A little over an hour from Rockford, Illinois is a water park perfect for kids 10 and under! Otter Cove Aquatic Park located at 3615 Campton Hills Road in St. Charles is a mini Magic Waters, perfect for families with little ones.
If you’ve been to Hurricane Harbor (fka Magic Waters) before, you know the size can be overwhelming especially for parents with small kids! Otter Cove is a more manageable and fun water park that you can still spend the whole day enjoying.
Otter Cove Aquatic Park Features
Otter Cove Aquatic Park has several different areas that your family can enjoy.
Splash pads and sand play
There are three small splash pads with traditional splash pad features like mist tunnels, dumping buckets, and in-ground sprayers. Around these splash pad areas are chairs.
There is also a sand play area with a few stations to play at. There are also chairs and umbrellas around the sand play area.
If you’re looking to get away from the crowd, these areas were the least busy on the weekend.
Frog Bog family pool
The best spot for families is the Frog Bog family pool! This huge pool is zero depth and goes to about 3.5 feet at its deepest point. There are several water features in this family pool including a mushroom water feature, a frog slide with soft pad beneath so kids don’t get scraped up when they’re sliding down, bubbling geysers, and water sprayers. There’s also a basketball area that’s roped off where families can play a game.
There are many available chairs around the family pool and two rentable cabanas.
There are four slides available in the Salamander Slide area. Three are body slides and one is a tube slide. All slides are for riders 42’ and taller. Some slides allow kids to wear lifejackets or puddle jumpers and some do not.
The Racer slide is great for families and a great introduction to water slides for little kids. The slide is slow though you can push yourself along to make it go faster.
The two other body slides are a closed longer slide and a freefall slide. The freefall slide is great for tweens and teens, but may be too scary for kids 10 and under. The closed body slide is a fun ride through the dark that ends up in the deep pool and kids as young as 3 were enjoying it when we visited.
The tube slide is a fast and fun twist and turn until you reach the Lazy River. You can ride it in single or double tubes. Once you reach the end of the ride, you can continue on through the Lazy River or get out.
Crayfish Canal (Deep pool)
Crayfish Canal offers lap swimming and a deep end that goes from 5 to 12 feet. It has diving boards and two short slides. Kids can go down the short slides and jump off the diving board in lifejackets.
The Lazy River is the perfect length for little kids with enough features to have fun, but not get boring. It takes less than 10 minutes to make a lap and you go through sprayers from above, rapids from below, and bucket dumping as you make your way around. There are single tubes, double tubes, (both blue) and tubes that are perfect for little kids (clear). These tubes have closed bottoms so the littlest kids don’t slip through the hole. The clear tubes cannot be brought on the waterslides.
Kids can also stand outside the Lazy River and spray people with water cannons.
The littlest splashers (ages 3 and under) will love the toddler pool. It’s a shallow wading pool with water features including a mini shower, bucket dump, and sprayers. Toddlers can turn wheels to make water features turn on and off. The whole area is contained inside child-proof gates so your little one won’t be able to leave on their own.
There is a large sand volleyball court if you’d like to play while you’re there.
The Dive Concession stand
There’s a concession stand offering some hot food choices like pizza, hot dogs, and chicken strips for prices ranging from $2-5 as well as cool treats like popsicles, Italian ice, and ice cream sandwiches all for under $3-4 each.
You are also allowed to bring in coolers with food and drink from home, but you must eat in their designated concession area. You are also allowed to go out to the parking lot and come back in.
Dressing rooms and lockers
There are men’s and women’s dressing rooms and bathrooms with showers, dryers, swimsuit dryers, and lockers. The lockers take one quarter that you can reuse over and over as many times as you need to open and close the lockers. There are also lockers located on the outside of the building.
We had a wonderful time on our visit to Otter Cove Aquatic Park. We were so impressed by how clean the entire water park was. There were lots of lifeguards on duty and plenty of tubes for the Lazy River and tube slide. It was a wonderful way to spend my daughter’s 7th birthday and we highly recommend checking it out.
Otter Cove Pricing
Daily admission is from 11 am – 7:30 pm. You can stay ALL DAY.
Non-resident tickets are $16 per person
Ages 2 and under are FREE
Twilight swim from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm is $7 per person
What to know before you go
You can bring a cooler, food, and drinks!
Bring a quarter for the lockers. You only need one!
You can rent a cabana or find seating around any of the pools. Be sure to get your chairs immediately; they go fast!
Every pool is HEATED! No freezing cold water here. Each pool is between 80-86 degrees.
Lifejackets and puddle jumpers are allowed. They also have some available to use there.
Guest services sells sunscreen, goggles, buckets, swim diapers and more.