One thing I have come to love about traveling the state of Michigan as a family is the ample amount of small towns with big fun. As we have made our way throughout the state together, we’ve found many tiny towns and unique cities worth stopping by to explore for awhile. Frankenmuth, Michigan is one of those places. Come along with us as we stay the weekend at Zehnder’s Splash Village – the area’s 50,000 square foot water park with a family friendly hotel attached.

Frankenmuth Michigan

Sign Welcoming Guests to Frankenmuth, Michigan. Photo by Mary Moore / Retro TravelingMom.

Frankenmuth, Michigan

Frankenmuth is a small German inspired town in Michigan that has grown to become a hot tourist attraction area in the state. Surrounded by farms, fields, residences, and other agricultural minded estates, this bustling downtown area is probably the last thing you’d expect to find after making the drive in from the expressway. However, once you pass the small farm and Bronner’s Christmas store, the city explodes with restaurants, shopping, wine tasting venues, hotels, and fun activities – like Zehnder’s Splash Village Hotel and Waterpark.

Zehnder’s Splash Village Hotel and Waterpark

Zehnder’s Splash Village is Frankenmuth’s 50,000 square foot aquatic park – which makes it the largest indoor water park in the state! It has five waterslides including a six-story family raft ride, a lazy river, an action river, sports pools, play pools for younger guests, and a large dump bucket which sends water crashing down upon the park several times an hour. Passes to the waterpark are included in your hotel room price or available in a day pass.

Splash Village Frankenmuth Michigan

Splash Village Water Park Play Area. Photo by Mary Moore / Retro TravelingMom

We decided to spend the weekend in Frankenmuth at Zehnder’s Splash Village Hotel and Waterpark because we were looking for a place to celebrate our son’s sixth birthday as a family. He loves to swim and an indoor water park makes it a great place to visit during the cooler autumn weather in the midwest. Plus, it has an attached hotel which makes it an all around easy weekend getaway destination with kids.

While we knew quite a bit about our destination from looking at their website, I wish that someone had told me about these six things before I booked our stay at Zehnder’s Splash Village. Having known these  ahead of time could have taken our stay from great to AMAZING!

6 Things to Consider Before Booking Your Stay at Zehnder’s Splash Village

1 . There are Good/Better/Best Room Choices.

The hotel has different levels of rooms that range from a standard room without a view to a parlor suites – and then a whole lot of options in between to fit different family sizes and needs.

Dragonfly room at Zehnder's Splash Village in Frankenmuth.

Dragonfly room at Zehnder’s Splash Village. Photo by Mary Moore / Retro TravelingMom.

During our stay, we booked a Dragonfly room on the first floor – this is their standard basic room. The room we stayed in had a small bar area with seats, a mini fridge, and more space than I would have expected in a standard room.

However, one major thing it was missing was an outdoor seating area. This is something my husband and I love to have so we can stay up and chat without waking the kids. If this is something also important to you, we found that the second story rooms without a water park view do have outdoor room seating space with small balconies.

Also, if you have the choice, the water park view rooms are also worth the small splurge. For only a few dollars more, you could overlook the water play area from your room and WOW what a view it is! Plus, I noticed that the lower level water view rooms come with their own reserved tables in the water park – a nice perk!

Splash Village in Frankenmuth, Michigan.

Reserved Seating available for guests. Photo by Mary Moore / Retro TravelingMom.

2. There is an escape when you need it.

I get it, water parks can be overwhelming at times with young kids. Luckily, this water park area is pretty amazing with two separate indoor play areas to choose from. Both sides including play areas designed for younger swimmers.

Play area for younger swimmers at Splash Village. Photo by Mary Moore / Retro TravelingMom.

Play area for younger swimmers at Splash Village. Photo by Mary Moore / Retro TravelingMom.

While most people tend to crowd to these two parks, there are also several other places to swim or play that are usually less crowded. For instance, the hotel also has a first-floor indoor pool that is separated into two pools and a hot tub. This area also has a sauna for the adults.

Along with the indoor pool area, Zehnder’s Splash Village also has an outdoor pool area which is lovely to enjoy during the warmer summer months. Both of these areas are nice to slip away to if you need a break from the crowds but still want to swim and have fun.

Rent a cabana at Splash Village Water Park.

Cabana at Splash Village Water Park. Photo by Mary Moore/ Retro TravelingMom.

Another great way to find respite in the water park is to rent a cabana. These cabanas are situated in the newer water park side near the kids wading pool. They include cushioned chairs and couches, plus a flat screen t.v. and small tables for resting drinks. Speaking of drinks, the water park also has a restaurant which serves foods, drinks, and adult beverages.

3. You need to come prepared.

Knowing what to bring to the water park with you can be tough. During our stay, I realized that there were a few things I wished I had brought and a few things I am super glad that I did – these are my recommendations.

First, be sure to bring water shoes with you. The wet floors can become very slippery with bare feet and the shoes can help.

Second, you might want to bring your sunglasses with you to the water park. Even though it is an indoor play area, the entire ceiling is made of glass giving you the wonderful feeling of being outdoors. This can make it very bright inside the water play area on a nice sunny day.

Forget something? Splash Village may be able to help. Photo by Mary Moore/ Retro TravelingMom.

Forget something? Splash Village may be able to help. Photo by Mary Moore/ Retro TravelingMom.

Forget something? That’s ok. Things like towels, life jackets, and inner tubes are available free of charge in the parks for guests to use. Other items, such as water diapers, are available for purchase at the front desk.

4. There are extras if you ask/look for them.

I was excited to find during our stay that Splash Village has several fun extras available for their overnight guests such as movies in the lobby, duck races, and coloring contests! While these types of activities may change, check with the front desk for times and locations of special events. These free activities can add a lot of fun to your stay.

Splash Village

Special Movie Night in the Lobby at Splash Village. Photo by Mary Moore / Retro TravelingMom.

Are you celebrating a birthday? We found out first hand that Zehnder’s Splash Village can help you create a very special in room celebration! By adding the birthday package to your stay, Splash Village will have your room ready for celebrating when you arrive. Visit their website to see everything included and package pricing.

5. Be ready to disconnect.

When packing for this trip, I decided to bring my laptop along with me. I had a theory that I would be able to work during the evenings after my kids had crashed out from all the fun. Boy, was I wrong! It turned out that I also got so caught up in playing in the parks that I crashed out right along with them. However, if you do need to access the internet, be prepared for pretty slow open wifi service.

Arcade at Splash Village Hotel in Frankenmuth, Michigan. Photo by Mary Moore / Retro TravelingMom.

Arcade at Splash Village Hotel in Frankenmuth, Michigan. Photo by Mary Moore / Retro TravelingMom.

6. Don’t get water logged – there is so much more to do!

If you are hoping to make a weekend out of your stay, you’re in luck. Not only does this hotel have its own arcade, but the hotel and water park is also within walking/driving distance to a booming downtown area full of shopping, dining, and other fun family activities.

Read about more family friendly fun to have in Frankenmuth, Michigan.