Destination Indiana

Summer’s here at last! Why not take advantage of the warm weather and enjoy a family visit to one of Indiana’s many land and water-based amusement parks? Whether you love thrilling roller coasters or prefer a gentle lazy river, we’ve got you covered with our guide to some of the best seasonal fun our state has to offer.

Deep River Waterpark
Merrillville, Indiana

This northwest Indiana water park’s focus is water-filled fun. Attractions include body slides, tube slides, a wave pool, two river rides and kid-friendly play areas.

Don’t miss! Deep River advertises its behemoth Double Dueling CannonBowl as the first ride of its type in the world!

Insider tip: On a tight budget? Cut down on incidentals by packing your own lunch. Deep River allows families to bring coolers as long as they don’t contain glass, alcohol or knives.

Drive time: 2 hours, 16 minutes

To learn more:

Indiana Beach Amusement Resort
Monticello, Indiana

Located on the shores of Lake Shafer, Indiana’s version of a beachfront boardwalk boasts a wide variety of rides, the Ideal Beach waterpark, midway-style games, tempting food kiosks and more.

Don’t miss! Even thrill-seekers should make time for a ride on the iconic Shafer Queen, a paddle wheel boat offering relaxing 30 and 75-minute sightseeing cruises. The family-friendly trip provides excellent views of the boardwalk from a unique vantage point.

Insider tip: Indiana Beach’s pricing structure includes an inexpensive spectator pass and several pay-one-price packages. Review the different options online before your visit to ensure you get the best value for your family.

Drive time:1 hour, 43 minutes

To learn more:

Tropicanoe Cove
Lafayette, Indiana

Operated by the City of Lafayette, this family-oriented waterpark has one large tube slide, a play area containing a few children’s slides and a small lazy river. Admission rates of $7.00 or less make Tropicanoe Cove one of the most affordable parks on our list.

Don’t miss! For older kids and adults, a ride down the bright yellow Banana Peel tube slide will likely be the highlight of the trip.

Insider tip: It may be tough to fill a whole day at this small waterpark, but Columbian Park Zoo sits right next door. Start your day with waterslides and end it with wallabies!

Drive time: 1 hour, 8 minutes

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Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari
Santa Claus, Indiana

This southern Indiana park’s holiday-themed guest areas include rides and restaurants dedicated to Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving and 4th of July. On days the water park operates, its attractions are included in the cost of general admission.

Don’t miss! Holiday World loves its wooden roller coasters. Its newest, the Voyage, opened in 2006 and has been voted the #1 Wooden Coaster on the Planet on multiple occasions.

Insider tip: Believe it or not, all park guests receive free and unlimited soft drinks! Complimentary ice water is also available.

Drive time: 2 hours, 46 minutes

To learn more:

Kings Island/Soak City Water Park
Mason, Ohio

Ohio’s Kings Island makes an easy weekend trip for Hoosiers. This theme park and recently expanded water park offer a huge slate of thrill rides and family-friendly favorites for the 2013 season.

Don’t miss! Planet Snoopy, Kings Island’s award-winning children’s area, features an awesome kid-sized suspended coaster, log flume, stage show and meet-and-greets with Charlie Brown and the gang.

Insider tip: Hate to wait? Check out the Fast Lane add-ons, which allow guests to bypass the lines for many attractions. This privilege comes at a hefty surcharge but may be worth the cost to families with limited vacation time.

Drive time: 1 hour, 59 minutes

To learn more:

(*Drive times are calculated from Indianapolis using GoogleMaps.)

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