By Anna Berend
The thing about Minnesota is that no matter where you are there’s always a lake nearby. And for a mere four months or so that means lots of fun in the sun on the sandy beaches and in the cool, refreshing water. Are you feeling like you need to be reminded of what that feels like right about now?
Since you can’t go jump in a lake, how about hitting another beach? There’s no need to travel far and you won’t have to deal with the sand. I’m talking about an indoor water park. There are a handful of these amusement parks in the Twin Cities that offer a warm oasis from the frigid cold Minnesota winter for an afternoon, a weekend or longer, since all but one are attached to hotels.
Foursquare Favorite: Nickelodeon Universe
5000 Center Ct
Bloomington, MN 55425
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Mall of America’s Nickelodeon Universe—formerly Camp Snoopy—isn’t quite a water park, but the Log Chute, a water adventure that includes a 40-foot drop, gives riders the same heart-pounding adrenaline rush as a you get at the nearby Water Park of America (and there’s a chance you might get a little wet, too). There are thrills for kids of all ages, including a ropes course that challenges teens and adults. For more fun activities in Minneapolis, click here.
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The Water Park of America provides hours of fun for the whole family. The huge Fort Snelling Activity Pool is for the younger set with lots areas to climb up, slide down and splash around in. The Lake of the Woods Activity Pool is a deeper pool with 4 feet of water to splash, swim and play basketball in. There are a number of slides that weave in and out of the massive building: Eagles’ Nest 5th Floor Tube Slides; 7th and 10th Floor Body Slides.
Another big draw is Minnesota’s only FlowRider, a combination of surfing and snowboarding. There are even spas for the mamas and the papas who have the chance to sneak away for a little “me” time. Relax in a large raft in this family friendly Lake Superior Wave Pool. “Tour” Minnesota while riding in an inner tube on the St. Croix Winding River. And with several spots to grab a meal: Camp Many Point; Split Rock Grille and Split Rock Bar and the Radisson Bloomington Hotel onsite, you won’t have to see the snow for as long as like. The hotel is beautifully appointed with very family friendly rooms or suites. Costs vary, depending on the options you choose; check website.
Get away from it all at this Venetian themed indoor water park. With areas for all ages, from the little tikes to the adults, this is fun way to make the snow disappear, at least for a few days. The setting is reminiscent of the Italian port city with Mediterranean-styled buildings and features throughout this 25,000 sq. ft. space. Splash, slide, float, swim, play games and more while making your way through the pools, slides and spa.
Book a room at the attached Holiday Inn & Suites Maple Grove-Arbor Lakes, also Venetian themed and receive up to four passes to the water park with each room. Enjoy a meal at the Paolazzo Ristorante & Sala after a fun-filled day in the warm Italian sun and sea.
There are four pools, a splash fountain, a large whirlpool, a fun zero entry play area for the younger set with slides and fountains, and indoor/outdoor slides. This water park is conveniently located inside The Depot Renaissance Hotel in downtown Minneapolis. You’ll also find a snack bar, a restaurant and a bar nearby in the hotel.
You’ll certainly feel like you’re on a tropical island here regardless of what the weather looks like outside. There are pools with floating sea creatures to climb on, slides, an interactive splashing palm tree, water volleyball and basketball and more. For the 18 and up crowd, a relaxing whirlpool and patio awaits.
The Tropics has a cool, new feature they’ve added to a slide they call “Shark Attack.” The rider can choose from over 100 soundtracks on a jukebox type system which tune they will slide to while enjoying a lightshow on the way down. The Tropics website reports that this ride gets a 9.5 out 10 stars.
Anna Berend is an attorney and the author of Motherly Law Blog. On Motherly Law, Anna writes about legal issues that affect families and offers tips and resources that pertain to those legal topics. On occasion, inspiration strikes and Anna writes about something totally unrelated to the law.You can find Anna at www.motherlylaw.com, on Facebook at Motherly Law and on Twitter @MotherlyLaw.