Our Family VS the Indoor Waterpark…

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The week of Thanksgiving, we planned a week-long family vacation to the beach – full of sun, sand and… SUN.

But then we spent our vacation money on having Big Hairy Dog’s giant tumor removed.


So we decided to take a little 3-day getaway instead.

To an indoor waterpark.

No sun. No sand. But water and warmth.

Two days before we left, the 2-year old woke up with a fever. I took him the doctor and was assured that it was nothing serious.

Me: We’re supposed to take the kids to an indoor waterpark day after tomorrow. Are you comfortable with him going?

Doctor: Bwahahahaha! Oh – yeah – he’s fine to go. And I’ll see you all on the day you get back.

Me: What? Is he sick?

Doctor: Nope. But most of you will have diarrhea by the time you leave the waterpark. Have fun!

Was I concerned by her warning?

A little.

Was I concerned enough to change our plans?

No way.

So off we drove to an awesome indoor waterpark three hours away.

It was pure heaven.

There were bunkbeds in our hotel room.


The water was warm.

At one point, I even felt too hot for a second.

Simon had a fever for most of our trip, but that didn’t slow him down a single bit. In fact, I think the lazy river helped his fever.

The kids loved it.


And – even better – Even Steven and I loved it. On our second day there, we started brainstorming about all the different times we’d be returning.

For kids birthdays. For a quick getaway in February.

We might have even talked about leaving the kids with his mom for a weekend and hitting the waterpark by ourselves.

photo (17)

It was that much fun.

On Thanksgiving morning, we took one last spin down the waterslides, said goodbye to our bunkbeds and headed to Matt’s aunt and uncle’s house for Thanksgiving dinner.

And on our two-hour drive home that night, we had to stop so that Alice could have diarrhea in a Walgreen’s bathroom. And she had a fever of 105.

We thought it must have been a coincidence…

On Friday, we woke up to the sound of Simon puking in his bed.

On Saturday, we woke up to the sound of Alice puking in her bed.

On Sunday, I was the one puking.

And we spent the entire next WEEK with at least one person puking or having diarrhea every single day.

Yes, I said a week.

At one point, Even Steven was in the basement washing sheets and towels, Simon was in the tub getting cleaned up after throwing up all over himself, Alice was sitting on the toilet having diarrhea, and I was laying on the bathroom floor debating on whether I should throw up in the sink or in the tub.

It’s possible that I cried a little.

If you count the fever that Simon had before we left for the waterpark, we had either fevers or puking every single day for 15 entire days.

We’re still awaiting the results of a stool culture to determine whether or not we were dealing with a parasite from the waterpark – although most signs are pointing to yes. And – by the way – where’s my gold medal for obtaining a stool sample from a 2-year-old?

On day 5 of puking/diarrhea – Even Steven and I said we would definitely still go back to an indoor waterpark. Totally worth it.

On day 8 – we decided maybe we’d limit our stay to one night only.

On day 10 – we decided that we just wouldn’t go in the winter anymore.

And now? Now I’m thinking that I’ll leave Even Steven with the kids and go by myself.

For a month.

What about you? Do you love indoor waterparks – or do they make you puke?


  1. John Woodard

    December 10, 2013 at 6:42 am

    My entire family loves, loves, loves indoor water parks, specifically Great Wolf Lodge (the only one in range of us, about three hours just like you). Both of my kids have actually had trips there be their birthday presents, at their request. We’ve gone pretty much every season other than Summer (November, February, April, September that I can think of). To date we have had one kid puke, and we think she was just car sick since she never did it again (she was reading; I can’t read in the car so I think maybe she can’t either).

  2. Janine Huldie

    December 10, 2013 at 6:54 am

    I have never been to an indoor water park, but the experience afterwards that you described truly makes me never want to set foot near one. I can handle a lot, but puking still gets me every time. So not thanks and think I will wait until summer time and go back to our outdoor water park if we can.

  3. [email protected] Days

    December 10, 2013 at 7:14 am

    Ummmm… luckily here in New Zealand there are no real indoor water parks unless you count the giant slides at the local gym pool (yuck don’t go there anyway)… so I think we will stick to the little paddling pool in the back garden lol…
    Ugh you poor thing that sounds so awful! But on a positive note – how cute are you in your bikini?

  4. Stephanie

    December 10, 2013 at 8:33 am

    I haven’t been to an indoor water park, but as long as my kids are in diapers I don’t think its on our horizon. :/ My little guy got a parasite/infection this summer from the SPLASH park at an outdoor amusement park. It was miserable for him & my already incredibly tiny child lost 3 lbs. (he weighs 20 lbs now at 2& 1/4 years old) We will be avoiding all circumstances that can lead to that.

  5. Jessica

    December 10, 2013 at 9:05 am

    We go to indoor water parks a few times a year and haven’t had any trouble. I think the Hubs and I love it more then the kids, they are so wore out by 8pm that the sitter watches TV quietlywhile while the kids sleep and we go to the tiki bar and hot tub alone!!

  6. Billie

    December 10, 2013 at 9:42 am

    We’ve been to Soaring Eagle in Mt. Pleasant, MI about 2 hours away, where we stayed the night. My only problem was that they opened so late in the morning that we didn’t get much play time before it was time to leave. But we really prefer to go to Avalanche Bay that is only about 35 miles away. We go 2-3 times a year and we’ve never had a problem. There is a visit planned for the near future because the kids requested tickets from the grandparents for Christmas.

  7. Denise

    December 10, 2013 at 10:04 am

    I wonder why an indoor water park is more dangerous than an outdoor one? More sick kids this time of year?

  8. tatem

    December 10, 2013 at 11:46 am

    there is a nasty, nasty thing going around right now. kids are puking and pooping all over the place based on my Facebook feed. and then their parents are getting it and whole families are taking turns and sometimes simultaneously in the the restroom or the bed. whatever is most convenient. i am living in fear. especially we have only one bathroom. i guess one can have the toilet, the other the tub and the other can have one of the sinks or go outside? yuck. hope everyone is well soon.

  9. Sarah @Just The Bees Knees

    December 10, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    Oh Anna:( You deserve the biggest gold medal ever!! On the plus side, you look HOT in that bikini girl!! Are you sure you birthed 3 kids, or is this blog all a hoax?!

  10. Ashlee

    December 10, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Girl, look at you in your bikini with your three kids! Hot mama! I know Even Steven is proud to have that standing beside him!

    What is the deal with indoor waterparks? Are parasites common to catch there? I would totally consider it but puking and diarrhea just doesn’t sit well with me enough to risk it.

  11. [email protected] fordeville diaries

    December 10, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    Any desire I had to take my kids to a water park is now officially dead. So thank you for saving me from 15 days of parasitic family activity. (And glad everyone is finally better!)

  12. the mean mama

    December 11, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    15 days? That is so much extra laundry!!! Curse that doctor for Cursing your family.

  13. Kimberly

    December 12, 2013 at 11:26 pm

    I have taken our children to an indoor water park and it was fun, however when taking children i recomend at least one adult per child… especially when you have 5 all between 2 and 6 and two of them are autistic.
    Anyways we never experienced your unfortunate events afterwards however I really laughed and enjoyed your part about hubby doing laundry, kid in the tub, kid on the toilet and you on the floor because honestly I can feel your pain I have so been there however I think the worst puking/diarrhea story I can remember is my oldest son was 2 and I was pregnant and he had diarrhea in his diaper and when I went to change him the smell was so bad I threw up all over him creating a very stinky not so fun mess for my husband to clean up!! 🙂 The things we go through as a mother!! Thanks for sharing your story…. I would still go back to the water park 😉 five kids sick is more interesting 😉

  14. Christie

    December 14, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    I am not quite sure I could handle the aftermath….but it sounds like such a great time! And excuse me, you are ROCKIN’ that bikini!

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  16. Missy

    February 24, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    Soooooo… We haven’t braved a waterpark for 3 years because of my memories of spending 8 hours in our hotel room puking. This neverending cold and snow must have turned me crazy and given me amnesia cuz I was the one with the bright idea to surprise our 4 and 7 year old with a trip this past weekend. The kids had a blast!!! We all were, and so I had another bright idea. Let’s stay an extra night!!! Right after we decided to do that the plans kinda took a turn for the worse…. Kids were cranky, overtired and hungry, daddy was hungry and second guessing our choice, which then pushed me into the anxiety pool. After napping kids and dad seemed better so back to Waterpark we go. 4yrold decided to start playing well again, finding little buddies in every pool. 7yrold did the same, which gave us a little breathing room:)
    Then I saw it happen. Brown chunks coming down the waterslide. Thinking I’m seeing things but NOPE all if a sudden kiddie land is closed and I see the poor mom cupping her hands, catching the puke as its coming out of the culprit’s mouth. And i know. It’s already too late.
    So when 4yrold wakes up this am after everyone had a great night’s sleep telling me she’s gonna puke, I already know. And of course she only wants pukophobia mommy, no one else. So in the car ride home I got to experience the awesome experience of holding a puke bucket, trying not to do it myself. No more waterpark adventures for this momma!!!

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