I'll be the first to admit it: I'm not an "artificial environment" kind of person.
I like that New York has seasons, and that each season brings its own activities. January is for sledding. August is for camping. April's for watching the squirrels eat my tulips.
I kind of enjoy not being able to do everything all the time. It makes seasonal activities more special.
Which makes it all the more strange for me to admit: The Six Flags Great Escape Lodge and Indoor Waterpark is pretty fun.
The place is, yes, artificial: Fake rocks, fake flowers, fake tree trunks. And there's something disorienting about staring up from a water slide to see snow dusting the skylights. It feels wrong, somehow.
But by mid-January, spending so much time housebound leaves us ready for an overnight getaway. And hey, it's good to stand the seasons on their head now and then.
The water park is not that large of a place: Three "big" slides; a playground with spray features, smaller slides, and buckets; a lazy river; a kid's activity pool; a surf ride. But for us at least, it's enough for a long, splashy afternoon.
If you're like me, your first question may be: Is it warm enough? Yeah, it's all right. Honestly, if they cranked up the heat 10 degrees it'd be better. But even when wet you'll be comfortable.
The water slide tunnels snake outside the building, and when you're in them, you can tell it's 10 degrees out there. But zipping through the chill on your inner tube is more exhilarating than uncomfortable.
Adults can relax in the hot tub or numb the cold by sipping a draft beer poolside.
The water park is attached to a hotel heavy on the Adirondack decor. Being owned by a theme park, it offers a number of "family friendly" activities: crafts, evening story time, visits from guys in character suits.
There are restaurants where you can grab dinner without leaving the hotel with your pool-wet hair. Alternately, every room has a microwave; pack leftovers and picnic on your couch.
Admission to the water park is included with a room reservation.
Weekday room rates are quite different from the weekends (read: "school night" vs. "not a school night"); if your schedule allows you to stay midweek, you could save. And some days you may have the water park practically to yourselves. (So if you want to ride "The Avalanche" sixteen times in a row, hey, go for it.)
The water park stays open till 9 p.m., so after dinner we returned for a few more spins around the lazy river before retiring to our room for board games and bed.
A wet swimsuit left on the windowsill all night was stiff with ice by morning. Real life beckoned.
But it was nice to take a break from it.
Great Escape Lodge and Indoor Waterpark
1213 State Route 9
Queensbury, NY 12804
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