I'm not sure where you live but here in Chicago, our winter has been brutal! Record cold temperatures and snowfall have been the norm. President's Day weekend usually comes at time when we all need a break. Some winters, that break is more welcome than others. This winter, that long weekend was crucial! We looked for last minute trips to somewhere warm but it just didn't work out as it's a very popular weekend for travel. As an alternative, we decided to stay closer to home and spend the weekend in Wisconsin. We spent one night at an indoor water park hotel for some faux warm-weather water fun, coupled with some skiiing/snowboarding.
We traveled a couple hours north of Chicago to Sheboygan, Wisconsin to stay at the Blue Harbor Resort. My wife grew up in Sheboygan and her parents still live there, so we are there often. But we don't usually play tourist that much so we haven't spent much time at Blue Harbor. So it was fun to stay the night and enjoy a couple of hours hanging out in swim suits and enjoying a cold beer, even in a completely artificial setting!
I don't have much experience with indoor water parks. Other than Blue Harbor, our family has been to one other - Kalahari in Sandusky, Ohio. Blue Harbor is smaller than Kalahari but still with plenty for the kids to do. My kids enjoyed the giant waterslide as well as the big play pool area. There's also a giant bucket of water that dumps on anyone willing to get drenched. That's a big hit with the kids there as well.
There are several room options for families with children that provide separate sleeping areas within a single room. The dining options are also very family friendly. There is a "fine dining" option, a casual option, and an ice cream parlor that has plenty of treats when you need something sweet. I'd say the food was good, not great. There are some good options locally, but that's another blog post, entirely!
The next morning, we got up early, ate breakfast and headed off to our next winter weekend adventure - a day of skiing and snowboarding at Sunburst Winter Sports Park. Sunburst is about an hour west of Sheboygan. It's a small hill but that's what you get in the midwest. My wife grew up skiing here as well as other Wisconsin ski areas. I don't ski but picked up snowboarding in my mid-20's. I'm still very much a novice so a small midwest ski hill is actually perfect for me. It's also great for kids learning to ski.
We arrived at Sunburst as it opened at 9:30 am and bought our lift tickets, rentals, and lessons and got ourselves situated. I took a lesson and also signed the kids up for lessons. Our experience was great as the staff was friendly and accommodating. We also found all the instructors to be great. They worked well with the kids and my snowboarding instructors helped me a great deal!
After a morning of lessons and a few runs, we took a break for lunch. Sunburst has the expected selection of food & snacks. There's a bar to grab a drink or two. There are tvs that had the olympics ons. It's not a huge place but had plenty of seating. Overall, it was a comfortable space to eat and relax.
After some more runs in the afternoon, along with a coffee and candy bar break, we returned our gear and decided to head back to Sheboygan for the night to spend some time with Grandma and Grandpa.
Although we weren't able to shoot off to Arizona, Mexico, or somewhere else for some warm weather, our little midwestern getaway weekend was a nice little break. Blue Harbor Resort is a great place for a quick mid-winter weekend getaway for some water fun. If you're looking to ski or snowboard, check out Sunburst too.