Taking the family to Kalahari Resort in the Poconos is a recipe for an unforgettable adventure filled with memories and fun. Nestled amidst the breathtaking landscapes of the Pocono Mountains, the Kalahari Resort stands as a shining gem.
With its African-inspired ambiance, state-of-the-art facilities, and an array of family-friendly activities, Kalahari is more than just a resort; it’s a gateway to endless fun.
A couple of weeks ago, I took my children, ages 5 and 9, to Great Wolf Lodge and had an amazing time. We had so much fun that my children were begging to go back. Since the outdoor pool area was still under construction. I decided to check out another Pononos resort.
After researching online, I was able to find a great deal for Kalahari Resort and decided to book.
Usually, I wouldn’t take two trips so close together, but I was having a YOLO (you only live once) moment and took the plunge. My credit card will not be thanking me later.
Does Kalahari live up to the hype? Is it a vacation where your children’s laughter and wide-eyed wonder will create memories that will be cherished for years to come?
Let’s dive in and find out!
Booking Kalahari Tips
As I said before, we just returned from a night at Great Wolf Lodge, and I wasn’t planning another trip, but here we are. I wanted to have one last adventure before school started.
Kalahari has an indoor/last outdoor waterpark included in your hotel booking, but it isn’t cheap—weekends in the summer start at around $500 a night. Sundays are cheaper, so I booked a Sunday into Monday and took Monday off. I was able to save $200 by staying Sunday night.
I still wasn’t satisfied with this rate, so I began my internet search for coupon codes. Is it time-consuming, a little? Does it always work? No, but I always give it a try.
First, I checked Groupon. Kalahri often has deals on Groupon. I found nothing for the dates I wanted to go, so I continued my search.
I Googled Kalahri coupon codes that work, and after plugging in about 10 that didn’t work, I was about to give up when, lo and behold, I found one that worked on worthepenny.com that gave me 30% off my room for the night. Success, what a great feeling!
Kalahari offers many different types of rooms. From the standard double queen with a sofa that we book to a five-bedroom penthouse and everything in between. They have something that will fit every family’s needs.
As I said above, I booked the standard room with two queen beds and a sofa. There were two adults and two children the room suited us.
The room was OK. It was clean and a nice size. The beds were queen-sized but seemed a little small to me, if that makes sense. The lines were clean but nothing special, actually I didn’t find them all that comfortable, but it was for one night, and I could live with it.
The bathroom was nice and updated, but the shower, at least in my room, was low flow, and it did take a bit to wash all the shampoo out of my daughter’s hair. The rooms were equipped with toiletries in the shower, White Tea body wash, shampoo, and conditioner. They smelled nice; no complaints there.
They also offered lotion by the sink, which was located outside the bathroom. The room had a hairdryer, microwave, iron with ironing board, and a mini fridge.
They had two bottles of water available at $5 each. I would recommend moving these out of your child’s reach as mine almost opened one, and I wasn’t about to pay $5 per water. They also had coffee and a coffee maker in the room. I don’t drink coffee, so I’m unsure how it was.
I was satisfied with the room.
Kalahari Resort Waterpark Adventure
The indoor and outdoor water parks are the main attraction at Kalahari. We went to Kalahari in August and unfortunately, the weekend we went, it wasn’t that hot or sunny. We enjoyed the outdoor water park for a little bit but spent most of the time at the indoor water park. Let’s take a closer look at both.
Indoor Water Park at Kalahari Resort Poconos
The indoor waterpark at Kalahari Resort is an expansive oasis of excitement that’s open year-round, regardless of the weather outside.
It’s like stepping into a tropical paradise with spiraling water slides for all ages, wave pools, and lazy rivers carrying you along in a relaxing current.
For older children and adults, you’ll find an array of thrilling water slides with heart-pounding drops, twists, and turns to more leisurely rides suitable for younger children and toddlers.
My children spent hours in the indoor water park. They are not thrill seekers and didn’t go on the big slides, but they enjoyed numerous smaller slides and a huge water play area. There were plenty of things for them to do.
If you have toddlers, there are plenty of water activities for them, too; babies can get in on the fun. They had baby swings and a water play area with built-in baby seats inside the water park. They even had a toddler lazy river with small tubes, which I thought was adorable.
There were two popular attractions that we didn’t try, but it is worth mentioning. They have Flowrider, where you can try surfing or body surfing on a 5ft wave simulator. My daughter almost tried it but got nervous, so we skipped it.
They have the first and only virtual reality water slide in the United States. You will be given a VR headset and get launched down a waterslide for an extra thrill.
For an extra $9.99, you can go on as many times as you want throughout the day. There are different virtual reality experiences, so you can have a different experience each time you go.
They have plenty of activities for adults as well. Besides the fun slides and lazy river, they had swim-up bars and inside/outside hot tubs.
They have lockers to rent in the waterpark. We rented a small locker for $25 for the day. You can scan a QR code and pay for the locker from your phone.
I didn’t want to spend the $25 for the locker, but Kalahari Waterpark was big, and I didn’t feel comfortable leaving my personal belongings out when I couldn’t see them. I got a table to leave my beach bag with some water and our towels.
Kalahari does provide guests staying at the resort with towels free of charge. They give you one towel person. You must return towels at the end of the day, or you will be charged $30 per towel.
You can exchange towels as many times as you like during the day. If your towel is all wet, bring it back and get a new one.
The towels were nice and full-sized, like a beach towel.
Outdoor Water Park at Kalahari Resort Ponocos
The outdoor water park and pool were really nice; I was pleasantly surprised. They had outside slides, a large pool with a separate swim-up bar and lounge chairs, and another smaller pool with outside basketball. Kalahari also had outdoor eating areas.
I enjoy the sun and love the outside pool area. I was disappointed that the weather did not corporate.
We hope we can spend more time enjoying the outside water activities when we return next summer.
Kalahari is packed with many fun-filled activities for kids and families.
The Big Game Room Arcade
The arcade was fun for our entire family. They had many games to choose from, entertaining my children during the evening.
The arcade isn’t cheap; I’m quite embarrassed about how much I spent there (I’ll keep that number to myself), but it was fun. $25 gets you 100 play points; with most games being 10 play points and up, $25 doesn’t last long.
The arcade has the glow mini-golf, bumper cars, 7D motion theater, mini bowling, and laser tag.
We played just the laser tag. Laser tag cost $12 a person, and we were able to play two games.
We were the only family there then, so we had the place to ourselves. The games didn’t last long, but it was fun.
The Adventures Club is where the daily activities take place. It is located in the back of the Build-a-Bear store.
Most of these activities offered are an additional charge. We didn’t get the opportunity to try any; however, I did take a peak and saw little ceramics to paint, shirts, and other things to color.
Kids can make slime at the Adventures Club and tie-dye shirts.
Kalahari offers a full-service spa. I didn’t use the spa. Actually, I didn’t even see the spa. I saw it from the outside but not the inside. Kalahari is a big place.
Some of the services offered are facials, massages, manicures, pedicures, haircuts, and styling. They even have spa packages for kids if you want to have a mommy and me day. We were only there one night, we didn’t have time to do everything.
Gorilla Grove Treetop Adventure
Gorilla Grove Treetop Adventures is an outdoor park that offers miniature golf, laser tag, and a ropes course.
We tried the ropes course on our visit.
To do the ropes course, you must be at least 4 – 7 years old and 36″ to 44″ tall for the children’s course and 7 years old and 44″ tall for the adult courses and dual zip lines.
Participants must be of sound body and mind, capable of performing specific safety tasks independently, and be physically able to grasp and pull ropes, climb and balance, and not have an extreme fear of heights.
The website states to bring your own gloves, or you can purchase gloves. We did not have gloves, and we did not purchase any; our hands were fine.
We initially had an issue because we paid for two adults and two children, and both adults could not complete the course. My youngest is 5, so we thought we would do the two smaller courses with him, and one adult would take turns going on the bigger courses with my daughter.
Initially, the person that rang us up said that was OK; we later learned that adults could not switch back and forth and that one of us would not be allowed to do the ropes course.
We asked for one adult refund. However, there are no refunds at Gorilla Grove.
We spoke with the manager, who agreed to let us switch back and forth and also gave us a pass for an adult pass and four rounds of mini-golf that would be good for a year.
After the issues with passes, I also had an issue with my outfit. You cannot wear tank tops or short shorts. Luckily I had a pajama shirt in the car and another pair of shorts. Make sure you come prepared with sneakers, a t-shirt, and shorts that are mid-thigh or longer.
We all enjoyed the ropes course. If I dare to say, it was the most fun I had on the trip. It was the first time my 9-year-old and myself went on a zip line. We loved it. My daughter said she got a boost of confidence in completing the course.
Again, the ropes course was not cheap for two adults and two children. It cost $209.00 for the two hours you get to use the course, but it was loads of fun.
I would definitely do it again.
I recommend it more for families with children over 7. My son was 5, and there was a small course for him, but he finished it within 20 minutes and had to wait with his dad until my daughter, and I finished our courses.
Kalahari has a variety of dining options for the entire family to enjoy.
B-Lux Grill & Bar is a burger joint with fancy milkshakes. My pick to eat with the kids.
Double Cut Steak House is an upscale steak house.
Sortino’s Italian Kitchen is a nice Italian restaurant.
Cinco Ninos is a Mexican restaurant, and tequila bae
The Last Bite has ice cream, cookies, and chocolates, even some sweets to bring home to your dog.
Café Mirage has burgers, wraps, and fries and is your best option for eating while at the indoor water park.
Marrakesh Market: Some grab-and-go options. My son absolutely loves yogurt, and they had his favorite there.
Great Karoo Marketplace is where to go for a breakfast buffet. They even have character dining on the weekends.
We didn’t get to try all the restaurants but enjoyed lunch at Café Mirage; we ordered and picked up our food and then brought it to our table in the waterpark.
We also went to the buffet for breakfast. They had a variety of options, something for everyone, even picky eaters.
My kids enjoyed pancakes, eggs, pizza, and muffins; I enjoyed the omelet station.
Tips for Kalahari Resort Poconos
Here are some tips to make your trip to Kalahari easier.
Kalahari is completing cashless (except for the kiosk at the arcade). No credit or debit card? No problem.
Kalahari has a machine in the lobby where you can put cash in, and they will give you a card. This is cool, especially if you’re traveling with older kids who may want to bring their own money or if you are giving your children a certain amount to spend on the trip.
Just turn the cash into a card right in the lobby. I thought this was a cool feature. I didn’t use it, so I am unsure if a fee is involved.
Don’t forget sunscreen, swimwear, and water shoes for the waterpark. If traveling with children, I always bring a couple of band-aids, Towels are provided at the waterpark, but you may want to bring extras for convenience.
Kids under 48 inches much wear a life jacket. Life jackets are available at the park. Children are not allowed to wear swimmies.
You can bring your own food to Kalahari. I packed a bunch of snacks for our trip. Having a stash of snacks and water bottles, ) can be a lifesaver, especially when you’re on the go. This is particularly helpful when the kids need a quick energy boost, and it saved me some money.
When you enter the water park, there is a sign that says no outside drinks or food; they check your bags when you enter the park. However, I brought water bottles and snacks on both days; no one said anything.
Bring clothing for different activities:
If you plan to try Gorilla Tree Top Adventure, you will need a short sleeve shirt, no tank tops, and closed-toed shoes. Be prepared, I was wearing a tank top, and they made me change. It’s a good thing I had a pajama shirt in the car.
Visit During Off-Peak Times:
If your travel dates are flexible, consider visiting during off-peak times to avoid larger crowds. This can make the experience more enjoyable, especially if you’re traveling with younger children. If possible, I would avoid going on the weekend. Khalari sells day passes, and it gets very crowded.
You can use the water park starting at 10 AM the day you arrive and other amenities even earlier. Get the most out of your stay by arriving early in the day.
Find a Table Early
Start your day early. The water park opens at 10 AM. I recommend arriving at 10 AM to get a nice spot for the day. Try looking for a table in a more secluded area, such as behind the little kid’s slides or in the back; it will be more private and less crowded.
Stay Informed About Entertainment:
Check the resort’s schedule for family-friendly entertainment like character meet and greets and workshops. These activities can provide additional opportunities for family fun and bonding.
Should You Visit Kalahari in the Poconos?
Visiting Kalahari is a fun experience for the entire family. From the indoor-outdoor water activities to the arcade and other onsite amenities, I recommend going to Kalahari.
How Long Should I Stay at Kalahari?
There are many factors in answering this question. How far do you live from Kalahari? How much do you want to spend? How much time do you really need before getting bored?
For our family, one night was enough. When you stay one night, you actually get to enjoy the park for two days, and that was a good amount of time for us. If we had nicer weather, I think we would have enjoyed two days. The outside pool area is nice.
In the evenings, everything you do costs extra, so the longer you stay, the longer you will spend. If you go to the arcade, play laser tag, watch the 7D motion movie, play mini golf, or shop at Build-a-Bear, expect to spend a couple of 100 dollars.
Kalahari was a fun experience for our family, and we would return. My children enjoyed Great Wolf Lodge better because they love playing MagiQuest, but Kalahari was a close second.