easier. I also like that the rooms featured a dryer - making it easy to dry the cover-ups, suits and towels for the next visit.
There is also plenty to do after the water park closes. There is an arcade, they do evening story time, and there are restaurants.
In fact, the weekend that we were there, there was a family Halloween costume party. It included a DJ, games, Caricatures, Pictures and snacks. I just wish I had known ahead of time that when they snacks, they meant a mini-meal. The snack area featured pizzas, chicken fingers, marshmallow ghosts, candy and caramel apples, punch, and more. We had already eaten dinner, so we only picked at a few of the treats. There was a costume contest, which we missed because the kids were anxious to get more time in at the water park. The prizes included future stays, vouchers for the arcade and more. They also offered trick or treat around the resort. The kids had a great time putting on their costumes and having a little fun, before returning to the water park for one last hour of play before it closed.
One of my favorite things about Fort Rapids is that it is a short drive from Cleveland and allows us to easily meet up with friends and family from southern Ohio for a weekend get away.
No compensation was received for this post. Information was provided through US Family Guide, of which I am a member blogger. My family was invited to enjoy a complimentary visit to the water park to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family.