Feel like summer was too short? Extend it a little bit! What better way to begin the fall than with a stress-free vacation and much needed R&R in some great LGBT family friendly places. These three indoor water parks and outdoor theme parks are sure to give you that summer feel you crave anytime of the year.
Great Wolf Lodge in the Pocono Mountains, PA
Great Wolf Lodge is a massive 79,000 square feet indoor water park with slides and pools for adults and zero-depth entry areas for the little ones. Pups of all ages will surely find their inner wolf and create unforgettable memories and adventures. Get away from the howling cold, because this indoor water park’s temperature is always set at a wonderful 84 degrees. It is only open to lodge guests allowing for a fun and safe environment. Visitors can get splashed in the water park and smashed at the two bars; one inside the water park and another one in the restaurant.
Check-in time is 4pm, but early arrivals can enjoy the water park until the room is ready, so pack the bathing suits in the carry on. Wristbands are used as keys, as IDs for guests, and can also be used as methods of payment throughout the lodge.
Accommodations include a private patio or private balcony. Bed guard rails are not available; however, cribs can be requested for the little ones. The kids will love the décor of the theme suites, which can easily accommodate up to 7 people. The premium suites can accommodate up to 8 people (some even feature fireplaces), and most have private balconies, these are perfect for teens or multi-families.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner time are always fun. I recommend purchasing the breakfast buffet during the booking process. Have your cameras ready as you may be delightfully surprised by encounters with Great Wolf’s mascots Violet, Oliver or Wiley. The mascots often visit tables for photo ops and to greet the kids, as well as pose throughout the lodge.
Story time, which is repeated three times throughout the day, is a great way to keep the little ones entertained. There are plenty of activities to keep everyone occupied at all times; everything from gym, spa, arcade, miniature golf, bowling alley, and even scavenger games throughout the lodge, such as MagiQuest® and ShadowQuest™. The newest adventure is Howlers Peak Ropes Course™, which is the perfect way to explore your adventurous and daring side, while climbing through obstacles, balancing on ropes and crossing bridges. Even the little wolf pups can get in on the action in their very own course to explore designed just for them.
Six Flags Great Escape Lodge and Indoor Water Park in Lake George, NY
A recent visit to the Lake George area led us to discover this great escape from the cold. Six Flags Great Escape is always 80 degrees and host to over 38,000 square feet of water rides, pools and slides. From white-water rafting, indoor surfing, to a tree house full of slides and over 160 interactive water games. The little ones will love the swivel water rifles, hydro blasters, arch jets, and my kids’ favorites the pull-cords that splash showers. The 18 and over crowd can relax and hangout in the hot tubs. Guests of the lodge can access the water park and daily passes can be purchased by those who are staying elsewhere.
The Lodge has 200 rooms, where each can accommodate from 4 to 12 guests, extra guests can be accommodated for an extra fee per person. The traditional and deluxe suites can accommodate up to 6 people. The Klub Moose is an Adirondacks themed cabin and it is the perfect place for the little ones to explore and expand their imagination, while resting in their very own cabin. For larger groups, you should look into the 3 or 4 bunk bed suites.
Check-in is 4 pm, early arrivals can take advantage of the spa, the arcade or the different dining options, which includes Johnny Rockets. The younger ones can make crafts in the kids’ camp, have cookies with Spruce the Moose, Sundaes with Scrappy, and even be tucked in by Scooby Doo. Kids from 5-12 can learn all about becoming a lifeguard and even get a novelty certificate.
Whiteface Lodge in Lake Placid, NY
What a better to enjoy the majestic colors of fall than by experiencing them first hand in one of the most colorful places. Lake Placid, in the Adirondacks, welcomes travelers from all over the world to experience the unforgettable foliage. This cozy alpine resort town has been the host city to the Winter Olympics in the 1930s and once again in the 1980s. Whiteface Lodge, is an award winning lodge, completed in June 2005, and was the vision of a former Olympian. The lodge features many wood creations, and much of the timber was hand-milled on-site, and accents such as handcrafted Adirondack furnishings and beautiful antlers chandeliers adorn the interior spaces, creating a wonderfully elegant, luxurious and cabin-like authentic ambiance. Each suite is designed to conjure the essence of the Adirondack Great Camp tradition.
Each of the Lodge’s 94 guest suites welcome guests with handcrafted furnishings, forged accents, many of which are created in house, and (in most suites) cast-iron fireplaces lend warmth and authenticity to the living spaces. Fully complemented kitchen, radiant-floor heat, jetted tubs, pillow-top beds, flat-screen LCD TVs, and a sitting patio or balcony can also be found in guest rooms. Full access to all of the resort amenities, from platform tennis, to ice skating, indoor pools and hot tubs, to Kamp Kanu for the kiddies and nightly s’mores are all part of the daily activities and complimentary.
Whiteface Lodge is a non-smoking, pet-free property. The Premier Lake Placid NY Spa is located in Whiteface Lodge and it’s ranked among the Top 100 Spas in North America by Condé Nast Traveler. The 5,800-square-foot spa blends the rustic beauty of its setting with an extremely relaxing and serene ambiance, featuring saunas and steam rooms. The Spa is the perfect way to unwind and truly enjoy your vacation, while the kids are in Kamp Kanu enjoying an afternoon of ice skating. This is a perfect spot for lovers and families.
By Manny Velásquez-Paredes