Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Kalahari Resorts in Sandusky, OH Review

*I was given a free room for the weekend with my family to enjoy the resort, but everything I have written was wrote by me & are my honest opinions of the resort.*

I am so super excited about this review! This was my first official travel review (and yes I am considering driving an hour away as a traveling review)! We live in Northwest OH and only have about 3 months of warm weather to utilize an outdoor pool, so we love indoor waterparks. We have gone to a few close to us, and we have even been to Kalahari before, but I am so excited because I actually got a personal one on one tour of the whole place and I can't wait to share everything I learned with you guys.

Adults Can Have Fun Here Too!
First of all, this place seems like a kids dream winter escape, but this place is also fun for adults. They have an amazing spa that offers manicures, pedicures, and specialty massages if you need to unwind and get some pampering done to help you relax on your vacation. They have a pretty well equipped fitness room available to all guests. I have been to Kalahari a few times prior and during this review trip I just learned about a special swim up bar. I'd like to call it the "hidden gem" of the park. It is inside, but has an outdoor portion. The bar basically has hot tubs on each side, and you order from inside the hot tub, enjoy your drink, and RELAX! If you like to explore food, they also have some nice restaurants to choose from. 

Daily Passes
If you live close by or are passing through and want to hit up the park without staying the night, Kalahari does offer day passes.

  • General Admission Over 42"---$42
  • Under 42"---$45
  • Spectaor---$10
  • Armed Forces General Admission-$35
  • Half Day Admission After 5P.M.-$35.00

Other than the obvious (the waterpark, DUH!), Kalahari also offers activities outside of the watermark area. They have a huge arcade area with tons of opportunities to play some games and win some prizes!  You can load money onto a card that the kids (or you!) can just slide into the machines and play. They also have a huge jungle gym called Tree Top. It reminds me of the platinum version of a McDonalds Playplace area. It is awesome, and my kids LOVED it! You do have to have socks to participate, but guess what?! They actually understand that we are busy parents and we may forget, so they have a sock vending machine right beside the place! So convenient. The Tree Top play area is free as long as you have your socks, otherwise, the socks they offer were $2. They also have activities they host throughout the day. They usually have them set out at different times and most of them are free, however some may cost (like a t-shirt decor or a sand necklace). We actually decorated cookies, make necklaces, and the kids colored and did a sticker project. The only one we paid for was $1 for the necklace project. They even offered gluten free cookies, which I thought was a major PLUS for Kalahari

Sock Vending Machine
Arcade Entrance

Indoor & Outdoor Waterpark Features

While we were at the resort, the outdoor portion of the waterpark was closed because, well, we didn't want to freeze ourselves into icicles! It actually snowed while we were there! Since we have been there before, I can tell you a bit about the outdoor portion. They have a play area for little kids with slides, ground sprinklers, etc. They also have a large pool area and a hot tub! They have a large area with tons of lounge chairs to lay out, a bar is not far away with nice, big fruity drinks to quench your thirst. They also have some activities available outside during the summer months including a zip line, rock climbing, and ropes course. They have separate prices for that, or you can buy an unlimited wrist band. They also have a zoo outside, we didn't make it that way, but the animals were still there for you to go see during certain hours. 
View of the outside zoo area
The indoor side of the waterpark has a lot to offer. We walked in and I was so excited to feel the warmth in the air. You quench the water! My kids loved the wave pool, the artificial waves came in increments and lasted a few moments, and then stopped for a few. They have tubes and double tubes for you to use while in the wave pool and this is where most of their time was. They also have a awesome lazy river, a few hot tubs (including and adult swim up bar hot tub!), waterslides, Swahili Swirl (a toilet bowl looking water ride--super fun!), a basketball water area, a ropes water course, and a baby area. Their baby/tiny kid area is amazing! They had a lot for them to do, and the water is maybe a foot deep. My little guy is only 7 months and he enjoyed sitting in the swing with his sweet little feet splashing through the water. They have lifeguards who actively walk through this area, which is great! They take their water safety really serious. There were probably 10 lifeguards just at the wave pool alone.
Window View of Inside Waterpark
Hotel Accommodations Available

If possible for you to do so, it is much cheaper to just book a room and stay the night. This will ultimately give you the most time to enjoy the waterpark and relax and really soak up all the fun available at Kalahari! They have different room sizes that may even save you money and once you look into it you will probably be surprised at how much affordable it is! Their cheapest room (if booked on a week day) is $169.99 + tax, and is priced for up to 4 people (you can add more for $20 per person per night). With the $169.99 you get 2 queen beds and a full size sofa sleeper, and you get 4 waterpark passes. When you book a room you actually get access to the park the day you check in, as well as, the next day! They have microwaves, mini-fridge, coffee makers, etc. to make your stay more pleasant. 

The room we stayed in was amazing. It was their combination suite and it boasted a FULL SIZE KITCHEN set with all utensils, pots, pans, plates, cups, bowls, etc. We had 2 bedrooms and a full size living room. One room had 2 queen beds, and its own bathroom. The other bedroom had a king size bed. Every room had its own flat screen LCD TV. We had a fireplace in the living room, and access to a balcony (but it was snowing, so we refrained from enjoying the cold!). I really loved the combination suite because it helps you save money with food. You can visit the grocery before you arrive and stock up on some stuff for meals, and you can save a ton of money this way! This room is also priced for up to 8 people. On a weekday at the moment you can get this room for $379.99+tax.

If you have a bigger idea, like a reunion, wedding, or sports function and want to bring a ton of people, consider their new Villas! They boast 5 bedrooms, is priced for 18 people, and you even get your own washer and dryer in the unit! They have a rec room with a pool table, huge 55" TV's, and your own 6 person hot tub! They pick you up from your villa and bring you to the waterpark and then take you back when your done.

Here are some photos of a Presidential Suite we were given a tour of, its really nice!

While you are visiting Kalahari, don't worry, they won't allow you to become famished! They have multiple spots throughout the indoor waterpark and one spot outside as well you can order some food and drinks from. They also have a frozen yogurt bar in the indoor waterpark! My kids were so excited right when we walked into the main lobby because there is a huge candy shop, a coffee shop that also has sandwiches and salads for a quick snack. They also have a nice ice cream selection available! For breakfast, lunch, and dinner they have a absolutely wonderful buffet available. There is a yogurt parfait bar at the buffet, and tons of yummy selections. All the food looked really hot and fresh! They also have a sit down dining restaurant called "The Reserve". Their menu looked nice, but we didnt have a chance to go in this time.

Kalahari not only has nice hotel accommodations and 5 star waterparks and activities for all ages, but they also host events such as cheerleading competitions, conferences, church group events, and more! They have HUGE accommodations and rooms that can literally fit SEMI TRUCKS inside for anything you may need their space for! 

Next time you need to relax and getaway, I hope you will consider making the trip to one of three Kalahari locations! 
  • Wisconsin Dells, WI
  • Sandusky, OH
  • Pocono Mountains, PA

Check them out at their website HERE, and show them some love on Facebook & Twitter.

**Thank you so much to Kalahari for providing my family with a room free of charge to explore Kalahari Resorts in Sandusky, OH for a weekend. Although, I did receive a free room and tickets from them, these are all my own honest opinions, and this was all written by me.***

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