Family Travel Tips: Aquatopia at Camelback Lodge

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This post was not sponsored in any way. I did win a one night’s accomodations by entering a contest hosted by The New York Mom (Thank you, Maria!).

We love to travel, especially road trips because they are fun, short and doable for many families. We ventured only one hour and 45 minutes away from New York City to Tannersville, PA to visit the new indoor water park, Aquatopia, at Camelback Lodge. For a weekend trip, there’s many things to know. (We only tried out Aquatopia because it was a rainy weekend, but know that there is an outdoor waterpark, Camelbeach that Camelback Lodge visitors are able to use as part of their stay.)

Below are my family travel tips: Aquatopia at Camelback Lodge: 

Family Travel Tips: Aquatopia at Camelback Lodge

Family Travel Tips Aquatopia

  • Check-in time is at 4pm. You can get there early, hang out and play at the Arcadia, have lunch and snacks. You can even change into your bathing suits while your room is getting ready.  
  • If your kids are old enough and enjoy rock climbing, laser tagging, climbing on a 3-story ropes courses and mini-golfing, get them an “All Stay Pass” which is $34.99 and allows unlimited passes for everything except for laser tag, which they can play once per day. My girls would do the ropes course twice a day, plus multiple rock climbing and mini-golf, so buying the All Stay Pass is the way to go.
  • Use the resort wristband as your wallet. You’ll be given an orange wristband when you check-in. Like at other resorts, the wristband acts as your room key and, if you choose, your wallet. You can add any amount of money to your account and if you don’t use it up, your credit card will be credited. My suggestion is to do it since you’ll be wearing a bathing suit most of the time and carrying around a wallet will be cumbersome.
  • Go on a Sunday. We came in on a Saturday and stayed through early Monday. Saturday at Aquatopia was definitely busy; finding a few lounge chairs next to each other took a few minutes but it was doable. Sunday was a different story. There were many lounge chairs and tables for eating. Lines weren’t too long for the big water rides compared to Saturday.
  • If you go on a Saturday, spring for a Cabana. If you can, spring for the Cabana which has its own ceiling fan, dining table, chairs, sofas, coffee table, lounge chairs, TV and two-seater sofas. It doesn’t have as many “extras” as other Cabanas in other amusement parks that we’ve visited, but if you need a “home base” this is perfect — especially on a busy Saturday.

The Cabana at Aquatopia | Family Travel Tips: Aquatopia at Camelback Lodge

  • There are many stairs. If you plan on going on the larger water rides, you’ll have to climb a lot of stairs. I mean a lot. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
  • It’s great for kids of all ages and water-ride interest. My 2nd grader wasn’t into any of the daring rides, so she stayed at Kartrite’s Adventures, a multi-level “ship” that had smaller water slides, and interactive activities. There’s also a lazy river and a wave pool that was fun to do as a family. For baby and toddlers, there’s a smaller water area with swings, slides, water spouts and sprinklers.  
  • Make sure you hit the indoor-outdoor “hot” tub. It’s not as hot as other hot tubs, so its great for families. It’s also fun to be able to sit outside and feel the breeze while you’re relaxing. Make sure to get a seat with the jet so you can get a massage!

Room Accommodations at Camelback Lodge

The Rooms at Camelback Lodge | Family Travel Tips: Aquatopia at Camelback LodgePros:

  • The rooms have been newly redone in all of Camelback Lodge. (When we were there, there was a whole wing that was still being built!).
  • Rooms are pretty sound-proof! Our room was #101. Which meant two things: we were on the ground floor, and we were close to all the commotion. And in fact, we were: our room was literally right next to all the arcade games, but I can tell you, our room was sound-proof. When our door was closed, we could not hear any of the dings, bells and whistles from the arcade area.  
  • Fully equipped with a microwave, small refrigerator, and a clothes line in the bathtub which you can use to hang up wet bathing suits. 
  • Sofa bed pulls out for extra guests. 

Cons:  

  • The thing you need to know about the rooms that start with a “1” is that the outdoor space is actually below ground level so our view was literally a patch of dirt and a wall (I forgot to take a picture), so it was darker in our room than I would imagine other rooms with balconies that looked out into the open. Tip: If you do get a 100 room, it’s OK – because you’ll actually be right near all the action (including Aquatopia), so if you need to run back and get anything, it’s really easy and not a big deal. PLUS, you’re hardly in your room!
  • Our room, was a little dark because of its location (see above pros); the room needed a floor lamp by the pull-out sofa bed if we wanted to sit and play cards or read a magazine.
  • Our electricity situation was bazaar: in order to have the reading lights on by our beds, we had to have the (very bright) light by the microwave and fridge on. And in order to turn off the reading lights, we had to get up and turn off the light by the microwave and fridge. It was a little strange. No falling asleep while reading…

Again, it was a fine room; we were hardly in it…except for sleeping and showering. 

Activities at Camelback Lodge

You and your family will be pretty exhausted at the end of a day. There are many activities in and out of the water (as you can see from the collage up above).  

The Ropes Course | Family Travel Tips: Aquatopia at Camelback Lodge

  • Ropes Course
  • Rock Climbing
  • Laser Tag
  • Arcadia arcade game area
  • Mini-Golf
  • And of course the water rides, which themselves have many activities: water sprayers and guns, inside-outside hot tub
  • Lazy River

What to Wear at Aquatopia + Camelback Lodge

You’ll be wet, you’ll be on many water rides, and you’ll be running around after your kids. So, comfort is key. Below are my must-haves both in- and out-of the water.

The Wave Pool | Family Travel Tips: Aquatopia at Camelback Lodge

    • Swim Cover-up: If you’re not heading off to a ride, you’ll be much more comfortable walking around in a swim cover up. So make sure to pack one that is quick-drying and easy. I love the options from LOFT below. 
    • Athletic Bathing Suit: No skimpy, string bikinis here. Function and comfort is key. Remember that you’ll be going down water slides, in a wave pool, perhaps even boogie boarding on the FlowRider. You don’t want anything to (ahem) fall out. I wore a tankini and swim shorts and was very comfortable. 
    • Flip-Flops: This is obvious. I love my Havainas because they’re stylish and comfortable. Form & function all-in-one.
    • Swim Shoes: If you get skeeved out easily, water shoes are the way to go. I was fine walking around and
    • Goggles: Always, especially in a pool area. 
    • Sneakers: You won’t need this in Aquatopia, but you’ll need socks and sneakers if you plan on doing any activities in Arcadia. 
    • Sweater and Jeans: the Arcadia area is air-conditioned. You’ll want some sort of cover-up. I forgot a sweatshirt and I was cold. 

My Fashion Picks for Aquatopia:

What to Eat at Aquatopia

There are a few options for dining at Aquatopia and the food is pretty standard, although a few standouts while we were there. 

  • Hemisphere: Hot and cold Buffet dining for the whole family for breakfast and dinner. It’s an easy option because everything is readily available, and if your kids don’t like something, then they can always get something else to eat. There is a salad bar and fresh and sliced fruit.  For breakfast there are eggs and an omelette station, but no egg whites as an option. Desserts were a hit, as well as the German Spaetzel (SO GOOD!!)  and pork roast. Hats off to the chefs for cooking them up!
  • Neptunes: Has a seafood and sushi menu (not available until after 3pm) and a small kids menu; this seems to be a bit “snazzier” of all the options and the food was fine. 
  • Colonial Commons: Is in Aquatopia. Normal fare like hotdogs, burgers, pulled pork and pizza. Two salads were on the menu but weren’t available. So there really needed to be healthier options for lunch. 
  • World Bazaar and Coffee Shop: This is good for a quick cup of coffee and pastries for dessert. 

The Verdict:

Aquatopia is a fantastic weekend getaway for the family. You’ll be exhausted and the kids will have a bunch of good memories. The only thing that would make Aquatopia and Camelback Lodge an even better place is if there were more healthy food The staff at Camelback lodge was super-friendly especially the waitresses at Hemisphere (Jaclyn was so fun – we want her to babysit our girls!), and Jonathan an associate at Arcadia was very helpful and knowledgeable.)

For more information, visit the Camelback Lodge and Aquatopia websites. 

This post was not sponsored in any way. I did win a one night’s accomodations by entering a contest hosted by The New York Mom (Thank you!). My family and I paid for everything else including our second night’s accomodations, all food, the Cabana and Arcadia experience. This post does have affiliate links. All opinions expressed are mine.

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About Author

Pam is the Editor & Publisher of Triple Threat Mommy and is a Downtown NYC Mom-About-Town loving and living the urban family life. She writes about fashion, family travel + food and is a social media + marketing consultant under Triple Threat Media, LLC.

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