What is Coming to America’s Largest Indoor Waterpark

Only a 1.5 hour ride outside of New York City, and tucked away in what I can only describe as a beautifully landscaped and very secluded property, is one of the largest indoor water parks in America, Kalahari Resorts & Conventions. Having never been to an indoor water park, we were excited to see what the hype was all about and after our stay last weekend, I think it’s safe to say our family has found a perfect slice of summer in the middle of a long New York winter.
Kalahari Resorts & Conventions opened their Pennsylvanian doors in 2015 and instantly became a highly-coveted destination for families in and around the Pennsylvania area.  People of all ages and all walks of life became aware of all that Kalahari Resorts has to offer and the resort quickly gained popularity. I had heard of Kalahari, located in the Pocono Mountains, when it first opened but my family and I never had the chance to experience it firsthand. That all changed last week, when Kalahari Resorts and Spa invited MomConfessionals to come check out the current resort as well as an exclusive, sneak preview of what is still to come.
One can palpate the excitement as you drive up the winded road that leads to the resort and guests are greeted by a grandiose entrance complete with African artifacts and sculptures. The boys were very excited to walk through the main entrance and see a life-sized gorilla statue waiting to greet us. Kalahari Resort is named after the Kalahari desert, a place that the Nelson Family (the owners of Kalahari Resorts & Conventions) have visited and love, as is evident by the unbelievably, authentic décor that you will see when you visit. The murals are all hand-painted and the gift shops and food markets are full of items that are made in Africa which allow guests to really get a feel for the beauty that Africa has to offer.
The first thing we noticed upon arrival was how clean the resort was. Despite it being a weekend, and even though the waterpark was deemed at capacity, we never felt overcrowded, nor were we shut out of any experiences that we chose to have as a family. The water park was open late and there was something for everyone in our party to enjoy. There were several dining options for us to choose from, which allows for everyone to find something to suit their budget. There is even a market place where you can purchase items that you may have forgotten at home, or foods to keep in your room during your stay. We found the rooms themselves to be clean, quiet, and quite comfortable, making our stay even more enjoyable.  I also happen to notice how environmentally conscious they are as their unused products, such as shampoos, soaps are all recycled and/or redistributed to those in need.
We managed to enjoy the waterpark that evening, as it is open until 10pm, so the kids were able to run free and try out every water slide that they desired. I will say that my 6-year-old was slightly disappointed that he didn’t make the height requirement that is needed to be void of a life vest while at the water park (as he is an avid swimmer) but soon after, he was having too much fun to realize that he was even wearing one.
The toddler area was just perfect for our boys to play in while we sat back and watched them have their fun, and when they were ready to venture onto the bigger slides, my husband and I could enjoy the excitement of the water park right along with them. The staff was extremely warm, friendly, and very helpful and our needs were always met in a timely and courteous manner. As soon as the water park was closing, we were able to then go and enjoy the arcade area which is located right outside of the water park. There we enjoyed a round of mini golf, claw machines, and a family game of bowling.  All of this was accomplished without leaving the building!
The next day we were able to partake in several of the scheduled activities that Kalahari provides. While we missed the character breakfast (as we decided to sleep in) we were able to go to a cookie decorating activity and of course get some more time in the water park. We also had the pleasure of receiving a VIP tour of the newest additions to the Kalahari Resort (slotted to open next month in March 2017). Just when we thought that the resort was all that we anticipated, Kalahari, showed just how many more amenities there will be to enjoy once the next phase of development is complete.
In phase II of development, the Nelson family left no stone unturned, so guests will be able to enhance their experience even further. Kalahari will be adding 520 additional rooms, which equates to nearly 1,000 guest rooms in the resort, featuring one-, two- and three-bedroom suites (including two types of suite-styled rooms that can be described as extra spacious penthouse suites). The biggest suites, known as the “Big Five” suites, boast five bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, pool tables, large common rooms, gourmet kitchens and sweeping views of the wooded areas that’s surround the properties as well as private laundry areas, their own check in areas, and a private concierge and entrance area. At approx. $1800/night, these suites, which can comfortably sleep 20+, sounds perfect for a larger family getaway or a close group of friends to enjoy. There are also several options for brand new one or two-bedroom suites, which can vary in price from $100-$800/night, which will be perfect for those on a budget.
Along with the additional state of the art rooms and additional fitness area (that caters to your personal fitness goals) courtesy of Brent Bailey, there are many other exciting things to come. We had an exclusive sneak peak at the newest addition to the game rooms. Adding an approximately 30,000-sq.-ft. extension to the family entertainment center, Kalahri will now be able to provide 60,000-total sq. ft. of dry fun including the virtual reality room, where players (6 at a time) will be able to be a part of several virtual games including engineerium options for the younger crowd, and virtual zombie game for adolescents and up. There will also be an escape room which has been gaining mainstream popularity lately.
Obviously, Kalahari wouldn’t be complete without adding on to its already expansive water park area. The park will soon have 8 new additional rides, including thrilling rides like the Screaming Hyena – a slide that features a trap-door start that drops you into a near-vertical plunge at up to 25 miles per hour. They will also feature the all-new Sahara Sidewinder, an indoor looping waterslide, that will take you from high above on a 250-plus-foot journey to an amazing splashdown. In addition, a brand new, state-of the-art wave pool will be accessible to guests and when you are seeking out some ‘adult time’, there will be an all-new adults only grotto.  There will be an extension of the already popular lazy river (which will now allow guests to be taken to another level of the park), and additional space for the toddlers to play. Guests won’t have to worry about overcrowding as the resort will be adding more seating, with the addition of larger cabanas, which will be located on the all- new Cabana Island.  Some of the new cabanas will include private hot tubs for guests to enjoy.

The resort will officially be known as the largest indoor water park in America once this phase of construction is complete and they fully intend to live up to the title.  When the weather warms up a bit, there will be some fun activities outdoors as well, such as the Gorilla Grove Treetop Outdoor Aerial Adventure Park, which has opened and boasts a fun ropes course for children and adults alike.
There are several dining options at Kalahari, perfect for every price point and with the completion of phase II, the park will offer 12 dining options for guests. These dining additions include:

  • Double Cut Charcoal Grill/Liquor Bar, the signature steak house experience
  • Sortino’s Italian Kitchen, featuring wood-fired pizza and fun family dining
  • Marrakesh Market

Another fun fact that we love about Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, is that it is the only water park in our area that allows for day guests to utilize the grounds as well.
The Nelson family has certainly pulled out all the stops when it comes to Kalahari Resort and the additional 200,000 sq-ft that will soon be available to guests will make that experience even more incredible. Whether you want to take a quick day trip, a mini vacation or a longer week away with your family and friends, Kalahari Resorts & Convention Center will certainly provide something to meet all of your needs, wants and desires without having to leave the grounds. My boys keep asking when we can get back to the resort, and being that it’s not that far of a trip, we hope to be able to grant their wish once phase II is complete – even if its only for just one day.

For more information on reservations, please visit KalahariResorts.com. For additional details on the history of Kalahari Resorts, the authentic African inspiration and the Nelson family, please visitKalahariMedia.com.

{ disclosure: In exchange for my honest review, I received a free night’s stay at Kalahari Resorts as well as entry to the waterpark and a private tour of the newer grounds.  No monetary compensation was provided.  As always, all opinions expressed here are our very own.}