For those of you that read Part I of my review on Kalahari Water Park and Resort, we talked about checking in, food and other stuff. But the real reason to go, is the water park, right? Let's dive in!
With all-due-respect to those that reside in
, we were not there for the city. We were there for the resort and what it offers a family of four for a spring break, uh, er, break. Sandusky, OH
The theme of the resort is an African safari / village vibe. The in-room TV touts the authentic nature of the design, the art, the everything. I can't confirm if what they say is true – and I don't care. The kids dug the faux lions, hippos, elephants and other animals, and enjoyed the large mural outside. And the map of
Africa outside our breakfast location was cool, too.
Kalahari is a massive, sprawling water park. It is friggin gi-normous. And that is the inside park.
The outside park (not usable in April when we were there) is massive, too. Depending on where your room is, you either have a short walk, or a really, really, really long walk. The latter was our experience, and was a suitable surrogate for exercise!
For our kids, and for us, we stuck to the more child-friendly areas in the water park, of which there really are three: 1) the kiddie park part (with ankle deep water and slides for kids 42" and under only):
2) the wave pool, because we could keep a good eye on them and the force of water is pretty interesting and the kids loved being knocked down by waves (to the horror and fear of Daddy Stuff himself, and 3) the big bucket climbing structure area (not sure what to call it) where there are some bigger single person slides that even our 2.5 year old liked, along with lots of other stuff:
Some of you may be saying – whoa – "lame-o" alert. Guilty as charged. But this wasn't for me and my wife. Our enjoyment was focused on having the kids go ape playing in the water. Didn't need a lazy river for our adventuresome, non-sitting-still boys. Didn't need turbo sleds to hit Mach 3 before slamming into a pool. And I think our choices worked well for them and for us. I would do the same, again, if (and when) we go back. The kids did not get bored (although mom and dad did) and played till they were tired, which took about 2 hours each time. That was perfect for our schedules. And this is where Kalahari shines.
In addition to the water park (and obligatory video game area) Kalahari has a mini bowling space but most importantly a climber area for kids, too, included in the cost of the stay. That scored major points for Kalahari in our book. This is a pretty tall structure for climbing and also has slides. The center open area has air pressured toys where, for instance, when the "volcano" is stuffed with enough foam balls, the "volcano" erupts at the push of a button. Quite entertaining for the little ones, and cool for the bigger ones.
|Tree Top Play - Inside (image courtesy of KalahariResorts.com)|
We liked this arrangement very much. We all could only take so much water activity at once (usually 2 hours). We could then entice the kids to not be water-logged anymore with the promise of the climber area and food. This helped our super active kids stay engaged, happy and looking forward. Kudos to Kalahari for having this available!
Some other things to be aware of – some that I like some I don’t:
- People squat on seats in a major way at the water park area. Early bird gets the worm for sure. Mostly this is due to peeps visiting the water park for the day.
- Towels are plenty, but don't really dry as well as one would like. Only an issue when trying to wrestle kids!
- Air temp was really cold. Could be a function of time of year, but cold is cold.
- Water chemicals had a way of irritating all eyes – my wife and oldest in particular. D man looked like he had 2 black eyes at one point from the water. Went away quickly after a good night sleep.
- Rooms are small, but comfy. They include a microwave and fridge which may be helpful.
- Parking is good, but be prepared for a hike.
- Really friendly staff overall.
The one downer for the day was leaving. It's a full on pain-in-the-arse to find a luggage cart. I (and many others) had to literally stalk and pounce on people to get their cart and bring it back to the room. It was like being accosted at the train station. Not fun, not pleasant, and something that the hotel should work on to improve their customer satisfaction. Who wants their last memory to be an unpleasant one?
But in its totality – Kalahari is something I can recommend to families that need a break from normal life. We will go back!
As of this writing, the writer has not been compensated for this review. This review is for the purposes of information and experience sharing. The views of the author are his own.