Kalahari Resort is a wonderful place to create memories together with family or friends. Use these tips to make the most out of your visit.
I’ve stayed in several different types of rooms at Kalahari. I would advise you to choose a room that works with the number of guests and how much time you plan on spending in your room. We tend to spend most of our time at the waterpark which means that we don’t spend a lot of time in our rooms. If you are traveling with more than 4 people and want to save money on meals, you might want to consider a suite that comes with a full kitchen.
Drop off your luggage at the front and then park
If you have more than one person in your group, I suggest driving up to the front, have one person go inside to check in and then grab a cart for your luggage and unload your vehicle near the entrance door. The parking lot is a good walking distance from the front and you will not want to carry everything from there.
Kalahari allows guests to use the indoor waterpark as early as noon the day of their arrival but the check-in time begins at 4pm. (You need to pre-register when you arrive to get the wristbands for the waterpark) Guest check out at 11 am but they can use the waterpark until 3pm the day of their departure. If you visit between April 19-December 17 you can use the waterpark until it closes the day of your departure.
Pack a Swimbag
You can swim earlier than your afternoon check-in time which means that you will want to have swim bags packed separately with flip flops, coverup, etc.
Bring Beach towels
Kalahari does provide towels in the waterpark area but they don’t cover your whole body the way a beach towel does. We packed 2 for each person so that we had another option if the first was still wet the following day. To help your towels dry fast, try using hanging them from the hangers in the closet area. Beach towels are also great for finding and covering more of your lounge chair. I wouldn’t bother trying to save seats for your kids because they aren’t going to spend much time on them. Take what you really need so that another person can find a chair too.
Have a Plan for Your Valuables
I like to keep my phone close so that I can take pictures which means that I don’t want to keep it in my room, but I also don’t feel comfortable leaving it in a bag on my chair. At the indoor waterpark there are lockers available to use or for smaller items, you might want to try the Flex Safe by AquaVault portable safe. I’ve used mine at two different resorts and I like that I can attach it to my lounge chair and it doesn’t take up much space. I fit 3 cell phone and my husband’s wallet in mine and the safe doesn’t take very long to unlock. I would suggest trying it a few times before you put anything in it.
Determine a Meeting Place
Talk to your family about where you should meet if you become separated during your time at the waterpark. It’s also good to talk to them about times to meet up if have dining plans or time constraints on your departure date. Find a landmark that is easy to identify for younger kids.
Have a Food Plan
I’m not the type of person who is good about packing a cooler full of food for trips. I like to experience the local food when I visit a destination and I don’t want to think about what everyone might want to eat. That said, I do pack snacks and drinks to keep in the room because my kids are always hungry, especially after swimming for long periods of time. You cannot bring your own food and drinks inside the waterpark so don’t bother trying because you don’t want the awkward moment of being asked to remove your items before entering the waterpark area. I’ve watched it happen and it’s just not worth it.
The pizza inside the waterpark is a reasonable price and it saves you the hassle of having to leave and come back. I would also suggest adding authorization to your credit card for charges so that you have the option to make purchases if you don’t have your card physically on you.
Kalahari also has several restaurants onsite ranging from fast casual to sit down dining. You really don’t need to leave the resort unless you want to.
If you are looking for a great option offsite, I suggest checking out OH Taco in Sandusky. Fantastic tacos, sandwiches, and do not leave without trying their cinnamon chili churros served with dark chocolate coffee sauce…churros..trust me on the churros!
Get Your Hair Wet
This especially goes to all of the women. I get it. I have long hair and it’s cold and takes forever to dry…but I have so much more fun with my family when I don’t care and engage in play with them. I challenge you to take the Get your hair wet challenge. During our visit my boys invited me to join them to play water basketball, I was already dried off and enjoying the warmth…but those invitations have come fewer and farther between. I ended up playing with them and I’m so glad that I did. Sometimes time you just have to suck it up
Give Yourself Grace
I understand that there are few people on the planet who feel like their body is swimsuit-ready…especially if you visit a waterpark in the winter, after the holidays….but here is the interesting thing about waterpark culture…..people don’t care. They don’t care that you are not a swimsuit model. You will see ALL shapes and sizes in just about every type of swimwear option. The irony is that sometimes you will see someone who is of a larger stature walk with way more confidence than someone who is of smaller build…again waterpark culture is forgiving and the main objective is fun with family and friends..not fitness modeling. You can always put on a rashguard, cute coverup, or dri fit athletic style shirt for guys if you want a little more coverage.
Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
I invite you to challenge yourself to face your fears on a ride that is out of your comfort zone…whatever that looks like for you. The first time that I went down the waterslide that drops you into a pool of water at the end, I was intimidated, but it was fun and I survived. If you have kids with you it’s important for you to help step out of their comfort zones too. There are lots of opportunities for them to build confidence by experiencing a water ride for the first time. I also had a fun time looking stupid on the surf simulator with my friends during a girlfriend getaway where we had lots of laughs from watching each other’s attempts.
Stay as long as Possible
You are there to make memories so make the most out of it and maximize your time there. If you are traveling with kids or even teenagers you will find that your car ride home is a lot quieter.
Set a Budget
Have an idea of what you will be spending during your visit. Don’t forget to factor in gratuities and additional activities onsite if you plan on doing them. Your kids will walk by an arcade as they enter the waterpark so be prepared. There is also a zip line, bowling, laser tag, Virtual reality, and safari animal park at the Sandusky, Ohio location. I suggest looking at the website ahead of time and determining what you want to do. You can have conversations ahead of time and let your kids know what you plan on doing during your visit. You can also give them the option to bring some of their money to use at the game room and the gift shop.
Check Out the Adult Only Hot Tub
Adults 21+ can enjoy a kid-free zone with a swim-up bar, and indoor/outdoor hot tubs. If you get the opportunity, I highly recommend taking some time in the outdoor hot tub.
Do Your Research
Search for a great rate at Booking.com.
Our family has really enjoyed our visits to Kalahari over the years. They do a great job of providing fun for all ages and helping to facilitate an experience that creates wonderful memories.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thanks again to Kalahari Resorts for hosting my visit. All opinions are my own.