[note] Waterpark passes for this review were provided by Surfari Joe’s. All opinions are my own. [/note]
by Robin B
Our family was looking for a quick day trip over the Thanksgiving break and so we headed over to Surfari Joe’s. Surfari Joe’s is an indoor waterpark located inside a Marriott Hotel property in Watervliet, MI. It is located directly off I-94, about a 45 minute drive from Kalamazoo. Our family had been to this waterpark several years ago when it was under different ownership.
Surfari Joe’s is located in the Fairfield Inn & Suites of Marriott Hotel in Watervliet, Michigan.
8258 Arnt Blvd, Watervliet | 269-463-7946
The general waterpark hours are:
- Friday 3:00 pm – 10:00 pm
- Saturday 11:00 am – 10:00 pm
- Sunday 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
I recommend contacting the waterpark prior to going as their hours are subject to change. Also, they have extended hours over holiday/spring breaks.
The entrance fees apply whether or not you plan to swim or are just a spectator for the day. Make sure to check on the website under the “Surfin’ Deal” tab as they always have coupons or Buy one, Get one free splash passes to print.
Great Waterpark For Smaller Children
This is a small waterpark, when compared to Great Wolf Lodge, but it is perfect for smaller children or when you are looking for an afternoon getaway in the middle of winter. The waterpark consists of two water slides. Children must be over 48 inches tall to ride the slides alone; otherwise they must slide with an adult. There is a lazy river and a general swimming pool area. In addition, they have the Pygmy Pond Play geared for toddlers that features small slides and a water bucket that tips over about every 10 minutes. The water in all of areas, with the exception of the Pygmy Pond Play area, was warm – no complaints at all about cold water from my children!
Other Features Of The Waterpark
There is also a hot tub area for adults (over 18 years). This is strictly enforced. I noticed some children entered the hot tub and within a minute the lifeguard walked over to tell the children they couldn’t be in the hot tub. On our visit, the waterpark was not crowded at all – there were maybe a handful on families and they had ample lifeguards on duty. There were no shortages of towels or tubes.
Located on the upper deck of the water park is the Water Hole Grill & Bar. We didn’t order any food, but the menu offered kid-friendly options and would be an easy way to take a break from swimming while the kids could still view the action at the water park.
Some Things To Know Before You Go
- Saturday’s are crowded – I asked the lifeguard and she indicated Saturdays were their busiest days with Birthday parties and other events. If you do visit, earlier in the day is best.
- Towels are provided, but they are very small so it may be worth bringing some of your own.
- The only changing area consists of bathrooms located in the water park – with three stalls and a shower. This wasn’t an issue for us but I can imagine on a crowded day it may take a while to get the family changed. They have wire bins located outside of the bathroom area you can store clothing and shoes, but there aren’t any lockers to store valuables.
Overall, our family had an enjoyable afternoon at Surfari Joe’s.