I’ve always loved to travel, but having three kids under four years old definitely makes that a little more difficult nowadays. Although the dynamic of our trips has surely changed, we still love to plan getaways to bring the love of traveling to our children.
I am always on the hunt for family friendly destinations that are great for little ones (toddlers and preschoolers) as this tends to be a very tough age of traveling for most parents. The best family-friendly spots are those with easy access to activities and amenities while providing a safe and friendly environment so parents can still relax.
If you’re in the northeast, the winter months can get brutal. As the weather just didn’t seem to be warming up this spring, we decided to plan a quick trip to Aquatopia Indoor Water Park in the Pocono Mountains. The kids had an absolute blast and we loved the amenities and seeing the pure joy on their faces.
Planning a getaway to a family-friendly destination is just what you need to cure the winter blues and give the kids some fun and excitement. Camelback Resort and Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark is the perfect spot for your family friendly trip, great for young children (toddlers and preschoolers) and older ones as well.
Accommodations at Camelback Resort Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark
Nestled in the scenic Pocono Mountains, Camelback Resort is an eight-story modern-designed mountain hotel featuring Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark, Arcadia Adventures, multiple dining venues, Serenity Spa, and a state-of-the-art fitness center. There’s plenty to do indoors at the lodge, but what’s great about this resort is that there’s amazing outdoor adventures and activities too!
In the cooler months you can take advantage of the ski slopes at Camelback mountain. During the summer, the outdoor water park is open so you can double the amount of water activities on your list!
We very much enjoyed the recently renovated guest suites. The resort only has suites, ranging from studio style up to three bedrooms, perfect for small or large families. The double queen suite was the perfect size for our family of five.
The lodge boasts modern mountain décor with a vibrant, contemporary new look. You can reserve a suite that has a variety of extras including loft space, balconies, or a full kitchen.
Our room had an outdoor space (on the 1st floor) which was great for my husband and I to enjoy after the kids went to sleep and even for the kids to run around and play when they needed to get out of the hotel room. Our room and the entire lodge was clean and tidy.
Young-Kid-Friendly Activities at Camelback Resort in the Poconos
There are a bunch of activities that are perfect for toddler/preschool aged children at Camelback Resort Indoor Waterpark. They include:
This Antarctic-themed kids shallow adventure lagoon features two Penguin themed kids slides and numerous themed water sprays, geysers, sprinklers and a children’s museum-quality interactive water table.
The baby-bounce swings provide a place for infants and young toddlers to enjoy too. The pool has a zero-depth entry and is bordered by plenty of pool walls designed to serve as benches for seating.
In addition to the smaller water slides at Penguin peak and in the main splash park area, there is an enclosed water slide for little ones. It’s the perfect starter slide for young children and my kids went on it dozens of times- they couldn’t get enough!
There are some other larger water slides that have height requirements. To ride these, you must be at least 42” which may be suitable for some 3 or 4 year olds depending on their size.
This immersive multi-level AquaPlay structure includes a giant dumping bucket that sits at over 52 feet overhead. The exploration-themed play structure has countless highly themed elements including interactive water effects, such as a bubbler and geyser jets, rotating dumping troughs, hose jets, pull ropes, tipping cones, water guns, plunger jets, water wheels and water cannons.
The zero-depth entry pool at the base of the water play structure gives children of all ages an opportunity to play. They’ll have fun with kiddie slides and numerous spray features.
This was my personal favorite activity at Camelback Resort Indoor Waterpark because it’s perfect for both adults and kids. Just floating along the river in a tube is easy for someone who doesn’t like large water slides. I was even able to bring my 2 month old baby on it and felt very safe.
The lost river is an immersive adventure river experience with LED underwater and theatrical lighting and sound and water special effects to enhance the experience. Tall waterfalls, arching sprays, water features and flowing underground waterways provide numerous opportunities to get wet.
One- and two-person tubes are available. It’s too deep for little ones so make sure they wear their life jackets!
Centrally located in Aquatopia and sun-drenched beneath the transparent roof, Ka-Na-Gawa Wavepool features large indoor waves. Waterfalls are revealed from hidden rivers below the icecap, flowing into the wavepool. Life jackets and tubes are available.
At 42ʺ deep, this ‘Nile’ crossing activity challenges kids to walk on the heads of crocodiles and aquatic obstacles while trying to balance and cross the pool using an overhead cargo net. My 2.5 year old loved jumping from pad to pad!
We rented a cabana for our group which we had for the whole day. This was a great place to keep all of our stuff, with a large table to eat, plenty of seating, and a spot to escape the sun.
When we went during the week there weren’t too many other guests so lounge chairs and table were abundant around the water park . However, if you’re going over a weekend, I would highly suggest this to guarantee yourself a designated spot.
Camelback Resort Aquatopia isn’t only water activities! There’s still fun to be had on dry land. Arcadia Family Indoor Adventure Center offers more than 100 video and interactive games are laid out in age-appropriate zones with themed activities and challenges for all ages. The Treasure Trove is the final stop to redeem Arcadia tickets for prizes.
There are a variety of food establishments right at the hotel to order for meals all day long. Camelback no longer has the option to purchase a meal plan, but all options are a la carte.
We dined at Graffiti Pizza for dinner where you can create your own pizzas and salads. Our 2 and 3 year olds loved the cheese pie and we really enjoyed a cauliflower pie with almost every pizza topping you could think of!
There’s a pub and grill restaurant with options like wings, burgers, sandwiches, and main entrees. During the day while at the pool you can enjoy a small menu of burgers, hot dogs, and salads right in the water park.
Other things to note
1. We were at the resort in May on a very warm day so it did get quite hot inside the water park. They keep the indoor water park at 84 degrees so the stone floor also gets pretty hot. Don’t forget water shoes for the little ones!
2. In addition to the heat in the dome, I do believe you can still get a sunburn despite being inside. The sun penetrates the transparent glass dome and I did feel like my skin was getting a sun tan. This is important to note if you or your children are sensitive to the sun as sunscreen should be worn. This was a large benefit of the cabana as well- plenty of shade to cool off!
3. The water park doesn’t open until 10am. Our kids are up at 6am so we did have quite some time to kill before getting in the water. This was when it was nice to have the outdoor space to let them run around.
4. If you go during a busy time (weekends or colder months), head to the water park early because there’s a limited amount of seating and tables. Stake claim on some as soon as possible so your family has a place to sit and keep your belongings.
5. We requested for our room to be as close as possible to the water park. Having a newborn who would need to be breastfed often and two toddlers who still nap, we wanted the utmost convenience. We ended up with a room on the first floor as close as you can get to the pool. This was perfect as we didn’t have to wait for elevators or walk far to get to our room with exhausted little ones.
6. While there are lifeguards, you still need to keep a very close eye on young children. There are some areas that aren’t fully patrolled and we had a close call with our daughter who cannot swim. Be aware that even in the little kid splash section, your child can make their way into deep waters.
Items to bring
As a busy mom, I always need to make checklists before I even leave the house, let alone a vacation. Here are just a few things to remember to bring at this resort, on top of your typical packing.
- Water shoes for kids
- Flip flops that you don’t mind getting wet for parents
- Life vests for children who can’t swim
- Stroller for babies or young toddlers
- Sunscreen (even though you’ll be inside the whole time)
- Cash for tipping
Camelback Resort Aquatopia in the Pocono Mountains was a great destination for us to make new memories with our little ones. We loved that we could relax a little while still ensuring the safety of our children.
Not only do they have an indoor water park perfect for cooler months, but there’s an outdoor water park for summer and ski slopes for winter. It really covers everything! So if you’re in the northeast and looking for a family friendly destination to check out, definitely give this resort a try.