Make a Splash at Illinois' Water Parks

Dive into warmer weather and head to one of Illinois’ most fun and entertaining water parks.

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Enjoy the warmer weather by taking a trip with the family. Water parks are the perfect destination for little swimmers and adults alike, with a variety of activities. Here are the top water parks across the state. 

Six Flags: Great America & Hurricane Harbor and Great Wolf Lodge

In Gurnee, the one-two punch of Six Flags: Great America & Hurricane Harbor and Great Wolf Lodge makes for a family-friendly getaway at two of Illinois' largest water parks, located less than 2 miles apart. 

After a day of fun in the sun, book a room at the Great Wolf Lodge itself or nearby Wingate by Wyndham Gurnee. Treat yourself to some grub at either Saluto's Pizza & Pasta or The Chocolate Sanctuary. The former offers classic homemade Italian fare like porcini mushroom ravioli, while the latter boasts classic American dishes elevated with cacao. Chocolate lovers will delight! 

Raging Waves (Yorkville)

Plan a trip to Illinois’ largest water park, Raging Waves in Yorkville. With 19 water slides, a lazy river, wave pools, and more, there is something for everyone at Raging Waves. Head down the thrilling slide known as PJ’s Plummet, or grab your group and make your way down the 1080-foot tunnel slide on a triple tube.

Stay nearby at the Hampton Inn Yorkville for a comfy and convenient Yorkville experience. Then, grab a bite at Southbank Original Barbecue on the Fox River, where you'll find BBQ classics like slow-cooked and smoked-to-perfection ribs and pulled pork, including all the fixings from mac and cheese to bourbon baked beans. 

The Water Works (Schaumburg)

This indoor water park near Chicago features three water slides, a diving pool, rapid water channel, a water playground, and much more. Located inside the Community Recreation Center, The Water Works is the perfect way to do something fun on a rainy day — while still making it feel like summer.

After slippin' and slidin' all day, grab a bite to eat nearby at Crazy Crab Seafood Restaurant, for Creole and Cajun spin on seafood. The spot features a vibrant vibe and broiled bags of shrimp, crawfish, and crab, along with a vast selection of tasty flavors, like garlic butter and lemon pepper.

You can’t visit Schaumburg without stopping by the Woodfield Mall, Illinois’ largest shopping mall. This sprawling center boasts more than 230 stores and services and even has a playground in the center for the kiddos to take a break.

Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort (Utica)

Head just outside Chicago for a fantastic family getaway to Grizzly Jack’s Grand Bear Resort in Utica. Located near Starved Rock, Grizzly Jack’s is an all-encompassing water park experience — including a playground, lazy river, tube slide, tot pool, and wave pool. Perfect for families, the property has plenty of places to stay, from suites to villas and cabins.

Take in the scenery while dining at the Starved Rock Lodge Restaurant, a rustic dining room immersed in history. Traditional American fare, plus elevated dishes like ale fried walleye and roasted duck accompanies the beautiful ambience at this stunning state park restaurant.

Knight’s Action Park (Springfield)

Take the family on an aquatic adventure in Springfield. A multi-amusement venue located in the State Capitol, Knight’s Action Park offers a batting cages, driving range, mini golf, go karts, and of course, a water park. With 8 water slides, plus splash pads, and a wave pool, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the water. When you're ready, mosey on over to Tradewinds Pub & Eatery—located right next to the park—for a juicy burger, onion straws, or the pub's signature hand cut fries. 

Stay close to the water park at Staybridge Suites South. A complimentary breakfast bar will be ready for you in the morning so you can fuel up before exploring beautiful Springfield. Make sure to check out the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum, where you’ll be inspired by more than 40,000 square feet of memorabilia, history, and galleries of Lincoln’s legacy.

Super Splash Park (Carbondale)

Head to southern Illinois for a weekend of fun at Super Splash Park in Carbondale. Complete with a lazy river, diving board, water slides, playgrounds, and a beach-style wave pool, Super Splash Park has attractions for all ages. Little ones will enjoy the play structures, while adults will love the lap pool and lazy river.

Find accommodations at the Hampton Inn Carbondale, just a short drive from The Science Center, a wonderland of educational, interactive exhibits that even adults will appreciate.

For a bite to eat, take a short drive over to either Thai Taste or Flame. The former features vibrant and trendy decor with a mix of traditional and unique Thai dishes, while the latter is a warm establishment with a curated wine list and delicious plates like chicken marsala and slow-roasted prime rib. 

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