Earlier this month, we were blessed with a four day weekend. The kids had Thursday off for Veteran’s Day and Friday was a teacher’s workshop. I’m a list keeper, so there were certainly more than enough tasks to keep us close to home, but I wanted some family time and decided a quick getaway was in order.
The kids LOVE water parks. I looked at the two options in Massachusetts, but then decided to put our money were our mouths were and go local(ish). I booked a Stay and Splash package at the Red Jacket Resort in North Conway, New Hampshire. From beginning to end, I was pleased with the experience.
I looked at Trip Advisor for reviews and then went online to make our reservations. The booking system is fairly straight forward. I picked the Kahuna Laguna + Breakfast package with a garden view room with two double beds. The package included overnight accommodations for four (two adults and two children under 12), water park bracelets for four and breakfast for four.
We didn’t tell the kids where we were going or what we were doing. We just packed a few bags and launched the GPS. When we walked in, I told the woman at the front desk we’d gotten in the truck and this was where the GPS brought us and I was hoping they had a reservation for us. She played right along asking my daughter for our last name etc. The she outlined what our package included like I had no clue what was available. The look on Fish’s face when she heard “water park” was priceless. The only hitch was that I thought the our water park time was Friday morning, we found out upon arrival it was Thursday evening. At first I panicked thinking we’d short changed the kids, but it turns out that three hours is plenty of time to get your fill at Kahuna Laguna
Our room was very nice. Larger than your standard hotel room always a plus with four people. It even had a balcony! The Red Jacket is not a brand new resort, but it is very well maintained and updated. They even upgraded us to a Mountain View room. We quickly changed and headed to the water park. The snack bar wasn’t open, but we were able to order a pizza and drinks from the bar. It was $30 plus tip for a large, one topping, pizza and four non-alcoholic beverages (beer and wine were available). We were delighted that the pizza was better than average.
For those who might be used to Typhoon Lagoon at Disney or the more local Whale’s Tale or Water Country, Kahuna Laguna is small. It features two slides you ride in an inflatable tube and two body slides, a wave pool, a hot tub, basketball hoops, play space for the short and loud crowd and a sprinkler area. Kids have to be at least 42 inches to ride any of the slides. My daughter was tall enough to ride everything. My son is over 42 inches, but under 48 inches, so he was excluded from the body slides. He is not the strongest swimmer, so didn’t seem to mind at all. They provided a life jacket (free of charge) for his safety and comfort.
There are free lockers, an abundance of towels and life guards were ever present (my husband and I commented on how many miles they must walk in one shift). The water is treated, but it is not that overwhelming chlorine smell, it is a salt based system that is easier on the skin.
After three hours, it wasn’t hard to convince the kids it was time to call it a day. We all rinsed off in the showers at the park and headed back to our room. The water park is heated to 82 degrees, and the stroll through the lobby was a little brisk, but not bad at all.
The next morning, there was free coffee, tea and hot chocolate in the first floor lounge. Once we were all showered and dressed, we headed upstairs for a made to order breakfast. The kids enjoyed waffles and pancakes while my husband and I stuck with the traditional bacon and eggs. The eggs were farm fresh (I can tell the difference) and the bacon was thick. All was well with the world.
We packed up and spent some time in the game room, where I was able to scratch my itch for classic PacMan. We spent the rest of the day poking around North Conway, a blog post unto itself.
Rates at the Red Jacket vary by day of the week and time of year. A stay can get pricey, but with a little planning and flexibility, there are bargains to be had. Kahuna Laguna does offer day passes for $20 for swimmers and $10 for observers. We had a great time and would definitely stay at the Red Jacket again, but both my husband and I feel like we’ve “been there, done that” as far as Kahuna Laguna is concerned . The kids on the other hand would go back in a heartbeat. All in all a good time close to home.
Have you been? What was your experience? Have you been to either of the water parks in Massachusetts?
2 thoughts on “A Staycation – The Red Jacket Inn and Kahuna Laguna”
My son would probably give up his birthday for a day at Kahuna Laguna. Really. It’s one of his favorite places on the planet.
I’m intrigued by your use of the word “bargain,” because my complaint with the place has always been the sky-high price. If I can find a deal, maybe we’ll surprise the kids at some point over the winter. Hmm.
Tracy, the bargins are more midweek, off season. I saw one reviewer that said they paid $109 per night, but they had a four year old and weren’t constrained by the pesky school calendar. It was not the cheapest vacation we’ve ever taken, but it was a ton of fun!