Family-Friendly Resort with Indoor Water Park
The Hurricane Vortex whirlpool ride at KeyLime Cove Waterpark Resort looks like a giant pinwheel painted with yellow and orange stripes. Once the ride begins, those stripes blur 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 water park, located 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 an interactive aquatic playground for kids. It’s all remarkably easy to navigate, too, thanks to the resort’s cashless system. Upon check-in, you’ll receive a high-tech wristband that functions as your room key, water-park ticket, and credit card for anything and everything at the resort.
While the kids zoom down water slides or play games in the arcade, adults can unwind in the Paradise Mist Spa. Afterward, the whole gang can try one of six onsite eateries, including the tropically themed Crazy Toucan and an old-fashioned soda fountain with 1950s decor. Upstairs, the resort’s guest rooms have enough space to accommodate up to six guests and feature flat-screen televisions and WiFi.
Gurnee, Illinois: Theme Park and Shopping near Chicago’s North Shore
Located about halfway between Chicago and Milwaukee, Gurnee is virtually synonymous with Six Flags Great America, a high-octane theme park. Typically open from May until Halloween, Six Flags features The Dark Knight coaster, an adrenalized tour of Gotham City, and Raging Bull, a hypertwister coaster reaching speeds up to 73 miles per hour. In the summer, cool down on water-park attractions such as the five-story Dive Bomber slide. For a break from the park, head to Gurnee Mills, one of the state’s largest malls.
Gurnee 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. The picturesque town of Evanston, home to Northwestern University, was named one of the “Coolest Suburbs Worth a Visit” by Travel + Leisure. And in Glencoe you’ll find more than 9,000 types of plants at the Chicago Botanic Garden.