Are your kids at their cabin-fever tipping point? Then pack up those swimsuits. A straight shot south on U.S. 23 from Ann Arbor to Dundee, Splash Universe packs in adventures from a squirt pool for wee swimmers to floating log walks, a lazy river, slides and more. And it’s all indoors, so great weather is guaranteed.
“Older kids seem to really like the Goldmine Adventure Water Slides,” operations director Cara Bischoff says. The pair of slides is three stories high, each pumping 1,800 gallons of water a minute and even weaving outside of the building.
Maximize your fun by staying overnight at the attached resort and get four water park passes for the day you check in – and the day you check out. This spot gets busy around spring break, so Bischoff recommends making reservations soon and booking online for best deals.
Splash Universe also has an arcade and, new this past year, the Breakout Room, where families figure out how to escape together (ages 7-plus). It’s a blast, Bischoff says. Her own kids, Brantley, 3, and Angyl, 5, enjoy splashing around for now.
“Brantley loves the treehouse,” says Bischoff – especially the 500-gallon tipping bucket that douses everyone beneath it. “As soon as he hears the bell (for the bucket to tip) he’ll yell out, ‘There’s the bucket, mama!'”
An Avalanche of Fun
“A lot of water parks focus their attractions on entertaining really young children,” says Erin Ernst, communications director at Boyne Mountain Resort, which includes Avalanche Bay Indoor Water Park. “While you’ll certainly find features for tiny splashers, there’s also a wide range of attractions to delight tweens, teens and adults.” Grab a day pass for this Boyne City attraction – or stay overnight to also enjoy entertainment, bonfires and s’mores, crafts at Fritz’s Snow Fort, dining venues and more. Bonus: The indoor water zone – boasting 88,000 square feet of slides, downhill mat racing and even a surfing simulator – stays a balmy 84 degrees. Ask about spring break packages. Plus, kids 5 and under get in free.
Sunshine and Surf
Dipping into the Gulf of Mexico on the east edge of Florida, Captiva Island is known for its white, sandy beaches and prime seashell collecting (bring a bag – or two). Like neighboring Sanibel Island, Captiva begs visitors to relax and stroll the surf as the waves sway. My advice? Find your spot on the beach early, since parking can fill fast. Plan on staying for the sunset.