Kalahari Resort has garnered a long-standing reputation in the Poconos for being the waterpark resort to be at in the northeast. In fact, it's garnered a reputation for being one of the best resort waterparks in the country, which has many people asking just one question: Is it actually worth it?
A frequently asked question that shortly follows is 'when is the waterpark the least crowded?' Both of these are incredibly important things to ask prior to planning a trip because an overrated resort can ruin a trip just as much as a crowded one. Luckily, Kalahari is very worth it - and it's not always inundated with crowds 24/7.
What To Know About Kalahari And Why It's So Worth Visiting
For starters, Kalahari is conveniently located in Pocono Manor which is only about ten minutes from the city of Stroudsburg. This means that visitors who don't wish to stay at the resort can easily book a stay in the more affordable city of Stroudsburg, making a trip to the water park easy and convenient. So, in terms of what to do when staying in the Poconos, visiting the waterpark at Kalahari is somewhat of a no-brainer (unless you don't like water rides).
Kalahari Day Passes
- Waterpark General (All day pass): $84.99 during the week, ~$100 on weekends
- Waterpark Evening (after 5 PM pass): $63.99
- Waterpark Military (military rate pass): $76.99
- Things to note: Waterpark passes are not required for children under two years old; passes can be purchased through the resort website.
What's Worth Spending Money On
Obviously, the resort is worth spending money on for those who plan on taking full advantage of the resort amenities and the waterpark. Since the waterpark is fairly large in size, it's definitely something that can become an all-weekend venture. Plus, staying at the resort practically ensures that guests will be able to get to the park early or be within walking distance to use it during the evening hours, so this is definitely a perk. It's also nice to have a resort room to return to post-pool time, rather than having to change out of wet clothes on-side or sit on a towel the entire ride back.
The waterpark is worth spending the money on but some might disagree that it's worth a full $80+ for its size. Therefore, it makes more sense to go with a package deal and swing a resort room with access to the waterpark included. Those interested can also opt for a cabana at the waterpark in order to take advantage of all the amenities offered, however, the smallest one will run visitors about $300. With that being said, a cabana includes towels, a safe for valuables, a place to sit and eat, and food brought right to the cabana space. Also included are a fridge stocked with bottled water, a TV (which might be useless without closed caption due to the sheer noise within the waterpark), chairs, and couches.
- Lockers at the waterpark run $20-$30 each
Another thing that's worth spending money on - especially for those traveling with kids - are the game cards. According to Pretty Opinionated, these cards run $25 for 106 credits. Each game is about eight credits, with many only being four. Therefore, you can get a pretty decent number of games (and gameplays) with a mix of eight and four-credit arcade games.
What's Not Worth Spending Money On
The biggest bummer at Kalahari, especially at the resort waterpark, is the food. The prices are pretty disappointing, with a mediocre pizza running nearly $24, and ice cream running $12, not including extra add-ons. Drinks are not much better, with most running just over $3.
A better option is to opt for food outside of the resort, go to the resort restaurant, or rent a suite that has a kitchenette included. That way, guests can make their own food in-room and will have a place to store quick snacks in the event that someone gets hungry.
How Do You Avoid The Crowds At Kalahari?
The best time to visit the resort waterpark is during the week. Not only will day passes be cheaper during that time frame but there will also be far fewer visitors than on the weekend.
- It's worth noting that not every ride is open during the week, and guests should check the waterpark website prior to scheduling a day pass.
The least busy weekend day is Friday, so it's worth it to book a resort room from Thursday-Saturday or Sunday. Saturday is the busiest day so there's no love lost there, while Thursday will be the least busy, with Friday being manageable in terms of crowds, with every ride being open.