I have avoided indoor waterparks my whole life. I always thought that I would much rather save for a tropical vacation instead and just didn’t see the appeal.
Well, if you would like to know where that attitude got me, it resulted in no tropical vacation in the last three years (sorry guys, pretty sad for what began as a travel blog), and the kids missing out on a whole lot of fun!
I am so happy that we got a chance to review our first Casaway Bay adventure! Located in Sandusky, Ohio there is a Caribbean themed indoor waterpark to help ease the frostbite of a cold winter. The waterpark is 38,000 square feet and heated to 82-84 degrees.
As soon as we walked in we felt like it was summer again and were ready to explore! First up was the Toddler’s Tide Pool. I was worried that we might be stuck in this one area all day given the age and height of our tiny, three year old, toddler. (So grateful that this ended up not being the case) All the kids actually had a blast playing around on the small slides and ankle height water. It is a very cute area and babies and toddlers will love it.
Next we tried the Wave Pool. Luckily E didn’t have to be left out, she simply had to wear a life jacket (that was provided by Castaway Bay and located right next to the Wave Pool). She had a blast swimming and crashing into the waves with her siblings. The kids could have been happy playing just in this area all day! Body surfing and playing in the water isn’t something we would even be able to enjoy at the local beach or pool in the summer! Water Depths range from 0-5 feet.
Next we ventured over to the family play area called Lookout Lagoon. It is like a giant tree house of fun with a 1k gallon tipping bucket that dumps out water every three minutes. Plus rope bridges, sprayers, and multiple slides for different heights / age groups from 36 - 40.” Another major reason we have avoided outings like waterparks is because with kids of multiple ages and heights, and us often adventuring out with me being the only adult, that limits the amount of fun the older kids can have. So imagine my surprise when three areas in to exploring this waterpark we are still having fun as a whole family! We all explored the play area and tried out all of the slides. Even E got to go down two slides where shorter heights were allowed and her and I waited at the bottom while the taller children went down the more advanced slides. Everyone had a blast!
Directly to the left of the family play area is the Grotto Spa Hot Tub. Hot tubs are traditionally off limits to young children and pregnant women right? Not this one! We all got to check it out and and had the MOST fun swimming down the canal to the outside. The kids couldn’t believe we were warm while also being outside in the freezing temps simultaneously! They couldn’t get over it and I practically had to drag them out of the hot tub to check out more of the waterpark. (Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult when in this area)
Next Charlie and Bash walked up 59 steps to experience Rendezvous Run, the two-person raft water ride, while E and I waited at the bottom. I am so happy that my older children were still able to experience these scarier (and arguably more fun) rides without me having to ride with them.
We all had fun playing basketball and hopping on floatables in the Creature Cove section before pretending to be American Ninja Warriors at the Cargo Crossing obstacle course. This area my eldest son ended up having some trouble with and the lifeguards were 100% on top of it and helped him out of the pool. He has a tendency to be overconfident in his swimming capabilities and this area did get the best of him. Another amazing thing about this waterpark is that the lifeguards are very observant and make sure all children are following the rules and being safe at all times.
Lastly there were some really fun Tropical Tube slides that only my 6 year old son was tall enough for. I can see older kids having a ton of fun racing each other and trying every color to see which one is the fastest! You’ll get all those steps in on your fit bit walking up 64 steps to get to this ride!
Although a day pass is a totally acceptable way to experience Castaway Bay, it is really nice to be able to retire to your room after a full day of play. With so many kids, a great hotel room is essential for travel and I consider any hotel room with bunk beds to be a win! Separate sleeping areas with separate TV’s made it the perfect room for us.
In addition to being able to rest, spending the night there allows you to experience the great activity center for children. We decorated t-shirts and cookies, watched movies, danced around, and met Charlie and Snoopy! It was such a fun way to decompress.
And of course there is the arcade. It is huge! And the games are actually pretty winnable which is a plus for me, considering how easily frustrated small children can get. (Arcade tantrums are NOT my favorite) Luckily the kids got to enjoy lots of games and of course pick out some fun prizes.
What about food you ask?
Big Daddy’s Snack Shack is located right in the waterpark which is where we had lunch. Mango Mikes for breakfast, and Quaker Steak and Lube is located right down the boardwalk for a yummy dinner!
Suffice to say I am now an indoor water park believer! We had so much fun and fully intend on this being a fun getaway for the family for the times where we start getting cabin fever and need to scratch the travel bug itch.