Trip Planner : USA / Michigan / Berrien County / Watervliet / Theme Parks / Surfari Joe's Indoor Wilderness Water Park
Surfari Joe's Indoor Wilderness Water Park, Watervliet
Categories: Water Parks, Water & Amusement Parks
Surfari Joe's Indoor Wilderness Water Park is located in Watervliet. Use our Watervliet vacation route planner to arrange your visit to Surfari Joe's Indoor Wilderness Water Park and other attractions in Watervliet.
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Let's face it, Lake Michigan is much better and right there, but there are days when it's rainy and you need some kid activity indoors. This was perfect except my 10-year-olds and our friends three-ye... read more »
If you stay during the week the big slides aren’t open and the public is not allowed in, only hotel guests. There was a 3.5 foot pool, very warm, that led to a lazy river, with another shallow pool on... read more »
We stayed at the hotel, which gives you much more time to enjoy the waterpark than just a public admission and allows you to access the park before it is open and after it closes to the public. We fou... read more »
Got an all day pass for my family of 4. They do not keep towel stocked like you think they should. Kids had a blast not worth an all day pass but would enjoy going back for a session. I have a 7 and 4 year old they had a blast
My whole family got sick from the ridiculously high chlorine content in the water park as well as the poor ventilation. I had an asthma attack (haven't had one in 2&1/2 years) within 15 min of sitting in the hot tub and have a rash in places people shouldn't have. My children have head to toe rashes and are coughing still and we left over 24 hours ago. They could stay until 3, but begged to leave because they were coughing and puking. Complained at the hotel and water park and they said that they don't regulate the amounts. Was awful!!
I read all the reviews. We came expecting to be a bit disappointed, but for the price and proximity I thought it would still be ok for something to do for spring break with my 4 boys. Walked through the front door to an amazing greeting from the front desk, then a beautiful room and cleanliness throughout. Getting to the water park I immediately started looking for all the things in the other reviews, I found none of them, the wear marks in the lazy river were the only noticeable things, but I'm sure after a few million feet have drug across the bottom it is to be expected. Friendly staff, observant life guards, racks of towels, and perfectly warm water for the miserable conditions on this cold April day. Everything here is a smaller version of the chains that cost 3 times as much and are hours further away. Don't come expecting a park with 6 different water slides and your kids will be just fine. The bar at the top of the steps is very reasonable also for a bar and grill inside a park, I don't think there was a meal over $8 or a drink over $6. I have to reply to the very humorous review about walking up "all those steps" for a waterside...... Gravity is funny like that, you have to go up before you can go down!
DON'T SHOW UP EARLY! The website has an early checkin option. I checked it. The hotel doesn't honor it. And they won't let you go to the water park before checkin at 3pm. I've been to many indoor waterparks and they all allow you to play in the waterpark while you wait for your room to be ready. I drove 2 hours to get here and had to sit 2 hours waiting on nothing but a formality. There's nothing in the area to do but twiddle your thumbs. VERY DISAPPOINTING.
Pros: Hotel is nice. Cons: Water park is disappointing. Overall: Don't make the trip just for the water park. I was looking for a fun place to take the kids for the weekend that wasn't too far from home and wouldn't cost a ton of money, so when I found Surfari Joe's, I was excited. For $179, I received a one-night stay at the hotel, plus four passes to the water park good for both days of our stay. This sounded like a fantastic deal! The hotel itself is great - very clean, the staff was friendly, the rooms are spacious and well maintained, and they offer a fantastic (and free!) buffet-style breakfast. The water park, on the other hand, was a huge disappointment. I was surprised by how small it is. I was also disenchanted by the filthy bathrooms, lack of towels, and life guards who congregated by the doors instead of paying attention to swimmers. The water in the children's area was freezing. There is also a huge bucket in the children's area that fills up and dumps on you periodically. I think this is a pretty common feature, but it TERRIFIED my boys, who are 5 and 2. It was extremely loud, and even caused me to jump each time it dumped out. As a result, my kids wouldn't go anywhere near that area, and that being the only space for kids, there wasn't much for them to do. To get to the water slide, you have to walk up several stairs. I did this with my two year old in one arm, and carrying an inner tube in the other. When I got to the top, the life guard informed me that I was using the wrong tube (I had a clear tube and apparently needed a colored one). No one tells you that a specific tube is necessary for the slide, nor is there any signage near the stacks of tubes or at the bottom of the stairs. So I had to walk all the way back down, grab another tube, then walk all the way back up. I was also surprised that, although the water park doesn't close until 10 p.m., the restaurant inside the park closes at 7:30 p.m. I discovered this after my boys and I decided to grab something to eat around 7:40. I grabbed a menu and as I was reviewing it, someone who works there yelled "Kitchen's closed!" as they walked past us. I'm not really sure why the restaurant would close so early, especially when there are no other dining options inside the hotel. So, we had to go back to our room, dry off, get dressed, and leave the hotel to get something to eat. When we got back, we decided to try out the arcade. Half of the games didn't work, but weren't labeled as out of order, so they took my money and didn't do anything. We were only able to spend about 10 minutes in there. Overall, I would say if you're only coming for the water park, don't waste the trip and the money. If you just need a place to stay in Waterveliet, this is a nice option and the water park would be a bonus, but it's definitely not a main attraction.
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