At 220,000 square feet – Kalahari resort in the Poconos is America’s largest waterpark, and quite possibly the funnest place on earth! Beyond the size and amazing amenities – it is the spirit of this resort that sets it apart. Come along as we explore this amazing destination – and see why the resort is a must visit.
The grand lobby fireplace at Kalahari in the Poconos
The Spirit of Kalahari – A Family Run Resort
Kalahari is far from a cookie cutter chain resort. It’s actually quite the opposite. Owned and operated by the Nelson family, Kalahari is committed to bring their guests an experience that surpasses typical resort expectations.
The Nelson’s strive to bring the spirit of Africa to their guests – and this spirit is felt and seen through all aspects of the resort. The artwork on the wall isn’t one of many – these are actual pieces they purchased from street merchants in Africa. The music you hear in the halls is straight from the streets of Cape Town. The coffee served throughout the resort was hand-picked from the farms of Rwanda.
The Nelson family has traveled to Africa many times, to be inspired by the people, the culture, and to push themselves beyond their comfort zones to find their inner spirit. They have climbed Kilimanjaro, rafted over the Zimbabwe river, traveled through the countries street markets, swam in Mother Natures ultimate water park Victoria Falls, and danced with musicians in Cape Town. With each and every experience they bring back the spirit of Africa to their guests, and beautifully document each visit. An amazing (and quite addicting) documentary video chronicling the family travels plays in the hotel room – It is a must watch (I personally couldn’t turn it off). The Nelson’s are also giving back to the country they love – and are building a massive African water facility, giving back to the people that they love, that have given them so much.
A brilliant family who cares, and that are tying to make a difference through their resorts and experiences.
The living room of our 2 Bedroom Suite – complete with fireplace!Kalahari’s bunk room. How fun is this decor? Photo credit: Kalahari Website.
Kalahari Resort – Accommodations
Beautifully appointed, spacious guest rooms at Kalahari follow the resort’s safari theme. Our family stayed in a 2 bedroom suite – which consisted of a master bedroom with on-suite bath, a second bedroom with two beds, living room with fireplace, and kitchenette (with a small fridge, microwave, and full size coffee pot). The generous living room had a sofa sleeper, dining table with chairs. and fireplace. The accommodations were overly spacious, much larger than our New York apartment, with far more amenities (we were in heaven!). The room felt comfortable, and inviting. We loved that each of our three member family could have their own sink, and space to unwind.
The resort offers a wide range of rooms – from a basic studios, whirlpool suites, kids bunk rooms, and beautiful new 3-5 bedroom suites with more than enough room (perfect for a large family get-together) – there is an accommodation for every budget and need.
Yummy food options at Kalahari Resort Poconos
Marrakesh Market in the Kalahari Resort
Kalahari Resort – Dining
From upscale restaurants, quick eats, a buffet and sweet treats – the endless array of dining options at Kalahari are amazing. We loved that the options weren’t limited to typical “children’s menu” fare. While yes – you can find favorites such as chicken fingers and pizza, that’s not your only option – (its actually only the beginning!).
With Kalahari’s new expansion – two new notable restaurants have opened. The Double Cut Charcoal Grill, serving steaks, chops, seafood, and more in a visually stunning atmosphere, and Sortino’s Kitchen, serving delicious Italian specialties such as pasta, pizza, and hand pulled mozzarella. (We ate at both – they were delicious! Reservations are highly recommended). These gorgeous, upscale restaurants with top-notch entrees, salads, and appetizers suited for adult palettes cater to both children and their parents. I loved being able to have a beautiful, upscale meal and not feel uncomfortable with children.
While not a restaurant, it is also important to note the amazing Marrakesh Market next to the lobby with many grab-and-go foods and conveniences. Modeled after an African Street market- this is the perfect sport to grab some food on the go, and enjoy them in the convenience of your room. Much more than just snacks- this Marrakesh’s market options are endless. From a wide selection of sandwiches, salads, and bagels, to meat and cheese trays, fresh cut fruit and health food section with organic selections – it had everything (and more!) that one would need. We personally loved that they carried many of our favorite organic brands, and foods.
Aiming for the Serengeti Strike-zone at the mini bowling alley! Glow in the Dark Mini-Golf
Kalahari Resort – Family Fun
Your family will be bowled over with the amazing fun experiences offered at Kalahari! Our little guy couldn’t get enough of the mini-bowling. Made specifically with children in mind, the alley was small in size with hand held bowling balls and bumper aids – offering all the fun of a real bowling game and easy for kids to navigate and play.
Families can step into the black light with bright clothes and glow their way through this safari themed 9-hole indoor mini-golf course. The course is themed along with the resort – where you’ll encounter a glowing zebra, giraffes and even an octopus!
Kalahari’s 30,000 square foot arcade
Kalahari Resort – Arcade Play
The Kalahari arcade is the place to play. At 30,000 square feet – it is possibly one of the largest arcades I have ever seen – stretching across the basement level of this mega resort with an amazing array of state of the art games. Almost all games give award tickets for play – which can be redeemed for a wide range of toys and prizes. Not just a prize counter would do for Kalahari – the prizes are beautifully displayed in a huge walk through prize store setting (a huge delight to gamers and prize claimers!). It is redemption at its finest.
Beyond the arcade – you’ll find interactive games such as laser tag, The Arena virtual reality experience, incredible 5-D theater and more. There is absolutely no way a child could ever be bored.
Cookie decorating with Kalahari Adventurers ClubBedtime Storytime at Kalahari
Kalahari – Adventure Club
There is lots of daily fun available through the The Kalahari Adventurers Club! Located near to the arcade – the Adventurers club hosts free family fun throughout the day; from crafts, games, face painting, bracelet making and even cookie decorating. All activities are written on a board within the club space daily – check the board or website here for specific events, and be sure not to miss the adorable story time before bedtime with character friends.
A wild breakfast brunch
Kalahari – A Wild Brunch Party
This is one brunch bash that you can’t pass up. Kenya’s Birthday Bash is a one-of-a kind family friendly, interactive safari party! The bash includes Kalahari’s costumed characters – and family style dining, games, music, and dancing, and builds up to the moment when we surprise Kenya as he arrives to the party. The breakfast included an all you can eat assortment of waffles, eggs, bacon, sausage, and pastries – along with a birthday cupcake to celebrate. Kenya’s Birthday Bash takes place every Saturday morning at 9am. More on the birthday bash and reservations HERE.
America’s largest waterpark at Kalahari Poconos
Kalahari Resort – Wonderful Water World
Double the size, double the fun! Kalahari Resort in the Poconos just completed a massive expansion, doubling the size of waterpark to an incredible 220,000 square feet. From a rocking new wave pool, a near vertical thrill drop, large toddler splash area, waterslides in which you can race, a lazy river and whirlpools for a relaxing pace – there is something here for every water fan. There’s so much to mention about this amazing park that we did a separate article on just the water attractions HERE.
The adult only Thirsty Turtle Bar at Kalahari
Kalahari Resort – Not just for Kids
Adults need time too – and at Kalahari they cater to this too. The amazing Spa Kalahari provides revitalizing, refreshing treatments to appeal to the senses, and even has a salt water pool. For more of a party scene – there are two swim-up bars at Kalahari. Grotto Bar, a very cool pool area with swim up bar for adults only, as well as the new Thirsty Turtle – proving you never have to leave the water to grab a cocktail , and that a resort can cater to more than just family fun.
Kalahari Resorts and Convention Center.
250 Kalahari Blvd., Pocono Manor, PA.
Website, and more information on the resort HERE
Thank you Kalahari for sponsoring our post. As always, all our opinions and experiences are our own.