Any place with the word “resort” in it sounds like a perfect family getaway to me but add in “Kalahari” and you’ve got a real winner! If you love water parks (as my kids do), then check out PA’s newest water park, Kalahari Resort, right in the Poconos. An easy drive from the tri-state area and a great place to spend a few days. Kalahari is an african themed resort with a 100,000 sq. foot water park, 453 guest rooms, a large ( HUGE) arcade and family activities. If you think that sounds big, consider that this park just opened in July 2015 and this is considered phase 1 of construction. Phase II has started and will include over 450 more rooms including suites, more kids activities and another 100,000+ sq. feet of water park making it the largest water park in the U.S! Imagine that! Can’t wait to go back and see it when it’s all done.
What we liked:
This was my kind of lobby and at Christmas time, it was just gorgeous. I’m sure any time of year is lovely to visit but if you can make it at Christmas, look at this loveliness!!
The lobby was spacious, filled with many African museums-style artifacts and opened up to the stores and eateries. Which was another thing I wanted to mention-having been to a few other water parks, I found the food choices here to be quite nice. The restaurant in the lobby was reasonable and had very good food. There was a second restaurant there with more steak and seafood choices and an extensive wine list. This is not just a kids place, as conventions come in often and there’s plenty of “adult” food choices. Off the lobby were a few stores/gift shops and 2 more places to grab snacks, coffee, sandwiches, sweets and treats and more. Cupcake anyone?
The Water park
The main attraction here, of course, is the big water park. It was very spacious with the kiddie area on one side and most of the bigger slides at the other end , yet all were close enough that you don’t feel lost. While there’s no wave pool (yet), there’s a lazy river and a very large hot tub/whirlpools pool which is both indoor and outdoor (loved this!) Also a nice large pool with many basketball hoops that was fun! Another very cool attraction is the Flow Rider where you battle the waves on your surfboard (each rider gets 1 minute to do this and the attendants are most helpful) Not for me, no, thank you, but the 9 and up kids get a real kick out of it.
The Anaconda is a water coaster that thrill seekers will love. My kids had a blast on the Tanzania Twister which is a body slide which sends you whirling at the end into a big free fall exit into the churning waters. Rippling Rhino, Zimbabwe Zipper, Barreling Baboon-don’t you love these names? All are slides and wild rides. Two of my kids are teens now and these rides were perfect for them as well as my younger guy.
Little kids have a nice area with plenty of small perfect size slides. Dominating the center of the park is the Splashdown Safari with water shooters, dumping buckets and quite a few body slides for super soaking wet fun for all ages! There’s plenty of seating spread around plus private cabanas with TV’s and chaise lounges available for rent.
Adults might enjoy the Thirsty Turtle Swim up bar. Isn’t this cool?
The Arcade and activities
Of course the kids loved the arcade. Load up their cards and send them on their way. Expensive? Sure, but hey, when you’re on vacation, that’s the way it usually is right? There’s a good variety of games to keep them busy for a while. We played a game of mini bowling which was fun. There’s blacklight mini-golf too (a short 9 hole course), an XD theatre and a laser maze, all right in the arcade area. This is just one teeny part of it.
I thought there were some pretty good options here. Refrigerators and microwaves in the room too. With about 9 options for food- from grabbing a quick muffin and coffee to a buffet to sit down waiter served restaurants and bars, there’s a choice for every budget. Out dinner was hamburgers and grilled chicken sandwiches with salads. We had a nice view of the Christmas tree in the lobby from where we sat, plus the background jazz and Holiday Christmas music from the bar was very relaxing.
If you’re looking to try a new water park, I definitely recommend checking out Kalahari. Even if you can’t get there at the holidays, like we did, it’s beautifully decorated and a nice escape year round. For summer months, there’s an outdoor pool. For adults, Spa Kalahari offers treatments and services to pamper and relax. I didn’t get to take advantage of that, but a book and a chair while the kids went on the water rides was my little escape. And they got me on a few slides too! All in all, fun and I don’t have anything much to critique. Just bring extra cash if your kids like arcades and bowling and mini golf as those things are pretty steep. See the Kalahari website here. Room specials and packages are here .
disclosure– Kalahari provided us with an overnight stay in order to be able to write about it for our Todaysmama readers. Opinions are my own.