TMOM-JulieAlways looking for quick and easy weekend getaways from Chicago, we headed north to Key Lime Cove in Gurnee, Illinois, to check out the water park and its newest amenity, The Enchanted Lagoon, a kid’s day spa.

Our family has been to indoor water parks in the past and the kids especially love them because they get to play in the water and we can run up to the comfort of our warm hotel room afterward. And, in the middle of harsh Midwestern winters, 82 degrees sounds especially nice.

While Key Lime Cove isn’t as large as some water parks, it’s really the perfect size if you want a quick and easy family getaway. Nestled between Chicago and Milwaukee, it took us a surprising fast 30 minutes to get there from O’Hare on a Friday afternoon. Once we arrived, Marshall checked us in swiftly, we ran to our hotel room, changed into our bathing suits and checked out the water park.

Although my kids were too young/short to hit the Vortex, the popular toilet-bowl looking water slide, they had a great time tubing it down the spiral slides. We relaxed on the Lazy River, threw basketballs in another part of the park, and the “kiddie” sized water park was perfect for them since the water height was barely 2 feet high.

What I loved about the water park is that there are a ton of lifeguards all over the place. And while we didn’t let our kids out of our sight anyway, it was reassuring to know there was someone around keeping an eye on them as well.

Optional Kid’s Activities

But there are more than just water slides at Key Lime Cove which made our trip that much more enjoyable. My daughter experienced her first manicure by Julie, a licensed nail technician at their newly opened kids day spa, The Enchanted Lagoon. Kids can also make their own body scrubs and lotions at the spa.

Here is a video we created about our experience at The Enchanted Lagoon.


According to Renee, the spa director, it’s a great place for birthday parties or guests bring their daughters and friends to enjoy a mini spa treatment during their stay.

Across the hall was an Activity Center which kids can enjoy for free. If you want to step it up a notch, they offer arts and crafts activities for a nominal fee.

The Arcade, located within the same area as the Water Park entrance, The Enchanted Lagoon, and the Activity Center, allowed us some game time as well.

Almost every hour there is something going on from parades to Fancy Nancy tea parties. The staff, from the moment we checked in, to the water park lifeguards, to the team engaging the kids throughout the facility, genuinely seemed to enjoy being there which was a nice change of pace from other “kid-friendly” places where the staff seemed more concerned with texting their friends than catering to its customers.

Overall, we had a great time at Key Lime Cove and my kids are already asking when we plan to return.


Megy Karydes is a Chicago-based traveling mom who is always on the lookout for fun and exciting things to do with her two little ones. When she’s not running after them, she’s running her fair trade importing business, World Shoppe.