Recently, I spent a full day (and a whole lot of cash) at an indoor water park, with four kids in tow. Universally, at these establishments, the food is as awful as it is expensive; the opportunities to separate you from your money in stupid ways (arcades, grrrr) flow as freely as, well, water; and you will leave feeling certain that you or your child has picked up some sort of virus or fungus.
However! There are some advantages to spending time in a steamy, chlorine-laced warehouse stuffed with inner tubes, slides, fountains, over-sized fiberglass sea creatures, and pirate-y puns.
- No sunscreen required. This makes me so happy.
- Two words: Lazy. River. You can't drift on a gentle current of relaxation at Chuck E. Cheese's, that's for sure.
- Two more words: Hot. Tub. Ahhhh.
- Free StairMaster workout included with price of admission. Want to ride on one of those cool, giant slides? You'll have to walk up a giant flight of steps, probably while carrying an inner tube. Kid wants to ride (and ride again, and again, and again) but isn't tall or brave enough to go it alone? Get climbing, mama.
- Feel better about your body. No, really. Whatever your height, weight, hairiness level, number of tattoos/piercings, and preferred amount of swimsuit coverage, someone else will match or exceed you. It's a good reality check.
Photo: Vito Palmisano