Over the summer I took my boys to the waterpark quite a few times. In fact, on our last trip before the end of the season Little E actually cried as we were leaving the park. However, we live in Pennsylvania and our swimming season is limited. In fact, our weather is iffy all year round!

Even though our swimming options in the winter are more limited, I still love to be able to get the boys in the water even if it is just at a hotel swimming pool when we are traveling. This is why when I had the opportunity to take the boys to Kalahari Resorts & Conventions in Sandusky, Ohio, I was really excited.

So remember how I said the weather in this part of the country can be unpredictable? Well, the weekend we visited Kalahari, this area was feeling the effects of Hurricane Joaquin and we were experiencing heavy rains and temperatures in the 40s. Not exactly weather you would want to be outside in.

Even though the outside weather was crummy in every sense of the word, once we got to Kalahari we totally forgot about the outside weather and were completely absorbed with everything that was going on inside!

Kalahari_ElephantSculptureAs soon as you step into the lobby you know that this resort is unique. The inside is designed to make you suddenly feel as if you are on an African safari, complete with authentic African-themed decor.

Check-in is normal at 4 p.m. but when we arrived at 2 p.m. our room was already ready so we were able to check in. Had the room not been ready, though, we could have gotten our waterpark wristbands and we would have been notified when the room was ready.

Kalahari_SignWe stayed in one of the Nomad Rooms, which consists of two queen beds, a full sized sleeper sofa, fireplace, and a patio or balcony. These rooms are priced for 4 guests, but you may add one or two guests for an additional $25.

All registered guests receive waterpark admission beginning when the park opens on the day of check-in and runs though the park’s close on the day of check-out. This means that we were able to get in two days at the waterpark. When you consider that you get two days at the waterpark as well as a hotel room for the evening, this is a very good deal!

We headed to our room to put away our luggage and to get changed. In addition to the beds, fireplace, and balcony, our room also had dorm-sized mini fridge and a small dining table and chairs. This is perfect, especially for those who are staying more than one night. This way you can keep some minor provisions such as milk or other drinks in the fridge for breakfasts or even for when you are on a break from the waterpark.

Kalahari_Nomad_RoomDid I also mention that there was one cute elephant (which is the Kalahari mascot) folded out of towels sitting on the bed and one on the towel bar. The boys loved it!

After quickly getting changed, we decided to go to the waterpark. It wasn’t like anything I had ever seen before! We’ve been to some fairly large waterparks before, but nothing inside like this. Little E and Baby R were excited so we headed straight for the kids’ areas. It turns out that there are actually two of them!

Kalahari_WaterparkThese areas are specially designed for toddlers and young children so the water is very shallow and they have many age-appropriate slides and activities. I wasn’t sure at first if Little E would feel comfortable enough to do the slides, but he didn’t hesitate and started going down them right away.

Kalahari_BabyRinPoolAs I mentioned before, in the kiddie area the water is very shallow, so Little E had a great time just walking on his hands and floating on his belly. Baby R was also able to sit up in the water without me having to worry about it going over his head or him falling into water that was too deep.

Kalahari_WavePool copyThe younger boys played in the kiddie area for quite a while, checking out all of the slides, the things that squirted, and the stuff that moved.

Another highlight of the waterpark was the Lazy River. It is designed to look like a river in Africa, lined with really beautiful paintings and murals as well as sculptures or hyenas, crocodiles, and other jungle life. Everyone is required to have their own tube, which can be rather difficult with smaller children so you will need to put them in the raft with you. It would have been nice if they had some of the special children’s tubes which don’t have an open hole in the bottom, which are perfect for smaller children.

Kalahari_Bucket_Play_AreaThere are actually a total of 23 water activities, including the 10 water slides. This is in addition to other water attractions such as the Flow Rider.

In addition to all of the water-related activities, the indoor portion of the waterpark also has cabanas, complete with security safe, refrigerator, chaise lounges, and a table. There are also several bars and eating establishments right inside the waterpark which is nice, especially if you have children so that you don’t have to leave the waterpark and get changed in order to eat.

Kalahari_Outdoor_AreaIf you visit Kalahari during the summer months (Memorial Day through Labor Day), you will also be treated to a very impressive outside area. This area features activity pools, hot tubs, dry play, a sun deck, sand volleyball courts, and shuffleboard courts in addition to outdoor eating facilities. Little E thought the area looked really fun. I guess we are going to have to come back during the summer!

Kalahari_RopeCourseIn addition to the outdoor waterpark, there is also an outdoor adventure park. This park contains really cool activities such as a zipline tour, ropes course, and climbing walls are a way to not only challenge yourself but also friends and family members. The adventure park is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day so it was closed when we were there, however, I have done similar ropes courses and zip lines before. If you haven’t done one before I strongly recommend it. They really are a blast!

Kalahari_GiraffeOne part of the outdoor adventure park that was open though, was the Safari Adventures Animal Park. The Safari Adventures Animal Park is a unique, interactive experience that allows guests to get up close and interactive with Kalahari’s animals. What is really cool about this exhibit is that you can actually purchase a bucket of food to feed the animals. Each of the animal exhibits tells you which foods the animals can eat and you can either feed the animals by hand, or some have a PVC pipe that you can slide the food through.

Kalahari_KangarooThe boys absolutely loved feeding the animals and ran from exhibit to exhibit feeding the animals. Little E really enjoyed the kangaroos, especially when we noticed that one had a joey in it’s pouch. E kept referring to it as a “little sweetheart.” It was adorable seeing how fascinated he was by the animals and how much he enjoyed it.

Kalahari_BigGameRoomLittleE_Dragon_HatThe indoor waterpark itself is open until 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, but if you are looking for a little bit of dry fun there is an expansive arcade which includes hundreds of games where you can win tickets and prizes. After dinner we spent an hour or two with the boys down in the arcade. Little E won enough tickets to earn a dragon hat which he was so proud of.

If arcade games aren’t your thing, there is also laser tag, glow-in-the-dark mini golf, an XD dark ride, mini bowling, and even a pottery-painting studio.

BabyR_Kiddie_AreaVisiting Kalahari Resorts & Conventions was a fabulous experience and I was so happy that I was able to share it with the boys. I know they enjoyed it t00 — especially since Little E cried as we were leaving and asked when we could come back. Hopefully, it will be soon!

Special Offer!

If you want to check out Kalahari Resorts & Conventions in Sandusky, Ohio, I have a really great deal with you. You can stay two night (three days at the waterpark!) at the Sandusky location starting at $199 for BOTH nights. To book, use this booking link with the promo code “COOLSEASON” or call 1-877-KALAHARI and refer to the “Cool Seasonal Savings Package”.

Subject to availability, restrictions, resort fee and tax may apply.

If You Go

I did want to note that all children under 48 inches tall are required to wear a Coast Guard certified life vest, which is why you see Little E and Baby R wearing the vests in all of the pictures. The life vests are available at the resort to use for free, but if you have your own life vest or any of the Puddle Jumper life vests you should bring them along!
Also, be sure to bring comfortable water shoes such as the KEEN water sandals as the park is quite big and the bottoms of the water attractions are a little rough which could irritate your feet. Also, if you are planning to take pictures (who wouldn’t want to record these memories?) the JOTO waterproof bag for your smartphone is great, especially since you can still operate the phone through the bag! I will be sure to buy one for our next trip!

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