Chuck the three-hour drive to the Dells and head to CoCo Key Water Resort in the Sheraton Chicago Northwest for 65,000 square feet of watery fun. It's always a balmy 84 degrees in the Key West-inspired indoor waterpark. The multi-million dollar facility has all the goods: body slides with banked turns, a two-person raft ride and a slow-going adventure river, an interactive waterplay area, great for big and little swimmers, with slides, zero depth entry area, water cannons, spray nozzles and a thousand-gallon bucket dump.
Play water basketball, relax in the massive indoor/outdoor whirlpools, catch some rays on a seasonal tanning deck then cool off under the cascading showers on the Outdoor Splash Pad. Taking a page from resorts out west, CoCo Key offers a "Dip In Theater" showing family-friendly movies while you float in tubes or on pool noodles. Other amenties include a bar, game arcade and private cabanas equipped with a TV and fridge. No you're not imagining things -- the sunrise and sunset you think you see is simulated and created by the same company that produces Disney animation. Hotel guests snag free admission to the waterpark, but day passes are available. Another plus: You can take Metra to Arlington Park and hop on the hotel's free shuttle.