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All the best indoor water parks in Canada

Splish splash those gray and icy winter days away, in the country’s best aquatic jungle gyms.

All the best indoor water parks in Canada

B.C.

H2O adventure & Fitness Centre

If the three twisty tube slides (60-, 80- and 90-metres long) and spray park for the younger set (think jets, toys and spray nozzles) isn’t enough to make you pack up your goggles and towels and hit this centre, we’re pretty sure the lure of the lazy river will do it. Relax on a floating device and let the current move you through the park. If your surfer dude or dudette is up for a totally rad experience (and is taller than 42 inches), she can try the FlowRider – an ocean-wave simulator perfect for wannabe boogie boarders. Swimming lessons available.

Free for members. Adults, $11; teens, $8; children 3 to 12, $6; kids younger than 3 get in free. 4075 Gordon Dr., Kelowna. 250-764-4040 Get more information at h2okelowna.ca
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Alberta

two boys at west edmonton water park in canada Photo: West Edmonton Mall

World Waterpark

Whether you live in Edmonton or are just visiting, a trip to the internationally renowned West Edmonton Mall is a no-brainer; just be sure to bring your swimsuits. World Waterpark features Blue Thunder (the biggest indoor wave pool on earth), as well as 17 awesome slides (beginner to “extreme”), including one of the coolest and scariest around: the Cyclone.  (If you’re brave enough – and at least 10 years old – you’ll step into a capsule, the door will close and the floor will fall beneath you, sending you straight down before doing a feet-first loop.) For folks who steer clear of heights, there’s a massive jungle gym with plenty of pull ropes, water buckets and spray nozzles. Toddlers and infants can splash around in the Dolphin kiddie pool and water playground. Rent life jackets and floating tubes from the on-site Sharky’s Supply Shack, and eat at one of four concession areas.
General admission, $45; Children (under 48 inches), $35; kids younger than two get in free. (You get 10% off though if you buy your tickets online) 8882-170 St. N.W., Edmonton. 780-444-5300 Get more information at wem.ca

Village Square Leisure Centre

There’s plenty to do at this rec centre – one of Calgary’s most popular facilities for birthday parties, after-school programs, public skating and hanging out poolside. The Safari Splash Zone features a 500-gallon dump bucket, swaying bridges and a ball swing kids can use to plunge into the wave pool. The wildest slide around – the Thunder Run – loops in and out of the building. But what sets this park apart from the others are the Nuclear Globe Balls – inflatable two-metre balls that float while you climb in, hold onto the handles and walk on water. (Kids younger than seven must be accompanied by an adult.)
Adults, $12; kids seven to 17, $6; kids two to six, $3; kids younger than two get in free. 2623 56 St. N. E., Calgary. 403-366-3900 Get more information at calgary.ca

Saskatchewan

girl on water tube cheering Photo: iStockphoto

The Gallagher Centre

Little ones can splish-splash on the beach-like entry into the wave pool, while older swimmers enjoy the two-storey waterslide, lazy river and whirlpool. Not only can you rent out the party room for birthday celebrations, but go for the Parent of the Year Award and rent out the entire wave pool for a really reasonable rate – $121.50 per hour. Visit on chilly winter weekends for the centre’s Sunday family swims from 1 to 3p.m.
Adults, $8; kids seven to 17, $6; kids three to six, $5; kids younger than two get in free. 455 Broadway St. W., Yorkton. 306-786-1740 Get more information at gallaghercentre.com

Manitoba

little girl with a tube Photo: iStockphoto

Splashers Indoor Pool & Waterslide

Billed as Manitoba’s largest indoor waterslide and aquatic centres, there are seven Splashers locations throughout the province (five in Winnipeg, one in Brandon and one in Portage la Prairie) inside Canad Inns, which also offer accommodations, entertainment centres and restaurants. Each spot boasts large pools, wading pools, hot tubs and great water features, like tube slides and spraying mushrooms.
Contact Canad Inns for admission rates. Seven locations across Manitoba. 888-332-2623 Get more information at canadinns.com

Shindleman Aquatic Centre at PCU Centre

When temperatures dip below zero and your brood is craving a day at the beach, this water park offers everything they’ll need to recreate that summertime feeling with a beach-like entry, a shallow area for little tykes, a huge leisure pool and a relaxing lazy river. When June rolls around, you have the choice of staying indoors or heading outdoors to Splash Island (open June to September), where there’s another pool, mini waterfalls, fountains and two huge slides: Splash Attack and Funnel Tunnel. Adults, $7; children three to 17, $5; kids younger than two, $3. 245 Royal Rd. S., Portage la Prairie. 204-857-7772 Get more information at pcucentre.ca

Ontario

boy playing on a water jungle gym Photo: Great Wolf Lodge

Great Wolf Lodge

This themed family resort and super-warm 84-degree water park was built for water babies of all ages – kids will want to spend their entire time at the Lodge frolicking in the 100,000-square-foot pool area. It’s a little overwhelming when you walk into the massive indoor paradise to see hundreds of other families splashing around, but it’s big enough for everyone to enjoy. In keeping with the theme, kids can play on treetop slides, suspension bridges and swinging nets, while tweens will get a kick out of the Canada Vortex – a slide with a 40-foot drop. You’ll find families bobbing in the rolling waves of Rainbow Lake, which start every 10 minutes and last for three.
Water park is reserved exclusively for guests of the resort. Call for reservations. Rooms start at $250. 3950 Victoria Ave., Niagara Falls. 905-354-4888 Get more information at greatwolf.com/niagara
two girl in a playground tunnel Photo: Plunge! Blue Mountain

Plunge! Blue Mountain

Head north to Ontario’s cottage country – and the province’s biggest mountain range – and spend some time at this popular resort. At the base of the mountain is Plunge!, where you’ll find indoor-outdoor pools, rope swings, slides and a cool water playground. If you’re missing a few essentials, the on-site tuck shop sells bathing suits, goggles and swim diapers. Ages 13+, $20; Children aged three to 12, 15$; kids younger than two get in free. 220 Gord Canning Dr., Blue Mountain. 705-444-8705 Get more information at plungebluemountain.ca

The Wave Pool

The Lois Hancey Aquatic Centre, in the heart of downtown Richmond Hill, has been one of the most visited recreation centres in town since The Wave Pool opened its doors. As the only indoor wave pool in the Greater Toronto Area, families come from all over to surf and swim through the four-foot waves and zoom down the 160-foot-long waterslide. Next to the wave pool is a swirl pool, as well as an on-deck sauna for parents who want a few minutes to relax.
Adults, $10; children three to 15, $6; kids under the age of three get in free. 5 Hopkins St., Richmond Hill. 905-508-9283 Get more information at richmondhill.ca

New Brunswick

pirate ship and pool of kids Photo: Aquatic and Sports Centre

Aquatic and Sports Centre

The pools in this centre have some of the coolest features for kids (and the young at heart). Besides the exercise pool (with two lanes dedicated to swimming laps and water aerobic exercise classes such as aqua Zumba) and another six-lane pool, there’s a recreational pool that caters to little ones. The twisty waterslide and umbrella soaker are always open, as is the excellent pirate ship for tots to climb up and play on (there’s a small slide off the ship, as well as water sprays that squirt mateys who are overboard). What’s most impressive about the centre’s aquatic offerings is the giant Wibit inflatable structures that are set up on Saturdays for the public swim sessions. There’s an air-filled tower that kids can climb up and jump into the water from the Wibit AquaTrack – a floatable obstacle course. Adults, $8; kids 12 and younger get in for $5. 111 Aquatique St., Dieppe. 506-877-7881 Get more information at dieppe.ca

Canada Games Aquatic Centre

There’s a pool just for tots and a tropical swim area, flowing with warm-water leisure pools, poolside hot tubs, a steam room and sauna. All pools, slides and diving boards are open for Sunday family swims, but the most exciting time to take your youngsters for a dip is definitely during the “Ultimate Swim” sessions. Kids and their pals will enjoy playing water volleyball and testing the swinging Tarzan rope. The school-aged, tween and teen sets (as well as their parents) will want to try out one of the new Water Walkerz Balls. (Climb into the ball and you’ll roll around while floating across the pool.) Adults, $8; children four to 16, $5; kids three and younger, $2. 50 Union St., Saint John. 506-658-4715 Get more information at aquatics.nb.ca
A version of this article appeared in our February 2014 issue with the headline "All the best indoor water parks," pp. 82-6, and was originally published online Dec. 2015. Read more: 5 family-friendly hiking trails in PEI 4 family-friendly water parks in Vancouver  3 family-friendly water parks in Edmonton
This article was originally published on Dec 20, 2015

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