Family-Friendly Indoor-Waterpark Resort
The Hurricane Vortex whirlpool ride at KeyLime Cove Waterpark Resort looks like a giant pinwheel painted with gold and orange stripes. Once the ride begins, those stripes blur into red as a torrent of water whips you around before safely dropping you in the Lazy River. The ride is one of eight major aquatic attractions at KeyLime Cove’s sprawling 65,000-square-foot indoor waterpark, which is located in Gurnee, Illinois, about an hour north of downtown Chicago.
Kids of all ages will find something to do here. The indoor facility—which is kept at a balmy 84 degrees—houses two 500-foot water slides, a wave pool, and the interactive Toukie’s Big Deluge aquatic playground for kids. KeyLime Cove is a conveniently cashless resort. Upon check-in, you’ll receive a high-tech wristband that also functions as your room key, waterpark ticket, and credit card for anything and everything at the resort.
While the kids play games in the RipTide Reef Arcade, adults can unwind in the Paradise Mist Spa. The resort also has six eateries, including The Crazy Toucan and D.W. Anderson's, an old-fashioned soda fountain with 1950s decor. Upstairs, the resort’s guest rooms feature flat-screen televisions and complimentary WiFi.
Gurnee, Illinois: Near Chicago’s North Shore
Located about halfway between Chicago and Milwaukee, the village of Gurnee is home to Gurnee Mills, one of the largest malls in Illinois. Here you’ll find hundreds of stores and restaurants. The town lies just west of Chicago’s North Shore, a group of affluent suburbs along Lake Michigan. There are several sites to explore in these nearby cities. Picturesque Evanston, where Northwestern University is based, was named one of the Coolest Suburbs Worth a Visit by Travel + Leisure. The Chicago Botanic Garden, where more than 9,000 types of plants are tended to all year round, is in nearby Glencoe.