End Your Summer With A Splash: 4 Family-Friendly Water Resorts

Summer is coming to a close and kids are heading back to school. But vacation season doesn’t have to end! Below we profile four family-friendly water resorts across the country great for one last summer-fun experience before getting into full-on school mode. These resorts are also a perfect destination any time of the year. Below we profile two scenic resorts in Florida and an Arizonan resort perfect for big families which all boast great weather year-round, as well as an indoor water resort located in New Jersey!

 

CoCo Key Resort & Hotel ML // Mt. Laurel, NJ

CoCo Key Water Resort is an indoor water park located in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, just 20 miles across the Delaware River from Philadelphia. CoCo Key is an indoor water park featuring slides, a water jungle gym, and many other activities your kids will love (with something even for babies!). Parents can enjoy the 4-story-high winding slides, the adults-only whirlpool, and exploring the entire resort with their kids. CoCo Key makes a great day trip during the summer or even in the winter! But you’ll likely want more than just a day to “soak in” all the fun there is to be had. Hotel Mount Laurel is directly attached to the resort and the perfect place to stay for an overnight trip.

The water park

When you enter the resort, the first thing to catch your child’s eye will probably be Parrot’s Perch. This colorful aquatic jungle gym features slides, stairs and cargo nets to climb, water cannons, and more. A gigantic bucket at the very top of the gym repeatedly fills with water, slowly tips, and then dumps hundreds of gallons of water over the jungle gym–and you!

Next to the gym are 4-story high winding slides that kids and adults alike will enjoy. Grab a single or double inner tube and make your way up the flight of stairs to the top. Once there, you’ll have to decide between the Shark Slam or Barracuda Blast—which is pitch black! The Pelican Plunge rounds out the set of three slides that together are nearly 1,000 feet long.

Your kids and you can also enjoy the Lily Pad Adventure as well as a game of water basketball in the 3 ft. deep Coral Cove. If you need to unwind a bit, head for the Coconut Grove Lazy River. Grab an inner tube and let the gentle current sweep you along. If you’ve got a baby or toddler in tow, they’ll especially enjoy this laid back activity. And speaking of little ones, a dedicated dip-in pool just for babies and toddlers with a pirate ship, mini-slides, and swings is located on the 2nd level overlooking the rest of the resort (life jackets are available for all young guests). If you’ve got older kids and can steal away, we recommend the adults-only Palm Grotto whirlpool. This indoor/outdoor spa offers soothing hot water to help you relax.

When hunger strikes, no need to pack up and leave. A dining area offers pizza, steaks, burgers, chicken, and classic snacks. Adults can also grab a drink from the Wet Rooster, a full service bar overlooking the resort. And if your kids want to take a break from the water, there’s an arcade along with prizes on the second level.


The atmosphere of the indoor park is very energizing, with upbeat music, vibrant colors, the sound of water splashing, and people having fun and laughing everywhere. Keep your eyes peeled for an appearance by CoCo, the scuba-diving parrot mascot that loves to make friends!

The hotel

The Hotel ML houses CoCo Key, and you can get to the resort from your hotel room without leaving the hotel or going outside. That makes CoCo Key and Hotel ML the ultimate destination during the cooler months when you need a little “summer in your winter”. Having the water resort just minutes, if not seconds, from your room is not only convenient but makes coming and going at your leisure even more convenient. If you’ve got younger kids, this is especially great for heading back to your room for an afternoon nap, or grabbing dinner at the restaurant and then squeezing in some more fun before bedtime! Guest rooms are inviting and offer plenty of space for your family and belongings. Rooms have full bathrooms with a tub, complimentary WiFi, a flat screen TV, and plenty of workspace and outlets for computers, tablets, and other technology. A seasonal outdoor pool as well as a fitness center is also available.

Hotel ML features Talia’s Restaurant & Bar which offers delicious fare typical of the New Jersey-Philadelphia area. Steak enthusiasts can’t go wrong with the black angus steak served with a whiskey glaze, while vegetarians will love the sauteéd penne pasta with fresh mozzarella. A traditional kid’s menu is available, although if you’re practicing baby-led weaning with your child, there’s plenty on the adult’s menu he’ll enjoy such as the shredded braised short rib & red onion marmalade grilled cheese.

The staff at Talia’s are friendly and eager to make sure your dining experience is just right. The bartenders are excellent mixologists—so go ahead, enjoy a drink and relax! If you’re in the mood for a “mommy cocktail”, Talia’s makes a refreshing “Writer’s Block”. Made with Grey Goose pear vodka, Sauvignon Blanc, Lime juice, and gingerale, this drink is light and crisp, perfect for a summer or autumn evening.

Guests of the hotel can also take part in another awesome activity for the kids—movie night! Bring your kids along with their favorite blankets & stuffed animals and let them socialize and enjoy a good movie. You can join them and watch the movie, or just hang in the back and relax.


CoCo Key and Hotel ML in NJ is the perfect destination for the family with kids that love the water. Visit during the summer and get in out of the heat and sun for some indoor water fun. Or, visit during the winter for a little taste of summer. Visit for just a day or stay the weekend, or even host your child’s birthday party there. Whenever you visit, we’re sure your whole family will have a blast! Check out some more pictures of the resort in the slideshow below.


 

Westin Kierland, Scottsdale

Westin Kierland // Scottsdale, AZ

Nestled in the shadow of the McDowell mountains in “new” Scottsdale, lies the Westin Kierland; a gorgeous resort that has the perfect mix of family fun, relaxation and all of amenities that anyone would ask for. School is in session in Arizona now, but this resort would make the perfect “last blast” during September. But since it’s warm year-round, the Keirland makes the perfect place to visit on school breaks or even for a quick weekend getaway any month of the year. The Keirland is a modern and fresh resort with a fun twist on the decoration, halls and rooms which pays homage to the important people and cultures of Arizona’s past.

Water Activities

When you arrive, be sure to stop in the Westin Kierland’s Kid’s Club where kids can pick up a fun scavenger hunt list and can sign up for many additional kid’s activities held 365 days a year. Then head outside to the most important part of any Arizonan Resort: the water features! The Kierland rises to the occasion with their Adventure Water Park which boasts a 900-ft. lazy river ride and a 110-ft. water slide. The entire pool, lazy river, and water slide is filled with salt water, which gives it a wonderful “beachy” feel. There are ample chairs, shade and tables for families to sit at, with  restrooms and ice cold water available all around the pool. Looking for more privacy? There are many cabanas available for rent and bar and food service available throughout the park. Some of the chairs are set in soft beach sand and there is a beach entry section of the pool that is perfect for those little ones that just want to dip their piggies in; but with the pool extending to 4 1/2 feet deep, there is plenty of space for older kids and adults to swim and splash

Two highlights of the Adventure Water Park are by far the enormous lazy river and speedy water slide! The lazy river offers over 900-ft. of floating fun that’s perfect for kids and adults alike! Float along on tubes and admire the beautiful desert landscape or take a splash under one of the two water falls that line the sides. There is even a float up bar for adult beverages or fresh juice and smoothies for the kids. The 110-ft. water slide is a joy for adults and kids 42″ and up. With plenty of life guards on duty, you know your children are safe going up and down the slide.

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Surfing in the desert? Yes you can! The star of the water park is the FlowRider, which brings the California beach lifestyle to the Sonoran Desert of Scottsdale. The Kierland FlowRider is a boardsport simulator that lets even first-time flowboarders enjoy the fun-filled challenge of catching a wave. Children 42″ and taller can learn to boogie board on their bellies and if you are over 52″, you have the option to actually stand and surf! The FlowRider is as much fun as it seems and when you sign up for it, you get one hour to take as many turns as you want to master your boogie boarding and surfing techniques under the covered ramada. There are plenty of experts on hand, at least two per side on the FlowRider, so parents can watch from the tables as their children safely become surfers before their very eyes. In addition to the refreshing and fun Adventure Water Park, there is an adult-only pool, two hot tubs (children are allowed with adult supervision), and a mini splash pad on the deck. If your family is ready for a break from the water, you can mosey on over to the “OK Corral” which is located adjacent to the Adventure Pool and shaded from the blazing Arizona sun. The “OK Corral” provides hours of fun for your family with activities including lawn chess, basketball, game tables, and RC Car Race Tracks. There’s also a seating area which holds organized activities on the weekends hosted by the Kierland’s FUN team. These include water balloon games, hula hoop contests, limbo, relay races, tie dye shirt making and more. In the evening, the area’s fire pit is transformed into the place to be for “Kierland Kampfires” and Arizona S’mores. These aren’t your Grandma’s s’mores either! You can choose from strawberry, chocolate, coconut or regular marshmallows and then milk, dark, white chocolate or a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup!

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Dining & More

The Westin Kierland has several on-site restaurants and cafes to choose from. Later, take a walk through and relax in Dreamweaver’s Canyon which is at the back of the resort and overlooks the McDowell mountains and a huge man made lake. You can sit by an open fire pit and enjoy cocktails (for the grownups) and snacks (for the kiddies) while being serenaded at sunset by the Scottish Pipes at Sunset Series, which pays tribute to the contributions made by Scottish immigrants to the state’s railroads, mines and towns. In addition to the gorgeous water park, the Westin Kierland has golf, lit tennis courts, a full fitness center,  and a 5 star spa called the Agave. Mom or dad can escape to the Agave for an hour (or more!) and indulge in spa services ranging from an Arctic Berry Face Peel to a “head-to-toe” massage. They have services for men, women, mothers to be and even teens, all held in their completely breathtaking spa with complimentary fruit waters, tea or champagne.


The Westin Kierland is truly a gorgeous resort that is perfect for families big and small and has something for everyone. Check out more views of the resort in the slideshow below.


 

Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress // Orlando, FL

How about traveling to a destination that is known for its gorgeous hotels and steamy weather and staying at the one resort that continuously tops the charts on water based entertainment? Orlando’s premier spot, Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, is a resort that is certainly going to impress you with its grandeur. Recently renovated, yet located in the heart of all the best attractions, it offers so much more beyond the usual “Disney-type” hotel.

Greeting guests and visitors with its multi-story glass entryway, Grand Cypress continues to impress as you walk deeper into its 1500 acre grounds. What really makes it stand out from the multitude of surrounding resorts are its activities, including water features, and dining. If you’re looking for a perfect spot to get your last summer fix before it’s over, there no better place in the Orlando area.

Water Activities

The first thing that stands out is the abundance of seating everywhere and an incredibly friendly and helpful staff. You will want to fall into Grand Cypress’ comfy couches, grab a drink, and spend a few hour just relaxing. Once you’re ready to explore the resort, you will notice an alluring tropical pool surrounded by swaying palm trees, yellow umbrellas, and luxurious, comfortable upscale pool lounges that you want to melt into. The pool is one of those perfectly designed features that has a little bit of everything. The main swimming area opens up to a massive waterfall (one of 12′!), that is hides a water cave with more waterfalls, realistic stone work, and greenery. You’ll feel as if you were transported to the real caves of the Caribbean islands with the light softly streaming through the cave openings. The inside of the cave features more seating for those looking to escape the hot Florida sun and enjoy the views of the waterfall from the inside.

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Once you swim through the tunnels of the grotto, you will emerge on the other side where a suspension bridge hangs over deep blue waters and orange loungers which create a truly tropical and serene vista. The third pool, a smaller heated area for those cool nights after a rainstorm, features a big water slide perfect for older kids. Right next door, you can find hair braiding, sand art, hula hoop contests and many other activities.

More Activities & Dining

Something that really makes the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress stand out from the competition is their inclusive nature when it comes to their activities. Water rentals, like peddleboats, canoes, kayaks, sail boats, and bike rentals, along with a rock climbing wall, putt putt golf and racket ball courts are a part of the standard resort fee charged to each guest. This makes a perfect getaway hotel for a larger family, where similar activities at other resorts can end up costing an arm and a leg. For the really young crowd, toddlers and preschoolers, you can visit the jet splash zone with colored fountains that are spectacular at night.

Once you’ve had your fill of activities, you can kick back on one of the hammocks or many lounge chairs at the beach while your family enjoys a game of sand volleyball, tether ball or gets a s’mores kit and joins other guests at the firepit. If you decide to pop into Disney, a quick shuttle bus will take you there free of charge.

There are certainly enough activities at Grand Cypress that you could spend a week there without leaving the property, even for dining. Hyatt offers excellent food so you really can stay on the property your entire visit if you’d like. Locally sourced and organic where possible, it really sets the bar high. Chefs at Grand Cypress make sure that all the food that is served is fresh and healthy–you’ll taste the difference in everything they serve. A resort that can offer wild salmon, instead of farmed, organic turkey or chicken, and an extremely healthy and varied kid’s menu gets an A+ in our book.


If fun and food are important when it comes to your family vacation, visit Hyatt Regency Grand Cyress and you will certainly be impressed enough to come back. Get a glimpse of everything Hyatt Regency has to offer in the slideshow below!


 

Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa // Riviera Beach, FL

Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa is a Marriott hotel at its best. That means waterfalls, slides, multiple pools and the beach. Marriott Singer Island is located in the beautiful Palm Beach area on the east coast of Florida. This Marriott is ocean front and overlooks waterways on the other side, and is the epitome of staying near the water.

The hotel

Driving up to the resort, you are greeted by an impressive high rise and busy valet service. Upon check in, you will take an elevator to one of the most comfortable hotel rooms you can imagine. All “rooms” are condo style one and two bedroom units with luxury modern furnishings, stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. It’s exactly like your home, but in an oceanfront setting.

As you walk around the beautiful property of the two-story hotel, you can’t help but notice families everywhere. It is like a little toddler convention. Families love Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa, most likely due to its family friendly activities and location, as well as comfortable accommodations with kitchens that make traveling with small children a breeze.

Water Activities & More

The Kids Club has a fabulous staff that organizes activities for anyone signed up. If your child is too small to be admitted to the Kids Club alone, you can still visit and do some pottery painting with them or any other activity that is scheduled for the day.

After having breakfast upstairs at 3800 Ocean Restaurant, you can head downstairs to the immaculate beach setting that has many activities to choose from. The resort even has its own snorkeling reef, which is not something many properties around Florida can boast. Among other activities offered at the beach are surfing, scuba diving, kayaking, jet skiing, and boating. If you prefer something more laid-back,  you can just grab cabana while watching your kids play and sip tropical drinks brought to you on the beach by the hotel’s beach bar waiters.

You and your family will also enjoy the two on-site pools. The infinity pool is gorgeous and less crowded with cabanas available for rent. The lagoon pool is the place for families and kids with the exciting atmosphere of a Floridian resort complete with a tiki bar, a beautiful waterfall feature with a grotto that leads to a popular twisting water slide. Servers rushing around to take orders of tropical drinks and fruit salads complete the experience of a summer getaway.

After a day in the sun, enjoy a relaxing massage at the calming Si Spa or when the kids are asleep walk over to 3800 Ocean and enjoy an oceanview dinner with delectable offerings and perfect wine pairing with the help of knowledgeable staff.


Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa is truly a perfect place to say goodbye to the warm days of summer. Check out more views of the resort and spa in the slideshow below, then head on over to the resort page to book your getaway!


 

We hope you’ve enjoyed our guide to these fabulous water resorts across the country. No matter where are located in the country, these four destinations make a great getaway any time of the year, summer or winter! And you can explore more destinations throughout the country, places to stay, and traveling tips in our WANDER category.


Photo credits: The Whimsical Photographer, Our Three Peas, Westin Kierland, The Art of Making A Baby, Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island

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Laura

Laura is a wife and a new mom living on the East Coast. She and her husband welcomed their first child in September 2013. She has a passion for photography and an incurable case of Wanderlust. In her spare time she enjoys blogging about photography, travel, married life, and motherhood at The Whimsical Photographer.

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