Just because the sun isn't out doesn't mean the swimsuits and beach towels have to go back into storage. Indoor water parks are a popular destination in Minnesota, and they're open year-round. Special kiddie pools with fountains and little-kid slides, big-kid pools with super slides, inner tube rides, and big whirlpools for the grown-ups -- water parks are a fun place to spend a rainy day.
Two dozen hotels and resorts now have water parks of varying sizes. Among the largest of the indoor water parks is the 70,000-square-foot Waterpark of America in Bloomington, near the Mall of America, with the tallest water slide in North America. Another big one is Big Splash at Arrowwood Resort in Alexandria, a 38,000-square-foot area with three four-story waterslides, an inner tube ride, a 500-gallon splash bucket, and children's play fort.
In Brainerd, the water park at the Rapid River Lodge has a 250-foot tube slide and "river rapids" tubing. The Kilimanjaro tube slide and Python body slide are hits at the Great Serengeti Water Park at the Holiday Inn in Owatonna.
There are also hotels and resorts with water parks, waterslides or special kiddie pools in Bloomington, Detroit Lakes, Minneapolis, Nisswa, Rochester, Shakopee and Thief River Falls; click here for a full list. Or, click here for a list of water parks without lodging attached.