Hold on to your inner tube, things are about to get exciting! Thirteen thrilling water slides, seven pools, a huge indoor/outdoor hot tub, a lazy river, cool wave pool, and a balmy year-round 84° temperature are just some of the epic adventures you’ll find at Aquatopia, a 125,000-square-foot indoor waterpark at Camelback Lodge in the Poconos.
My husband and I took our Gilmore Girls (who are now 9 and 12) for an overnight trip to Camelback Lodge to say goodbye to summer with a splash. We checked out all the sleek slide and pool action and all had a blast! Here’s the inside scoop on why Aquatopia is now one of our new favorite family indoor getaways:
This waterpark in Tannersville, Pennsylvania, is based around the story of a fictional explorer Kartrite Van Der Berris, who traveled the world, and the watery rides and attractions bring a global theme to this corner of the Poconos.
I loved the balmy temperature and real sunshine inside the waterpark. The temperature at Aquatopia is kept at 84°F year-round and the entire park is covered with 1.5 acre Texlon transparent roof, which only filters out 20 percent of the sun’s UV rays (you’re advised to wear sunscreen). It was one of my favorite parts of being here, because, unlike other waterparks that leave you feeling damp and cold after awhile, at Aquatopia I spent the day feeling warm and sunny.
Another highlight is the wave pool where you can jump the swells or ride them in a tube — some of the waves are pretty massive. My 9 year old and I jumped the waves for hours. (Okay, not really hours, but the one hour we played in it left me exhausted.)
The 9-year-old also like the lazy river, aka The Lost River; a tube ride that takes you through dark, twisting tunnels made to look like an abandoned temple in the jungle.
The craziest slide at Aquatopia is The Venus Slydetrap, which looks like a gigantic meat-eating plant; after going down a slide, your tube shoots up and down the sides of its toothed jaws. My tween loved it!
And for major thrills, the bravest can ride the Storm Chaser, the longest indoor water-coaster in the country.
For big kids (42″ and up) there’s also the Bombora FlowRider, for simulated surfing and boogie boarding (it’s so epic you have to sign a waiver before you ride) and for kids not ready for big thrill slides, Kartrite’s Quest is a fun aqua-play structure with nearly 100 water gadgets and play features and a giant 1,000 gallon dumping bucket— a little kid’s dream playground.
Just looking to relax? The perfect après water park spot is Mystic Springs, a huge indoor/outdoor hot tub with relaxing hydrotherapy jets (my favorite spot in the waterpark).
(Another great grown-up relaxation spot? The adults-only swim-up bar which serves frozen tropical drinks and other cocktails.)
Things to know:
- Check-in begins at 4 pm (or earlier if your room becomes available). but you can check your bags and enjoy Aquatopia as early as 12:30 pm.
- There are lockers available for an extra fee
- Guests each get a towel card at check-in to use at the water park, so leave your towels at home.
Other Aquatopia Fun
In addition to the water park, there’s a 45,000-square-foot arcade, a rock climbing wall, a small indoor overhead ropes course, mini-golf, laser tag, mini-bowling alley, a paint your own pottery shop, and an adult and a kids’ spa. Note: All the extra fun is an extra cost.
Camelback Resort Lodge offers spacious suites, all with great features like mini-fridges, microwaves, sofa beds, and fireplaces and balconies in some rooms– and those are just the standard amenities. With 453 rooms in 16 various suite layouts, there is a perfect option for everyone. The lodge was built in 2015 and you can tell; the entire resort is squeaky clean and well-maintained.
Where to Eat
There are plenty of dining options at Camelback Lodge (which is a year-round resort), such as Neptunes, serving up small plates; Hemisphere’s — a huge buffet serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner; and the slope-side Trails End Pub & Grille. Plus there are smaller spots to get ice cream, pizza, sandwiches, and grab-and-go breakfast throughout the Lodge.
After a full day of waterpark fun, we wanted a relaxing service dinner and chose Trails End Pub & Grille and I’m glad we did. The cocktails were perfect (my grapefruit margarita was just what I needed after a long day) and the food was very good. I would go back just for the Bacon Jam Bruschetta appetizer and my kids loved the cheeseburger.
The nicest part was taking our after dinner drinks out to the patio and sitting by the fire pit among the gorgeous Pocono mountains. The perfect ending to a great getaway.
Camelback Resort Lodge and Aquatopia Indoor Water Park
193 Resort Drive