Not all water parks are created equal.
The indoor waterpark concept is a stroke of genius, and we’re lucky that there are several to choose from in the Niagara region. We weren’t able to justify an overnight stay at the Lodge, so we cast our eyes on other options to salvage one of the first days of summer vacation. Rain was in the forecast, and the kids wanted to swim. Plus, we had friends visiting from out-of-town. Our brood consisted of a 20-month-old, a 7-year-old, two 8 year olds, and a mature 10-year-old plus four adults. The good people at the Americana Waves Indoor Waterpark & Resort explained that their park is most ideal for kids under 12, so we decided to give it a shot.
The older kids were easy to please. The 8 and 10 year olds are all strong swimmers, so they were able to make their own fun throughout the day. They mostly enjoyed the wave pool, but took several turns on the water slides too. There’s a giant splash pad, but our kids were more into the slides and waves. We had a rule that they had to come and check in with us every once in a while, and there’s good visibility throughout the park, so it was fairly easy to keep track of them. There are also lifeguards everywhere.
Our 7-year-old friend needed a grown up to join her on the water slides because of the height requirements. With four of us there, we all took turns to split up the fun, and give each other a break. She popped on a life jacket for the slides, but was confident without a jacket in the shallower end of the wave pool. Life jackets and towels are available for rent, and jackets start at 30 lbs.
Our little guy needed constant supervision, of course. I was frankly worried that he would be bored, or overwhelmed with the volume and other kids. His reaction was entirely opposite – he couldn’t get enough of the place. The shallow pool for the wee ones was the highlight of his young life. We must have climbed the stairs and slipped down the slide together about a thousand times during our visit, and that’s ALL he wanted to do. Even after distracting him at the splash pad, he insisted on returning to the wading pool and doing the slide, over and over. His open-mouthed, squealing delight was so cute that patrons and park staff alike were gathering to watch make trip after trip. My knees groaned in protest, and I ended up dosing with Advil afterward. We could barely pry him away for lunch.
Food is reasonably priced and good. On offer are the kinds of things you’d expect from a snack bar – pizza, burgers, fries. Some of the adults enjoyed salads, which were fresh and tasty. The snack bar is licensed, and there are designated areas inside the waterpark where you can eat and drink. You can check out the menu here.
The park is 25, 000 square feet and it’s heated to a temperature of about 84 degrees, so the little ones can stay warm even if they aren’t in the water. It’s a tropical-feeling environment, to be sure. Lockers are available for rent, and change rooms and bathrooms were spacious and clean.
The park also has a small arcade and gift shop, which may be the only way to coax the kids out of the pool. We made a rule that they had to dry off and get dressed before they could try out a limited number of arcade games and then cash in their tickets for prizes. I was pleased to see that the arcade had a couple of simple rides for the little guy. He always gets so frustrated that there’s nothing for him to do while the big kids play video games, so it was nice to keep him engaged too.
Waves Indoor Waterpark is a great way to spend the day with your kids under 12. I suspect older kids could make their own fun too, especially with some carefully monitored independence. Try giving them their own allowance for the day and leave it up to them to buy lunch, and have fun with some friends while you kick back and enjoy a margarita or two, and a good book. I frankly missed the lazy river option, but the kids didn’t even seem to notice there wasn’t one. There is a spa on site however, and if you’re kids are old enough to leave unattended, this is a very good idea! Bring a friend and take turns chaperoning the kids and enjoying the spa.
Waves Indoor Waterpark is also the cheapest indoor waterpark in Niagara. Day passes for all ages are offered at $26.95 per person, or $19.95 after 5pm. If you’re a Niagara local, your price is $15.95. The current park hours are 10 am – 9 pm, but it’s open year-round.
Group events and birthday parties can be accommodated at Waves Indoor Waterpark. The birthday package is a great deal for a smaller group, plus the birthday kid gets to visit the park again in the future for free.
Keep your eyes peeled for coupons and offers for Americana, especially if you’re from out-of-town. There are frequently deals available for an overnight stay at their hotel, and use of the waterpark. Sometimes all you need is a quick little family getaway to escape everything else and focus on some fun with each other.
8444 Lundy’s Lane
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Canada L2H 1H4
Telephone (905) 356-8444
Fax (905) 356-8576
Toll Free 1-866-707-0030