Last weekend my family and I took a much needed spur-of-the-moment road trip to escape and unwind together in the twin cities. Thanks to the fine folks at the Radisson Hotel Bloomington by Mall of America, we not only had an amazing place to put up our feet and rest our heads, we also had the opportunity to experience the adjoined Water Park of America!
My daughters, Lydia (5) and Zayla (2) could barely contain themselves as we arrived. We made our way to our Deluxe Room and as if the excitement of staying in a hotel wasn’t enough to make both my daughters’ weekend, I pulled open the curtain, revealing the bunk bed feature of the room and witnessed the sheer delight in my daughters’ eyes.
I then realized this alone was more than enough to please and entertain them the entire weekend through! With an 8th floor city view, large room to sprawl out in, and comfy linens to burrow ourselves in, I wasn’t sure we were going to be leaving for the water park anytime soon-and that was just fine with my husband and me.
Dinner time was quickly approaching and after a long week and beautiful drive down, our discovery of the Split Rock Grille room service menu was a sight for our sore eyes, and hungry bellies.
We quickly placed our order and unwound, putting our feet up while the kids explored and played on the bunk beds-calling them their secret hide outs and tree house. It was a much needed escape from laundry, cooking, and all of our daily obligations back home.
It didn’t take long after dinner, however, for my oldest daughter, Lydia to begin rummaging through her suitcase for her swim suit. “Let’s go to the pool!” She shouted as she burst out of the bathroom, pool towel in hand. Little did the girls know, they were in for a much bigger surprise than just a hotel pool.
There was only one problem, we had forgotten our lifejackets in the car! Thankfully, my husband didn’t mind running out to the truck in his swim trunks. Nevertheless, we soon learned the waterpark has complimentary life jackets for its guests. However, the supply is limited and the smallest size (30lb and under) disappear quickly.
I recommend taking your own pool towel as well, if chilly children make for a miserable walk and elevator ride back to your room. And while the water park offers lockers at $10 apiece for you to secure your wallet, phone, camera and more, leaving them in the hotel room safe is a more affordable and convenient way to go.
It wasn’t long before the elevator doors opened and the girls were bolting down the hall to the pool. And then it happened… they spotted it! The Water Park of America.
The Water Park of America and all its Glory
The waterpark houses amongst many other extravagances, Eagles Nest 5th Floor Tube Slides, 7th and 10th floor body slides, a 10 story high Family Raft Ride, and Fort Snelling: Zero Depth Activity Pool which is a multi-waterslide children’s play area that is 8 inches deep, maximum (which also turned out to be Zayla’s favorite place to whirl around in, as her life jacket allowed her to partially float on her belly).
Additionally, there are two Isle Royal hot tubs (one just for adults) and a St. Croix “lazy” River that partially flows through an impressive grotto. The zero depth entry Lake Superior Wave Pool was a blast to float around in and the kids loved getting swept up by the waves as they were carried to shore. There is also surfing on the Cascade Falls FlowRider and so much more spanning across 70,000sqft.
The Family Raft Ride was definitely the peak point of our hearts’ delight; a 10 story ride that’ll take up to four riders at a time on a journey over a mile long filled with laughter, screams, and splashes.
However, for future trips, I will be sure to explain to my girls, prior to, what they can expect on such a fast and furious ride. The speed as well as the swooshing up and around the edges of the slide made for more than an exhilarating ride for Lydia.
Evening Treats and Bedtime
After hours of water park fun, we treated ourselves to a blizzard from the park’s new in-house Dairy Queen Grill & Chill and headed back to the room. And as many parents would be, we were elated to have a bathtub in our room for the girls to get cleaned up before bedtime.
We were also pleasantly surprised at how willing the girls were to climb into bed. (Seriously, how often are kids actually eager to go to sleep?) The girls quickly fell into a deep slumber and it was finally time for some peace and quiet.
And to our disbelief, it was remarkably silent. So often you hear your hotel room neighbors and other guests lingering or walking noisily through the halls, but not here.
Vacation Fun Continues…
Stepping outside to load up the car Lydia was amazed to see an external view of the mile long Family Raft Ride she braved.
But before we departed on our adventures around the cities, we grabbed a bite at the breakfast buffet at the hotel’s onsite restaurant, Split Rock Grille and checked out the hotel’s website as it offers great discounts to major attractions including those inside the conveniently located Mall of America.
Thankfully, there is plenty to choose from on the website and at the buffet. (Kids 4 years of age and under eat free, children 4-12 are $8 and adults buffet are $15).
It’s not very often the girls, especially our littlest one, Zayla sits down long enough to eat even a dollar’s worth of food at a restaurant.
However, she nibbled away on a piece of fresh fruit and sipped her cup of milk as 10…20…30 minutes passed us by.
For future planning, we’ll definitely take advantage of the mini fridge and cabinet storage in our hotel room.
It’s also wise to bring some snack and breakfast supplies for the times of day when kids just need a quick bite to eat.
With a complimentary shuttle taking off every 30 minutes past the hour, we were able to come and go at our leisure with a short 5-minute shuttle ride to the Mall. Also, the Northern Lights Arcade just down the hall from the hotel’s front desk was a great time killer while we waited for the mall shuttle.
All in all, it was a great weekend and if water parks are your style of family fun, then check out the link below for a discount of 20% off Water Park of America wristbands-offered for a limited time to our readers.
Written By: Brandi Worthing
(While our stay was sponsored, the following opinions are my own.)
Details: Coupon code valid online only. Limit 6 discounted passes per group. Cannot be combined with other promotions or discounts. Tax not included. Expires 8/31/2016.