Jennifer and her family received free accommodations at Fairfield in and admission to Safari Joe’s in exchange for this promotional post. All opinions expressed are those of the blogger, your experience may differ.
School, work, sports, homework, dishes, laundry and repeat. After a few months of this routine, our family was ready for a break. We had the opportunity to get away for the weekend to Watervilet, Michigan on the west side of the state. We stayed at the Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriot, home to Safari Joe’s which is an indoor waterpark.
Pulling up to the hotel, which is right off of I-94, we could see a waterslide protruding from the side of the building. This had my kids almost jumping out of their seats. What my husband and I noticed however, was that there was not much else to see off that exit. There were a couple of fast food and family restaurants but nothing else worth mentioning.
The hotel staff at the front desk were very friendly and prompt. The lobby and dining were well kept and organized. Our hotel room was very clean and spacious. It had amenities including a fridge and microwave and a desk with office space and wi-fi. Happy with our accommodations, we changed and headed down to the first floor to check out Safari Joe’s.
Walking in to the waterpark, we were given our wristbands and greeted by friendly staff. Looking around the space, I was surprised to see it was smaller than what I had expected. Off to the left was the kiddie area with a splash pool and play structure. At the top of the structure is a huge bucket of water that fills up to the point where it spills over unto all of the kids creating a waterfall effect. It looked like this would be a great place for my 3 year old to play. Stepping into the water however, made me change my mind. It was ice cold! My 3 year old didn’t have any interest playing because of the frigid temperature.
Just behind the kids area was the Jacuzzi that disappointingly wasn’t functioning that day. It was roped off and no one was allowed in. Next to the jacuzzi was the adult pool which wasn’t much bigger than a backyard swimming pool. The temperature in this pool was surprisingly warm, almost too warm. Don’t get me wrong, I like my pool warm, but I want to be able to smell the chlorine and know that my warm pool isn’t an incubator for microbes. I didn’t get that sense in this pool. The pool attached to a lazy river that we floated on with our tubes. provided by the waterpark.
The highlight of the park for our family were the two water slides. Both slides were fast and had an element of surprise to them as they twisted and turned through the dark passage ways. The difference between the 2 slides, Hippo and Rhino, were the Hippo slide allowed you to ride down on the tubes. This also allowed me to take my 3 year old down on my lap.
If you walked upstairs in the waterpark, you find a balcony overlooking the swimming and play area. There was a small bar where you could order drinks or food and sit and relax at the tables all along the balcony. There was also an arcade, but the heat rising from the pool made it feel more like a sauna.
I was happy to see so many lifeguards walking through the park and the availability of life jackets. The staff was extremely attentive to the happenings in the pool area. This made me feel comfortable letting my older kids wander off on their own. There were enough tubes for swimmers and sliders alike. We never had to wait for one. There were also plenty of towels and a space to hang your belongings and place shoes. What I didn’t like was that there was almost no seating downstairs in the pool area. After we had our dinner that night I didn’t want to go back in the pool, I just wanted to be able to sit and supervise my kids. Although there is plenty of seating upstairs, the option to sit downstairs was limited.
Speaking of dinner, we took a 15 minute drive to St. Joseph and dined at a place called Silver Beach Pizza. Pizza was delicious and we will definitely be stopping by next time we are in the area.
Overall, I would not plan Safari Joe’s as a vacation destination. I think it’s a stretch to actually call it a waterpark. I would however, stay at the hotel again, if I were to be traveling to that side of the state. The cleanliness and comfort of the hotel along with the complimentary breakfast gave us reason enough to come back.
Jennifer (Jenny) is the founder of Any Age Fitness. She’s an Independent Beachbody Coach, nurse, wife, and mom of 4. Jenny is passionate about health, nutrition and exercise and helping others achieve their fitness goals regardless of how old they are or how old they might feel. In her spare time she enjoys reading.