Hotels with Indoor Waterparks in Texas
Texas has a lot of outstanding water parks, and why not? With the long, intense Texas summers, few things satisfy quite like splashing around in the water (preferably at high speed). But what to do when the weather turns nasty, as it often does in the Lone Star State? Fortunately, there is a number of indoor water parks in Texas to provide weatherproof fun for both residents and visitors. Here are the best options we’ve found.
Great Wolf Lodge (Grapevine, TX)
The largest indoor water park in Texas belongs to the Great Wolf Lodge resort in Grapevine. The 80,000 square foot indoor water park has enough attractions to put the average indoor water park to shame. And that’s just one part of this resort (albeit a major part). There’s also an arcade, miniature golf, restaurants, shops – you name it. If you live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, this is a great weekend getaway for the family. If you live elsewhere, this is worth the road trip. In either case, be sure to bring the kids, as the resort is very much designed with them in mind.
Great Wolf Lodge is a national chain of resorts featuring some of the best indoor water parks in the country. Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine definitely falls into that category with its large water park containing multiple major attractions. With the attached hotel and plenty of other things to do, this is much more than just a stopover in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Like other locations in the chain, this resort has a heavy focus on entertainment for kids. If you have children, they will probably love you forever if you take them here. If not, you’ll probably want to pass – unless you can handle being around lots of screaming youngsters.
The hotel has a variety of different accommodations and amenities, including basic and themed rooms – the latter featuring northwest cabin decor. There are large suites available for groups settling in for an extended stay. For the kids, there are even rooms with miniature log cabins that they can sleep and play in.
In addition to the water park, there are lots of restaurants and amusements for the whole family. For example, there’s a fantasy-themed attraction where kids can play the roles of wizards or pixies, embarking on an adventure where they battle goblins and dragons. There’s also a large arcade with prize redemption. But those two examples just scratch the surface. There are also multiple restaurants, shops, and plenty of other amusements onsite.
Staying at Great Wolf Lodge can be a bit pricey, but is easily justifiable for many families due to the number of activities included. Admission to the indoor water park is included in the price of your stay.
Slides and Rides
At 80,000 square feet, the indoor water park is huge, especially for a southern state. You can find all the standard attractions you expect at a modern indoor water park, along with a few that are unique to the Great Wolf Lodge chain – including the famous Alberta Falls tube slide. Here are some other highlights:
- Group Raft Ride
- Tube Plunge Ride
- Kids’ Play Fort
- Wave Pool
- Multiple Kiddie Areas
- Group Funnel Ride
Schlitterbahn (Galveston Island, TX)
As we said, there are a lot of excellent water parks in Texas, and several of them bear the name Schlitterbahn. This chain is famous for its innovations, such as connecting different attractions with a lazy river so visitors don’t have to get out of the water to wait in line for the next thrill ride. Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark is an impressive outdoor water park, part of which can also become an indoor water park during the fall and early spring, thanks to a retractable roof. This convertible area – known as the Wasserfest – is about 70,000 square feet and contains enough attractions to keep your family busy for a full day or more.
Schlitterbahn is a well-known name among water park enthusiasts, especially those who live down in Texas where the chain first started. The Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark is the franchise’s third water park in the state. It features a retractable roof that keeps about a dozen of the water park’s popular attractions open at select times during the winter.
The portion of the water park covered by the retractable roof is 70,000 square feet, which is pretty large for an indoor water park. Some of the attractions you can enjoy under the roof include:
- Torrent River, a “Lazy River” with Rapids
- Multiple High-Speed Body Slides
- Tube Slide
- Body Surfing Simulator
- Kids’ Playground
- Hot Tub
As mentioned, the indoor portion of the water park is only open during select periods, which can vary from year to year. Generally, the indoor season includes weekends and select holidays through December, with an early opening in the Spring. The indoor water park is not open in January or February.
Unlike most indoor water parks, Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark is not part of a resort. However, there are several hotels nearby that you can stay at when visiting, including Moody Gardens Hotel Galveston and Inn at the Waterpark.
Schlitterbahn (South Padre Island, TX)
Schlitterbahn South Padre Island is another impressive outdoor water park that extends the fun into the offseason with a retractable roof. In this case, the indoor water park is connected to a resort, where you can get a room and enjoy the warm environs of the water park without ever leaving the premises.
Schlitterbahn is a famous water park franchise in Texas and other parts of the country. The Schlitterbahn South Padre Island resort features a large outdoor water park with a unique feature. The attractions are all connected by a lazy river that winds through the park, so you rarely have to get out of the water.
Starting in the summer of 2012, this resort will also make an indoor water park available to guests. This water park is housed within the hotel and features a retractable roof that opens up when the weather is nice. While the outdoor park is open only during the summer, the indoor water park is available year-round.
Admission to the indoor water park is included in the price of your stay. Day passes are also available separately to the public.
The Waterpark at the Villages (Flint, TX)
This smallish indoor water park is connected to a Silverleaf resort in the community of Flint, which sits on Lake Palestine and is just a stone’s throw from Tyler, Texas. You don’t have to own a timeshare with Silverleaf Resorts to gain entry, though. Admission is open to the public. Unlike Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, this probably isn’t an indoor water park that you would drive long distances to reach. However, it is a great place to visit if you’re in the area, and if you live in the area, it’s perfect for hosting events.
Silverleaf Resorts is a national chain with locations in five states. Their resort in the northeastern Texas community of Flint features a small indoor water park for both timeshare owners and the general public. Located a short drive from the city of Tyler, The Waterpark at the Villages has many water park faves in a temperature-controlled environment.
At 25,000 square feet, this is a smaller indoor water park. It’s also one of the newer ones in the state, having opened in 2008. Despite its modest size, it does include water park mainstays like a lazy river, multiple water slides that wind in and out of the building, and a wave pool. It also has a Pizza Hut Express onsite so you can grab a bite without living the park. All in all, a visit to The Waterpark at the Villages is sure to impress anyone who hasn’t been to one of the country’s larger indoor water parks (most of which are located in northern states).
The Waterpark at the Villages is a fun stop for residents of the surrounding area and people who own a timeshare with Silverleaf Resorts (they receive discounted admission). The water park features a party room and group packages, making it an ideal place to host a birthday party or other event. Be sure to check the water park schedule before planning something during the offseason, as days and hours may vary.
Didn’t find what you were looking for? You can bet that in the not-too-distant future, there will be more indoor water parks in Texas to choose from. It’s a growing trend around the country, one that probably won’t leave out Texas (just a hunch). Check this page for updates before you plan your next trip, as we’ll be tracking any and all new indoor water parks opening up in the state.