“Mom, when can we go to Kalahari again?” Get ready to hear it, because a visit to Kalahari Waterpark in Pennsylvania is one family trip your kids won’t forget anytime soon. When we headed to the Poconos last month for a weekend of swimming and splashing, I thought I knew what to expect. Boy, was I surprised when I saw the full scope of the place! And the kids? Well, let’s just say there was some jaw-dropping going on.
Here’s a peek at what we saw through the huge glass wall in the hotel’s lobby (they still had their coats on and were ready to jump right into the water!)
The first thing you’ll notice when you arrive at Kalahari–besides the huge window overlooking the waterpark–is the array of restaurants, shopping areas, small eateries and cafes you’ll find right in the central lobby. And if food is your thing (it’s mine, for sure!) you’ll find a really impressive array of options. From a la carte fruit cups, salads and sammies and casual sit-down fare to full prime rib dinners and a to-die-for breakfast buffet, it’s all there. And it’s GOOD. Need a bottle of kombucha? Excellent coffee? You got it. And sweet treats? Oh, you have no idea…
I wondered how we would choose where to go and what to do with our limited time since we were only there one night, but we figured it out right away since it was all right there. There was more to see at Kalahari than I expected, but somehow, they made it all really easy to navigate–even with kids!
Kalahari Indoor Waterpark
The main point of a visit to Kalahari is, without a doubt, the waterpark. Friends, the waterslides are AMAZING, with slides of almost every size, from kiddie-friendly to what can only be called X-treme! Because our kiddos are still little, we spent most of our time in the lazy river and the Splashdown Safari – which were more than enough to keep them hopping!
It was fun to look around and think what future trips to Kalahari might look like to us. As they grow, the kids will be able to bodysurf at the FlowRider® wave pool, ride the Anaconda water roller coaster, catch the high-energy Swahili Swirl, and even visit the spa with mom…
But for now? We had way more fun than we could ever handle with Splashdown Safari and Tiko’s Watering Hole toddler play area, along with the big lazy river AND the little lazy river specially designed for the tiniest swimmers!
If you can sneak a few “adult” minutes, you can even catch a cocktail at the swim-up Thirsty Turtle bar. We passed it by this time, but I didn’t feel too bad about it as I relaxed in the indoor/outdoor hot tub with my boy. It snowed right on our heads!
Life is good. <– note to self.
The question I get asked the most about our trip to Kalahari is whether you can come visit the waterpark without actually staying overnight. Yes, you can! Lockers and locker rooms are plentiful, and you can even rent your own private indoor cabana, which includes enjoy a flat screen TV, chaise lounges, refrigerator, security safe and much more. No worries!Phase II: See what's new at Kalahari, America's Largest Indoor Waterpark! #LoveKalahari Click To Tweet
Phase II – See what’s new at Kalahari
We thought the waterpark was big. Now it’s bigger!
We thought the hotel was impressive. Now there 520 more rooms, including 5-bedroom suites!
We thought the dining options were great. Now there are more!
NOW OPEN, Phase II is the new construction phase that Kalahari has been working on. When we visited, they were knee-deep in sawdust and heavy machinery, but we got a great look behind the scenes at what was coming. Can you tell how excited this kiddo was to take a tour?
Now that Phase II is officially complete, Kalahari Resorts is officially home to the America’s Largest Indoor Waterpark, surpassing the current titleholder: Kalahari Resorts’ location in Sandusky, Ohio. The sprawling resort will cover 150 acres, cost $350 million and created more than 1,000 area jobs! (Where do I send my resume?!)
But can we talk about the new rooms?
520 rooms were added, and they’re all beautiful. But, there are a few gems in there that really blew my mind during our tour. These photos are from the Big Five Suites, which were just starting to come together when we were there.
Just look at that full kitchen! And the bathrooms were heavenly. There’s a beautiful bar area, too, along with FIVE bedrooms and room to sleep up to 22 guests. Imagine the family reunion you could have here?!
Check out the finished Big Five Suites here, then start calling your friends and family ASAP.
Phase II brings with it a few new dining options, too, including the signature eclectic Double Cut Charcoal Grill/Liquor Bar and Sortino’s Italian Kitchen featuring wood fired pizza and a family atmosphere (great for kids!)
Other new upgrades include:
- Nearly 1,000 guest rooms containing one-, two-, three-, and even five-bedroom suites
- America’s Largest Indoor Waterpark (a true 220,000 sq. ft.)
- Expanded outdoor waterpark
- 100,000 sq. ft. convention center
- 40,000 sq. ft. interactive arcade
- Spa Kalahari & Salon
- Kalahari Fitness and Training Center
- 6,000 sq. ft. of retail space
While we were taking our tour of the new construction, I noticed someone sculpting an elephant in the side of a rock. We then saw another artist painting the walls inside the new Grotto.
Our Kalahari guide explained to us that authentic spirit of Africa is reflected in every aspect of Kalahari – from the handpicked Rwandan coffee beans that are brewed on-property to the artwork on the convention center walls. When you visit, you’ll hear recorded music from the streets of Cape Town, and original crafts in the gift shops.
The best of Africa is around every corner, all inspired by the extensive travels of the Nelson Family (founders of Kalahari) and team. Whatever the resort is looking for, if they can’t find it IN or FROM Africa, they make it. It’s all unique, and it’s all part of the One World vision.
One World – my humanity is tied to yours. We are all interconnected. Connecting you to Kalahari’s African roots, and the chance to be a part of one beat, one heart, and one world. ~ Kalahari
We saw the construction and had to wait to see what was coming – but you don’t. See photos and video of the America’s largest indoor waterpark online now, and get some family travel on the calendar!