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. And some of Illinois' lesser-known water parks are hidden gems of their own, perfect for a family outing, a day out with friends, or a unique date idea. These water parks across the state make for an exciting way to make a splash this summer.
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. Grab a bite at one of Yorkville’s many local restaurants. Barbecue lovers will enjoy the menu at Southbank Original Barbecue on the Fox River, where tri-tips, pulled chicken or pork, and more are slow-cooked and smoked to perfection.
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, a Creole and Cajun spot featuring a vibrant vibe and broiled bags of shrimp, crawfish, crab, and much more. Don’t forget to leave your John Hancock on the wall.
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 to central Illinois 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 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 cage, driving range, go karts, and of course, a water park. With water slides, splash pads, and a wave pool, Splash Kingdom has plenty of ways to enjoy the water— but make sure you wait half an hour before stopping into Tradewinds Pub & Eatery for a burger and onion straws.
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.