Cabin-Style Suites Above Massive Indoor Water Park
High above Fort Mackenzie—a four-story waterlogged treehouse that feels like it could be a part of Swiss Family Robinson or Pirates of the Caribbean—a 1,000-gallon bucket slowly fills with water. Suddenly, the big bucket topples, drenching those gathered below in a torrent of water. Heated to a balmy 84 degrees, Great Wolf Lodge Kansas City's indoor water park and its more than 10 splash-filled attractions draw visitors looking for an aquatic getaway no matter the season. In addition to braving Fort Mackenzie, you can plunge down a four-story slide at Alberta Falls or careen through twisting tunnels on The Triple Twist.
The 38,000-square-foot water park is merely one of many activities at the hotel's entertainment campus. During the MagiQuest live-action adventure, kids wield magic wands and journey through a kingdom to meet mythical creatures, including a pixie and a dragon. Scooops Kid Spa gives manicures and pedicures to pintsize patrons sitting atop ice-cream-cone stools and banana-split thrones—free ice cream completes each visit. Six vacationers can comfortably sleep in a Loft or Majestic Bear suite.
Kansas City, Missouri: Barbecue, Jazz, and a Thriving Downtown
Great Wolf Lodge is located about 20 minutes west of Kansas City. There, the ratio of fountains to barbecue joints is roughly 2:1—that’s more than 200 public fountains and more than 100 restaurants serving the city’s signature slow-smoked meat. Though Kansas City is known for its aquatic architecture and barbecue, it has also evolved into one of the nation’s artistic hubs. Here you’ll find a world-class art museum, a legendary history of jazz and blues, and a brand-new performing-arts center for opera, theater, and music. Add a die-hard sports community and a downtown Forbes named one of America’s best, and the at-times overlooked Kansas City has all the makings of a memorable getaway: Midwestern charm, culture, and an endless supply of sauce-slathered ribs.