Take cover and let loose in the wildest indoor parks around
Whether water, wind, thrills, or variety are at the top of your list, you can certainly find an indoor holiday spot to suit your taste. Every year, more incredible designs, cutting-edge engineering, and creative takes on classic activities pop up all over the world, and more people are choosing to spend their time under a roof rather than on a beach. Before you decide to brave the elements, check out some of the world’s most outlandish spots for indoor fun and adventure.
Ski Dubai (Dubai, UAE)
It’s not just a ski hill in a desert, it’s the world’s biggest indoor ski resort in a nation that sees winter temperatures soar above 80 degree Fahrenheit. The massive engineering feat houses 22,500 square meters of indoor ski area that’s kept at a chilly 30 degrees Fahrenheit with the help of an extremely efficient insulation system. It’s an 85-meter high mountain with 5 slopes, and an adjoining 3,000 square meter Snow Park for those who prefer to toboggan, body slide, play with giant snowballs and explore ice caves.
Aquaworld (Budapest, Hungary)
With its huge replica of the Cambodian Angkor Temple, the soaring ceilings and sprawling pools give Aquaworld an airy atmosphere. It offers 11 slides, wakeboarding and surf pools, wave pools, and even a section called Saunaworld with a selection of saunas for the more laid-back visitors. There’s also a kids club playhouse, and if the weather is cooperating, you can head out to the Adventure Park, and test your agility on the web of rope ladders and mid-air obstacles.
Edinburgh International Climbing Arena (Edinburgh, Scotland)
Fans of rock climbing (or families looking for an exciting new hobby) should head to the Scottish city of Edinburgh, where they will find the largest climbing gym in Europe and climbing routes for all abilities. When you’re tired after a day on the rocks (or some of the crew isn’t into climbing), there’s a spa, café and ceramics studio on site, too.
Tropical Islands (Krausnik, Germany)
One of the largest buildings in the world by volume (it used to be an airship hangar) houses Germany’s extravagant attempt to recreate the tropics with sand, a sprawling “sea”, and indigenous plants – the works. You can relax under a thatched roof and listen to the gentle movement of the artificial atmosphere, or wander through the massive artificial rainforest.
West Edmonton Mall (Alberta, Canada)
Bigger malls have been built since West Edmonton Mall was constructed, but it’s still the largest in North America, spanning an area equal to 48 city blocks. It’s also one of the most varied, enjoyable, and sometimes curious, indoor experiences around. It boasts a huge waterpark, a triple loop rollercoaster, ice rink, interactive aquarium, and a re-created Bourbon Street, complete with New Orleans-themed cuisine and nightlife. It’s really no wonder that the mall’s official motto is “The Greatest Indoor Show on Earth”.
Autobahn Indoor Speedway (Jacksonville, Florida)
Styled after European race tracks, this go kart facility promises speed, challenge and perfect racing conditions every day, given that it’s completely indoors. With the latest and greatest go kart racing technology and 80,000 square feet of area to wind your way around, any karting enthusiast or adventurous traveler will love to spend a day or two at this track.
Extravagant indoor parks are obvious choices in the cooler months, when everyone wants to relax in pleasant temperatures, but don’t discount the beauty of indoor spots in the height of the warmer season. Weather is unreliable, and an indoor park can really save a holiday from damp disappointment.