Kalahari Resort

Break out your bathing suit. Water fun is always in season at the new Kalahari Resort in the Poconos. This African-themed hotel is home to Pennsylvania’s largest indoor water park—100,000 square feet—plus an additional 30,000 square feet of dry family fun, a variety of dining, and a full-service spa.

Drive time: 1 hours, 45 minutes.

Accommodations: Warm, natural colors and decorative accents create an African ambiance at Kalahari. Some rooms have bunk beds for the kids, and whirlpools are available in certain suites. In true Poconos style, the bath is heart-shaped in the honeymoon suite. Water-park admission is included with overnight stay. Rates start at $249. 

Where to eat: Named for the highest point in the Kalahari Desert, Brandberg offers a top-of-the-line dining experience at the resort. Unique dishes include barbecued bone marrow with bacon jam, and buttermilk-fried quail with a sweet-potato-whiskey waffle. Entrées are $18-$36. Even the hot dogs and hamburgers are playfully prepared, like the PB Burger with Thai peanut sauce and the kimchi dog ($9-$17). 

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At the resort’s Ivory Coast Lounge, start your action-packed day with a hearty breakfast of Irish-oat-and-brown sugar-fortified cranberry-banana-almond pancakes or spinach-and-artichoke Benedict ($9-$16). Or build your own breakfast at the Great Karoo Marketplace Buffet ($13.99), with its open kitchen and chef’s action station. The buffet is also available for dinner ($19.99). 

What to do: You could easily spend all day in the water park (9 a.m.-10 p.m.). Only strong swimmers should take on the Flowrider, a rough-and-tumble bodyboarding and surfing attraction. If you prefer the thrills and chills of a high-speed coaster, grab a raft and try the Anaconda, with its open flumes, enclosed tunnels and gushing geysers. The Zimbabwe Zipper flume reaches speeds up to 40 mph, and the Rippling Rhino sends you speed-sliding down almost 400 feet. For the less daring, there’s a lazy river and a swim-up bar. The little ones have their own water play area, too.   

In addition to videogames and boardwalk-like skill-testers, the extensive arcade at Kalahari features mini bowling ($5), black-light mini golf ($6), a virtual-reality experience ($7), and a laser adventure ($4). 

Every day, there’s a new schedule of activities, including family hikes, Hula-Hoop contests, finger painting, scavenger hunts, cookie decorating, and crafting cool stuff like racecars and African thumb pianos. In the evening, put the kids in their pajamas and take them down to the lobby for story time.

250 Kalahari Blvd., Pocono Manor, (570) 216-5493, www.kalahariresorts.com.

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