Northeastern Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains make for a great family getaway. Conveniently located about 90 minutes to two hours from major cities such as New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC, the region boasts lush nature (think: forests, mountains, and lakes) and plenty of year-round attractions (the region is home to some of the largest indoor waterparks on the East Coast). Here are three family-friendly getaways for all ages and activity levels, from the tiny tot to the hardcore adventurer.
Camelback Resort Lodge and Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark; Tannersville, PA
More than only a family resort, Camelback appeals to adventurers year-around. Skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, zip lining, and a treetop-obstacle course are just a few of the options for outdoor enthusiasts. It is also the largest ski in/ski out indoor waterpark in the U.S. Indeed, it features seven pools, 13 water slides, and a family raft ride called the Venus Slyde Trap that takes you on a 608-foot journey through tunnels, down rivers, and free-falling off thrilling drops. Babies and toddlers can splash in the zero-depth pool in the Penguin Play Bay area. The outdoor Camelbeach Mountain Waterpark has a new interactive family zone water attraction called Mummy's Oasis scheduled to open on June 17th, 2016. For those who prefer to stay dry, there are also plenty of crafts and other activities to keep little ones entertained (think: making sand art, treasure-box decorating, and T-shirt coloring).
Great Wolf Lodge; Scotrun, PA
The largest chain of indoor water parks in North America, the Great Wolf Lodge family has a resort in the Poconos as well as places such as Wisconsin Dells, Niagara Falls, Kansas City, and more. This destination is ideal for children of all ages, offering camping-themed in-suite KidCabins, the Scooops Kid Spa, Howl at the Moon miniature golf, Howlers Peak Ropes Course (think: ziplining and off-the-ground obstacles course), and an interactive fantasy-themed scavenger hunt known as MagiQuest.
The main attraction is the 78,000 square-foot indoor water park. Adrenaline junkies will appreciate the Hydro Plunge, the roller-coaster-meets-water-slide with a 52-foot drop. Little ones can take a plunge of their by going down the Whooping Hollow slides that are specially made for those under 48 inches. The Lodge recently rolled out a kids' program with educational activities such as Yoga Tails (kids will stand like trees or flutter like butterflies). Their Diaper Den program provides swim diapers, Diaper Genies, and even Pack N' Plays so you can travel lighter.
Woodloch Pines Resort; Hawley, PA
Located on Lake Teedyuskung, Woodloch is the kind of all-inclusive family-run resort that could spark a new family tradition, with many groups returning year after year for the home-like vibes and plethora of outdoor activities. From standard lake-side rooms to suites to guest homes, it's easy to accommodate groups of all sizes. You might choose the American meal plan for family-style dining. There are plenty of options to reconnect with nature depending on the time of year, such as with water skiing, golfing, kayaking, ice skating, snowshoeing, fishing, going on hay rides, taking a gardening class, and much more.
Mini golf, paintball, segway adventures, climbing walls, and Broadway-themed shows are just a sampling of the other activity options. Even the youngest family members have plenty to choose from, such as a kiddie splash pool, petting zoo, and toddler playroom.