One spot in the Black Hills where our whole family loves to play is at WaTiKi Waterpark in Rapid City. This more than 30,000 square feet indoor facility has three big water slides, three little kids’ slides and play area, a lazy river, and hot tub with cascading waterfall. It also has an area for kids to play ball from the water, shoot water cannons, and try to cross floating platforms without getting hit by those cannons. And sometimes, you just need a little tropical vacation toward the end of winter that doesn’t cost a month’s pay!
View WaTiKi in action in our latest YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=my9Ex8HhAEU.We took advantage of two deals on this “stay-cation” over Easter weekend: Spring Break room prices, and reduced ticket prices for staying on-site. The usual admission for a day at the park is $13.65 on weekends and in summer, and $9.25 M-Th. Because it was spring break, we were able to take advantage of swimming on Monday morning in addition to after our arrival Sunday night. In the summer and on weekends, hotel guests can swim from the 4 pm check-in time to close, and again in the morning from 8 am-10:30 am. We were disappointed that they planned an Easter egg hunt on Monday morning at 11:00 am, meaning to stay for that would have cost us another $58! Granted, it would have been another whole day of water play as well, but we were pretty much ready to head home by 10:30 that morning.
The hotel room in the attached Fairfield Inn was a King Suite, with a sofa bed, refrigerator, two TV’s, and microwave. It was a nice size for the “Spring Break” price tag. The beds were comfortable enough, and our boys were happy sleeping on the fold-out couch bed. The shower was nice and roomy, and in general the room felt clean and spacious. We were a little put off on Monday morning when I went to make coffee and found a slimy, moldy sludge in the single-serve maker! I tried to clean it out in the sink, and wiped the sludge off where I could see it. When I ran a small bit of water through the maker before deciding whether to make a cup, it spit out more brown sludge… let’s just say I chose to trek down to the breakfast area and get some “mold-free” cups of coffee from there.
The on-site restaurant, Sliders, is a great little place, and we have eaten there before. We decided to give the pizza a “go” this time, and it was pretty good. The sauce was a bit lacking in flavor, but you could tell it was made from fresh tomatoes, which these parents appreciate! We got a 15% discount on the total meal bill because we were hotel guests. In all, a large pizza, personal pizza, and kid’s chicken strip dinner cost us under $30. In addition to the restaurant, you can eat out in the Waterpark or take the food to your hotel room. We chose to eat in the room, to get a little break from the noise and humidity.
One final, huge recommendation: The “free” Wi-Fi was horrible – it is designed for only web surfing, social media, and email. An upgrade to the streaming video and/or music option costs $5 per day. If you plan to use YouTube, Netflix, or other streaming services, plan to purchase the upgrade. Since we were only there for one night, we didn’t bother. However, ask for the access code right at check in for the free wireless service. Not ONE of our devices (we tried six) was able to connect using the name and room number option they give you at check-in. With the access code we connected immediately, and secured our Instagram fix for the duration of our stay!