Schlitterbahn Indoor Waterpark in Galveston... Play all day without the summer crowds!
(Update: This post was written about the wintertime INDOOR waterpark, before the pandemic. Check the latest hours/days/attractions on their website!)
And this is why we think it is good:
- We get to visit Schlitterbahn, without the summertime crowds!
- The really wild slides are closed, but we get to boogie board, play on the pirate ship, race down several slides and brave the not-so-lazy river!
- You can bring in coolers and parking is free. Admission is expensive enough… no need to buy snacks or pay for parking.
- The staff is very friendly. Lots of employees were happy to help us throughout the day.
- The water is warm and the hallways are heated. The walk to the outdoor heated pools/slides is the coldest spot.
Our day at Schlitterbahn Indoor Waterpark:
Schlitterbahn invited us out last week and we headed down to Galveston after Thanksgiving. We arrived at Schlitterbahn at opening and closed them down at 5:00pm.
We brought in our cooler and snacks, set it on a table and did all the slides and pools... but the favorite for the 11 and 9 year old was Boogie Bahn.
My big kids basically got 5 hours straight on the boogie boards. For the first few hours, they took turns with three other boys. From 3:00pm to 5:00pm, it was just the two of them, going over and over and over again.
At the start of the trip, they could barely boogie board and would be thrown off the board within second. But by the end of the day, they were steering the board, getting on their knees and even sitting up and doing little tricks. (Watch the video!)
I thought it was pretty cool for a teenager to care enough to encourage her... but then again, the staff at Schlitterbahn is always very kind.
As soon as we had arrived at the front gate, my toddler was devastated that she did not get an admission wristband (because 2 year olds are free). Without us even asking, the manager figured out the problem, ran to the booth and brought out an extra one.
When we got to the pools, a lifeguard gave us an overview of the indoor park and told us her favorite spot to sit. (It was by the entrance to the river!)
Slides and Lazy River:
My 7 year old adored the indoor slides. He took is tube up over and over and over. My 2 year old liked the kid's pirate ship and floating around the Torrent River.
And about the Torrent River... a couple of summers ago, I thought I was going to need rescue along the river. I am a strong swimmer, but I did not know just how big the waves were on the river. One hit me by surprise and I held the toddler out of the water as I went under and had a few seconds of panic. So now we know that on the Torrent River, the toddler must wear her lifevest (even if she complains) and sit in the tube (even if she complains). Doing this made it fun for us to float around and around and around!
We played for just about every minute we were at the waterpark... and I mean played. There were virtually no lines, so it was nonstop action. The only time I got the kids to stop was for lunch.
Here's what else you need to know about Schlitterbahn Indoor Waterpark:
- A small section of the waterpark is open for the winter. You can float on the Torrent River, go to the outdoor pool and swim up bar, race down the fast outdoor slides (48" and up), boogie board at the outdoor Boogie Bahn (42" and up), slide down the indoor slides (42" to ride alone) and play at the indoor pirate ship.
- The pools are heated and the hallways are very warm. The outdoor attractions have warm water... but the walk outside could get cold!
- Parking is FREE!
- You can bring in COOLERS! Food is also for sale, but bringing in our own snacks saved us money!
- Bring a cooler on wheels or a little cart. The park is big and you could pick a picnic table far away!
- There are picnic tables indoors by the Boogie Bahn, indoors by the Pirate Ship, indoors by the Torrent River and outdoors by the fast slides. We picked a spot by the Torrent River.
- People just claim tables with their coolers… and come back when they are hungry. I wasn’t sure how well this would go the first summer that we did it… but we have not had any problems!
- Lockers are available for around $30. The good thing is that you can open and close all day for one price.
- I finally purchased a waterproof phone/key case! This is how I was able to take pictures around the park!
- Consider wearing water shoes or sandals. The sidewalks are rough after 7 hours of playing!
- Lifeguards are everywhere. But, of course, you have to watch your kids!
- Tubes are available for all the slides that require tubes and for the lazy river. I really liked that there were double tubes with one side that was meant for little kids under 50lbs. It had a closed bottom so they did not fall though the hole.
- Life vests are available for free, all over the park. You can also bring in your own devices. My youngest wore her Puddle Jumper.
- Strollers are allowed in the park.
- Here is what the park looks like in the summer!
Check out more pictures below and decide if Schlitterbahn is right for you!