Two weeks ago we were invited to spend the weekend at Kalahari Resorts in Poconos to celebrate their recent expansion. The cherry on top was that we were going with one of our favorite families, Giggles, Gobbles, and Gulps. Linda and I have boys the same age and we love to travel together. It makes trips so enjoyable. The boys keep each other occupied and entertained, which means the adults can relax a bit and have a good time.
Now before I share about all of the fun we had, I have to say what really impressed me was the family behind the Kalahari name, the Nelson Family. When you get to dive in a little deeper and learn more about where you are visiting, you can really appreciate it.
We got to meet Todd and his wife Shari, their five kids, and their families. After listening to Todd speak, you immediately understand his love for the African culture. His entire family has a role in the company and their passion and dedication are what make Kalahari Resorts so successful.
We had two days packed with fun and we were nonstop the entire time! Kalahari Resorts is the largest indoor waterpark with 222,000 sq. ft. of rides and activities. As you can imagine, there wasn’t a dull moment the entire weekend.
Here are a few of my tips to help make your stay at Kalahari Resorts a blast.
Need space? Book the African Queen Suite
It doesn’t matter how old the kids are, they all need some down time. The African Queen Suite was a perfect set up for us. It has two-bedrooms, which gave my boys their own space to rest and hang out. You can sleep up to 6 people in this suite, so there’s a lot of room.
The master has a king bed, the second bedroom has two queen beds, and the little sitting area has a fireplace and sofa with a queen sleeper. After a long day of splashing in the waterpark, it was nice that my boys could veg out in their bedroom. They thought they were so cool because they had a T.V. in their room (they don’t have T.V.s in their bedrooms at home), so they felt spoiled. If you have little ones, it makes the perfect set up for nap time.
Keep them fed
Hungry kids can ruin the vibe of a vacation with a snap of the finger. So it’s important to keep them fed! There are so many options at Kalahari, just depending on your mood and budget.
If you are looking for a sit-down casual dinner, check out Brandberg Food & Drink or Ivory Coast Restaurant, both located in the main lobby. Lots of great options for the entire family.
The second night we ate at Double Cut, which is Kalahari’s new signature steak house experience featuring premium cuts of meat, craft cocktails, family style sides, and more. Warning this is a fancy dinner and a bit expensive, but the food is amazing! If you are second guessing yourself about bringing the kids (like we were), don’t worry. There were tons of families dining in this restaurant, after all, it’s a family resort.
If you want to keep it simple there’s a ton of options like Safari Grille and Great Karoo Marketplace Buffet. You can even order pizza and take it to your room. If you have tired kids, this is a great option rather than forcing them to sit at a restaurant.
Be expected to follow your kids around the arcade
We arrived Friday evening and after feeding our hungry crew, we decided to hit the arcade since the waterpark was closing. If your kids are arcade junkies like mine, be prepared to follow behind them for hours. The arcade is 30,000 sq ft, so you’ll track some miles for sure!
The arcade also has mini bowling and black-light mini golf.
Splash in the waterpark with your kids
You are on vacation so put your swimsuit on and hit the park with your kids!
The waterpark area is HUGE so there’s lots of places to set up camp. I recommend getting there early and finding a spot where you think your kids will spend most of their time. Our boys are older, between the ages of 8 and 10, so they hung out on the lazy river, in the wave pool, at the basketball pool, and in the indoor/outdoor family whirlpool.
Before we let them go play, though, we had a “water safety meeting”. Even though our kids are good swimmers, it never hurts to go over the rules. We also had a meeting spot so that if anyone got separated they knew where to go. Fortunately, that didn’t happen but you can never be too prepared.
We spent all day Saturday at the waterpark. The boys’ favorite water ride was the Cheetah Race. Why do you ask? Because it’s a competitive ride, of course! There are four lanes that you go racing down with rolls and drops throughout. Even the parents got in on the action and the boys thought it was hysterical watching us race!
Do something daring!
I’m not much of a daredevil, but I was convinced to try out the new ultimate virtual reality experience. We decided to play the Zombie Survival game. You can’t tell in the photo below, but I was shaking in fear! I had no idea what to expect.
Imagine feeling like you are actually being attacked by zombies? Yes, that’s how I felt! I screamed out loud a few times (the kids could see us and they thought it was the funniest thing ever). Within 5 minutes of the game, I had to pull my mask off and pause the game. My heart was racing. While I was shooting zombies one way, I turned around and 7 were attacking me from behind. It was crazy scary!
Once my heart rate when back to normal, I decided to give it another go and I’m so glad I did. My inner Carol took over and I kicked some zombie butt!
I had to give myself a pat on the back because at the end of the game I had the most kills to the head. I told the guys, “If you watched The Walking Dead, you would know that’s the only way to kill a zombie!” I’m really glad I didn’t chicken out. What a cool experience!
Here’s what you can find at Kalahari’s recent expansion, doubling their size:
- Hundreds of additional rooms bringing the total to nearly 1,000 guest rooms containing one-, two-, three-, and even five-bedroom suites
- America’s Largest Indoor Waterpark (a true 220,000 sq. ft.)
- Expanded outdoor waterpark
- 100,000 sq. ft. convention center
- 40,000 sq. ft. interactive arcade
- Three full-service signature dining experiences
- Spa Kalahari & Salon
- Kalahari Fitness and Training Center
- 6,000 sq. ft. of retail space
- Checkout time is 11am: late check out may be subject to additional charges
- Quiet time: They ask that you please respect other guests by observing quite time between the hours of 10pm – 8am.
- Charge using your wrist band: No need to carry cash! Establish charging privileges with a credit card and photo I.D. at the front desk.
- Looking to withdraw cash? ATMs are located in the Resort Lobby.
- Coolers: You can bring coolers into the resort. A good idea is to stock up on water, drinks, and snacks that you can easily bring to your room.
Thank you Kalahari Resorts for an awesome weekend we won’t forget!