Our Adventure at KeyLime Cove Indoor Waterpark Resort
Our family was invited on a trip to review and share our experience on the KeyLime Cove Indoor Waterpark Resort in Gurnee, Illinois. To say that my children were more than thrilled about this trip opportunity would be an understatement. Although Gurnee is just a few hours from our home, we could not have been more excited to experience the waterpark for ourselves and to enjoy a fun vacation just a couple of short hours from our home.
KeyLime Cove Waterpark is situated in the town of Gurnee, IL, just three short blocks away from Six Flags Great America. We not only had fun exploring the waterpark, but also had the opportunity to check out the restaurants in town and got to see all of the cool things Gurnee has to offer. TripAdvisor actually named Gurnee one of the Top Ten Vacation Destinations in 2009, and we could definitely see why. With outlet malls, an amusement park, a waterpark and great restaurants, it’s definitely a town we would like to visit again and again.
As a resort and indoor waterpark all in one, we had everything we needed at KeyLime Cove. The rooms had a tropical feel to them, and we were in a Queen Deluxe Stateroom that offered two queen beds, a sofa bed, a refrigerator, a dining table for two and a flat screen television. The room was spacious and had plenty of space for the four of us. The hotel rooms can house parties up to twelve by giving everyone adjoining rooms that connect, and each room can hold two to eight guests.
There is truly something for everyone in the KeyLime Cove Waterpark area. My children are 5 and 9-years-old, and they both had an incredible time at the waterpark. And with over 65,000 square feet of waterpark space, it’s no surprise that we had no cries of boredom during our stay.
Younger children have their own separate area with small slides and shallow depth, perfect for toddlers. Children that are a little bit older can enjoy splashing in a larger waterpark structure complete with oodles of slides that accommodate children both big and small.
For the older and braver kids (and adults), the Hurricane Vortex boasts a 44-foot drop and makes you feel like you are spinning in a top. Wahoo and Screaming Banshee are two other fun slides you can ride on with inner tubes, have 40-foot drops and they loop through the exterior of the building. For the really brave, two enclosed body slides are also available.
My 9-year-old just made the height requirement for the Hurricane Vortex, which is 48″ tall. Thanks to his recent growth spurt, he was able to do every single one of these slides, and he truly loved them. He even did the body slides on the last day.
Despite being of the old and not-so-brave variety, I did try the Hurricane Vortex, the Wahoo and the Screaming Banshee. Our entire family also enjoyed hanging out in the Washout Wavepool, where the water is meant to simulate the ocean, and you can lounge around in beach chairs or on an inner tube to enjoy the waves. Ride the waves into the KeyLime Creek, and you can loop all through the waterpark and coast along in your inner tube on the lazy river. Both the wavepool and the creek can be enjoyed with children of all ages. Parents can double up on one inner tube with their smaller children or laze around solo, holding on to the handles of their child’s tube.
Lifeguards were present in a big way at the park and were vigilant about watching children in the play area and also reminding them of safety when exiting the slides. They also did a great job keeping everyone safe when going down the slides. I saw one child who could not find his mom or dad, and a lifeguard was there in three minutes flat to take care of him. A first aid station is located within the facility, and lifejackets are available for smaller children to ensure their safety.
Just as impressive as the waterpark itself was the Leapin’ Lizards kid’s activity center, which was my kids’ favorite hangout and where they wanted to spend all of their downtime. They had everything from a beanbag toss game, to checkers, to oodles of art supplies and toys. My daughter spent hours coloring princess pictures, and my son and I enjoyed a few rounds of checkers between water sliding.
The most impressive part was the activities available to the kids each day. A dry erase board outside of the activity center listed that day’s activities and included things like making a foam hand for high-five day to celebrating birthdays for that particular month to Mario Kart Wii racing in the evening.
My son talked the employee’s ears off about video gaming, and no one ever seemed anything but interested in what he had to say. He had a blast in the Mario Wii Kart competition, which yielded him coins to spend at the RipTide Arcade while my daughter submitted endless coloring sheets for the coloring contests and came home with jewels from their prize boxes. A dance party was held in the evening, and our daughter Emily got the party started with the employees, which made us so proud that all of our Just Dance Wii game practice has been paying off.
Of course, my son’s favorite part was the RipTide Reef Arcade with over 8,000 square feet of gaming fun. My husband kept remarking how impressed he was with the game selection as well as how up-to-date the games were. The boys spent some money at the arcade, which led to tickets, which led to spider rings, which led to tears because only brother got a spider ring, which led to more games, which led to a purple jelly bracelet for someone else, which led to happiness. In all seriousness, there were so many great family-friendly games to choose from, and the boys had a blast playing there in the evening.
When we asked the kids if they would like to spend a day at Six Flags, they declined. No, they wanted to spend the last day on the water slides. Playing in the activity center. Eating the food at the resort. Playing in the arcade. I think that should speak for itself as to how much fun we had together and how thankful we were for the opportunity to explore this resort.
I have a very, very good feeling that we will be back soon!
*Our family received a free stay at this hotel in exchange for our thoughts and opinions on the water park and its services. All opinions expressed are our own and we received no additional compensation.