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Water Parks In Chicago: A Huffington Post Travel Guide

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Slide down one of the many colorful slides at KeyLime Cove Indoor Waterpark Resort.
Slide down one of the many colorful slides at KeyLime Cove Indoor Waterpark Resort.

Water parks in Chicago are mostly located in the suburbs, but the trek is worth it. The area's water parks are among Illinois' largest and most thrilling, with everything from speed slides that deliver 38 mile-per-hour fun to kid-friendly water forts made for exploring. As part of a Huffington Post Travel series on family-fun parks, here is our guide to all the key information visitors need to know about Chicago's water parks.

KeyLime Cove Indoor Waterpark Resort

KeyLime Cove offers a Florida-style vacation in the heart of the Midwest. You have to stay at the resort to get access to the indoor waterpark, but there are 65,000 square feet of water thrills here to keep the whole family entertained during a multi-day, mini-vacation. Plus, it's only a short walk away from Six Flags Great America. To top it off, some specials include overnight accommodations, entry to the waterpark and admission to Six Flags.

Enter The Vortex

The Hurricane Vortex is a swirling whirlpool ride for thrill-enthusiasts. The ride sweeps guests around a stormy path before ending up in the gentle currents of the Lazy River.

Other Wet Attractions

Other attractions include the Splash Down and Slip Slidin' Away, two 500-foot-long body slides, and the Wahoo and Screaming Banshee, which ends in a lagoon. The Tsunami Washout Wavepool allows guests to float around with the tide, while the KeyLime Grotto promises relaxation for parents at the end of a long day.

Choose Your Fare

The resort has six restaurants on site; menus incorporate everything from tropical twists like jerk chicken salad to classic American burgers and fries.

Safety Record

While some guests have voiced concerns over the slipperiness of the floors at the resort, safety hazards like these exist at many water parks. Our research revealed no notable news reports of accidents at KeyLime Cove.

Address: 1700 Nations Drive, Gurnee, IL 60031
Phone: 877-360-0403
Hours: Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Price: Rates for two start at $129.99, including overnight stay, entry to the water park, and activities at Leapin' Lizards.

Raging Waves

Raging Waves claims it's the biggest water park in Illinois, spanning 45 acres. According to Waterparks.com, Raging Waves is about 45 minutes west of the Chicago loop. With 18 slides, a wave pool, a lazy river, 20 private cabanas and kid-friendly designated areas, the Aussie-inspired park offers thrills, spills and splashes for everyone. Ninety percent of the attractions are multi-person rides, which means the park allows for daylong group and family fun. USA Today named Raging Waves the top new summer destination in Illinois when it opened in 2008.

Crowd Favorite

The Boomerang is a crowd favorite. Guests climb on a tube with up to three friends, whoosh down the slide, drop into the funnel and shoot far up its sides before taking a soaking plunge down into the pool below.

Wild Slides

PJ's Plummet draws thrill-seekers with it's 65 feet high starting point. The speed slide allows riders to plummet downward at 38 miles per hour. Other notable attractions include the Three Sisters, a curvy trio of tube slides that direct riders into a pool adjoining Kookaberra Kreek and the Crocodile Mile Family Raft Ride, which begins far above the park and ends with a splash.

Snacks

Raging Waves offers the standard fast-food fare as well as some snacks such as funnel cakes and Aussie shaved ice.

Safety Record

Our research revealed no notable news reports of accidents or safety issues at Raging Waves. The water park's general manager Mike Fijas serves on the Safety Board for the World Waterpark Association.

Address: 4000 N. Bridge St., Yorkville, IL 60560
Phone: 630-882-6575
Hours: June, August, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily; July, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday through Thursday; Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Price: Adults, 48 inches and taller, $28.99; children shorter than 48 inches and seniors, $18.99; children 2 and younger, free. There are also special discounts for admission after 3 p.m.

Other Noteworthy Parks Near Chicago

Wilderness Resort Water Parks, Wisconsin Dells Mayan Adventure Indoor Waterpark Cypress Cove Family Aquatic Park Rainbow Falls Waterpark Seascape Aquatic Center

What's your favorite water park near Chicago?

Check out more WATER PARKS.