A day trip to Pirates Cay, Indoor Waterpark – Sheridan, IL

If you are new around here: welcome.

But if you are not, then you know I live for the hunt and discovery of new and fun family adventures and experiences. I take pride in my finds because I spend a lot of time searching and planning. But I always find something exciting. Like Pirate’s Cay.


What is Pirates Cay?

Pirate’s Cay™ Indoor Water Park offers 31,000 square feet of fun for the entire family. It’s glass-enclosed and climate-controlled for year-round fun, with a retractable roof that allows for open-air excitement in the summer.

The waterpark is located on the grounds of Holiday Inn Club Vacations® Fox River Resort. This family playground is a prime Midwest vacation destination, featuring spacious villas and fun-filled amenities in the rolling hills of Illinois.

How did you find this?

Every week or so, I open up my Groupon app and hope for something good. Lately I haven’t had much luck until I stumbled upon Pirate’s Cay. An indoor pool, that was only an hour away, and had water slides? Yes please. The price for an all day pass for family of 4 was so inexpensive – I didn’t even look into it and just purchased the tickets. Bold move on my part because I typically like to over analyze every.little.thing.

How come we never hear about this?

I asked myself that same question. Being that it’s only 59 miles or less than 1.5 hours away from Chicago, I am shocked this place isn’t more popular. But I do see why that may be. There really isn’t much to do in Sheridan, IL.

I looked to see what other attractions are near by and the only one that I know is worth the drive was Starved Rock. It is about 30 minutes away and it’s home to one of Illinois most popular State Parks.

To amp up your weekend, you could book a room at the Holiday Inn Club Vacations Fox River Resort, spend the afternoon at Pirate’s Cay and the next morning visit Starved Rock. We absolutely loved hiking this park. There is so much ground to cover and visiting their waterfalls is one of my favorite parts. Most trails are kid friendly but as always, be cautious.

Final thoughts

  • Pirate’s Cay was clean and organized. It wasn’t over crowded and we went on a weekend.
  • Food is available on premises which is very convenient especially since you cannot bring your own food into the water park area.
  • Showers and bathrooms are right outside the waterpark hallway. But no towels are available. Bring your own.
  • Lockers are available but bring your own lock. Otherwise it’s $10 per lock.
  • They have a small gift shop in the lobby in case you want a souvenir or need a shirt, bathing suit, towels, etc.
  • There is nothing lazy about that river. It is quiet fast and about 3 feet deep. I wouldn’t leave smaller children unattended. Especially when it gets busy.

I think anyone can have fun here. Families with small kids can just hang out on the lounge chairs or step right into the large kids splash area. Parents with bigger kids can go on the tube slides or just relax while kids play by themselves. But check the height restrictions for the water slides.

But overall what a great and fun day trip for us. I don’t know if I would stay at the surrounding hotels unless they had some sort of package. One because it’s so close to home. But also because I didn’t see very many rooms or villas actually occupied. It’s very secluded and a bit off the beaten path. I am not sure how busy this resort actually gets in season because it was very empty when we visited. It does have a ton of potential and it would make a great weekend getaway. Almost like a mini Dells trip.

So, what do you think? Will you be making a trip to Pirate’s Cay?

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