We were hosted by Kalahari Resorts to make this article about Kalahari Resort’s mermaid class and experience possible. To have your resort featured on Jersey Family Fun, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Escape to Kalahari – in Pennsylvania!
You may remember that earlier this summer, Jersey Family Fun was invited to the Brooklyn Museum to preview the Mandela Poster Project, as brought to the US by Kalahari Resorts. That evening, my children were convinced that I was going to the Kalahari Resort in Pennsylvania and they were JEALOUS! All they could talk about is how they were eager to visit Kalahari again. We had our summer vacation planned already, and so many other obligations come up in those 2 school free months that it seemed impossible.
However, my daughter’s birthday is at the end of August and this year we decided to forego having a party and celebrate at Kalahari instead. When making our reservation I was asked if we were celebrating anything, and I wondered what surprises would await the birthday girl beyond what we’d planned (keep reading!). Though we’d been at two water parks in the first two weeks of August it didn’t matter – we were all eagerly anticipating our trip!
Our last Kalahari visit was in November 2015, just a few months after the Pennsylvania location opened. It’s about an hour and forty minutes from our Union County home (though there was more traffic than we expected). Your reservation includes waterpark admission starting at noon on the day of arrival, and until closing on departure day. That’s a great value! Plan to arrive at noon and get right to the park – it’s right in the hotel!
Our check in was fast and our room was ready but even if it wasn’t, we could keep our luggage in our car (self park for free or valet at a fee), or store with the bellhop. Our daughter sure was surprised, she was given a button exclaiming it was her birthday AND some complimentary arcade credit. Once you’ve been to the mega arcade at Kalahari many others can’t compare; she was thrilled (and even shared with her brother) to be given more beyond what her parents budgeted!
The Kalahari Resort room we were given was the same style as last year’s, (see our Kalahari Resort review and video tour here) this year with a view to the outdoor pool. And that’s where we headed, as it wasn’t open during our last trip in the fall. With two outdoor pools and plenty of tables and lounge chairs, we spent hours out there on a gorgeous day.
Adults indulged in the swim up bar while kids and families played in the graduated pool (so great for the little ones!). I got some reading time in on the lounge chairs that sit on the edge of the pool, in water! Another outdoor pool offered basketball. At 3:00 pm, we took a snack break: every day at 3 PM in the Adventurer’s Club all guests can decorate a sugar cookie with colorful icing and sprinkles. There are so many Adventurer’s Club activities that are FREE or low cost at Kalahari! Enter a coloring contest, listen to story time or tie dye a shirt – IF you can find the time away from the waterpark. We hoped to get to more but just couldn’t pull ourselves away!
When we ventured inside we went straight to a ride we hadn’t done last time – the FlowRider. The daredevil men checked it out while the ladies waited and watched and cheered. Our favorite Kalahari slide is the Anaconda, and there were some runs on that while Mom waited in the indoor/outdoor hot tub. It’s still my favorite place to be at Kalahari!
Become “Part of That World”!
Now you may be wondering what this mermaid talk is about – we had a full and satisfying day at Kalahari but no mention of mermaids! Kalahari offers classes for surfing on the FlowRider AND a mermaid experience class, in which students put on a tail and swim in the pool. Both are held when the waterpark is closed to the public. My daughter has been desperately wanting a mermaid tail, since we don’t have a place for her to use it, so we’ve had to say no. Having her turn into a mermaid for an hour was the ultimate birthday present!
We woke up early on her birthday and headed to the waterpark for her mermaid experience. Our merman instructor Robert met us to lead us to the pool, and there were no other classmates. A private mermaid lesson on your 11th birthday?! Perfect! She got to choose a tail (if you have a tail you can bring your own or purchase your own in the gift shop and it comes with a free mermaid lesson) and after a quick demonstration of her swimming skill it was tail time.
Robert explained how to strap her feet into the monofin, the plastic fin at the bottom of the tail. The tail cover rolls on like pantyhose and is pretty comfortable. Robert showed her how to smack the water like a mermaid, suggested forward and back flips and handstands. For an hour, it was life as a mermaid! Robert guided her but the exploration and the rest of the mermaid experience was all up to her. All this playing was under the watch of a lifeguard, and while no other guests were in the park – some classes may have multiple students but no one else had signed up for our time.
Watch our mermaid lesson for yourself!
Toward the end of our hour long class, mermaid’s brother and dad came in to observe. My daughter’s beaming face (and her brother’s stunned one) confirmed that becoming a mermaid was an amazing birthday experience!
After that early morning mermaid experience lesson we were hungry and there was a birthday breakfast to be had! There’s a breakfast buffet, a restaurant, or grab and go coffee shop to choose from in the resort. Other meals can be had in the waterpark cafe or the food court area at the arcade, Cafe Mirage, which is so much better than you’d expect! Of course you can also bring food to your room or the lobby, but outside food is not allowed in the waterpark. We spent our second day in the waterpark getting our fill of our favorites and just enjoying the atmosphere. We felt comfortable letting our kids explore on their own a bit as we got some time to ourselves. Oh and we got that arcade time of course! We love the Kalahari arcade and its large prize room.
As if all that wasn’t enough, Kalahari is undergoing a major expansion! A Safari Outdoor Adventure Park is coming this Fall and a large addition to the waterpark is scheduled to open in March. With it comes a wave pool, more slides and more activities. There’s even a drop slide where the floor opens out from under you! We cannot wait!
The Poconos has quite a few major waterpark resorts now, but we can’t imagine a better place than Kalahari Resorts. It has become that place where we can reconnect as a family, where memories are made and dreams came true! It’s that familiar but fun place we look forward to returning to year after year. When I asked my daughter what I should tell our readers, she quickly said, “It’s the best place ever and every kid will love it.”
For more photos of Kalahari Resorts visit our Facebook album. Here’s a preview.
Every time we visit Kalahari we have fun! Read about all our visits to Kalahari Resorts with Kids. To make your reservation for Kalahari Resorts in the Poconos, click over to their site at www.kalahariresorts.com/pennsylvania.
To arrange a feature on your location contact Jennifer Auer, Jersey Family Fun publisher.