After a long week of meetings and events, it was time for a tropical escape. Unfortunately we were short of time and money, and it was snowing out.  Solution:  Sahara Sam’s Oasis Indoor Water Park, right across the Walt Whitman in West Berlin, NJ.  It is a great outing for adults who want to get away for something unique and fun.

Sahara Sam’s brings the tropical  waters and warm breeze from the Jersey shore right to Philly’s doorstep with 58,000 square feet of paradise.    Upon first entering, we were drawn in by the enormous game room featuring some of the newest modern games, mixed with classic favorites (like air hockey).  The cafe’ then tempted us with our favorite ice cream — birthday cake.  Once we finally made it into the water park itself,  we were greeted by the sight of an Egyptian-themed bar serving up frozen cocktails (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and oversized “bucket” drinks.  After some thirst quenchers,  we set forth across the make-believe desert to find the  huge lazy Congo-style river, group raft rides, tube rides and a surf simulator (with body boards and surf boards).  There was also water basketball and a cargo obstacle course.    Some of the more kid-oriented attractions centered around a young children’s lagoon, and a free-standing tree fort.  The crown jewel of the fort was the oversize bucket that filled up and flooded the entire park.  While it doesn’t sound that fun, it was quite exhilarating to have gallons and gallons of water thrown over your head unexpectedly.  The fort also had guns, gizmos and tubes to engage in water combat.  While it was all meant for kids, it was also suitable for “kids-at-heart.”   The day ended with a trip to the warming pool — which was for adults only.  We also tried some grub at the cafe’ with some scorching hot buffalo wings — they were a perfect “vacation” treat at the end of the day.   (Just don’t tell our trainers!)

For more information on Sahara Sam’s check out their website or their Facebook page.  They also have a great e-mail list which includes coupons and deals.   ALSO, stay tuned to for a ticket giveaway.  We will give away two tickets between March and April.  

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Philly Loves Fun TIPS:

When to visit:  The first impression was anything but relaxing as there were lots of overly excited children celebrating birthday parties — and why wouldn’t they be excited? What a fun place!  However,  as soon as the clock stuck 4:00 PM, the kids had to all return home for naps, dinner and other family activities.  Attendance dropped in one hour by more than 50%.  This meant no lines (except on the surf simulator).  We recommend going mid-week (anyone feeling “sick?” cough, cough and need to cal out of work?) or go on the weekend after 4pm.  Some other guests told us that Sundays are usually better than Saturdays.

Lines:  The line for the group raft ride was pretty long at times, but it was well worth the wait.  We recommend getting the raft out-of-the-way in the beginning of your adventure.  The lines for the tube rides moved quickly, as you got your choice of tube when you got to the top.   This was also great for when the children leave and you can go over and over.  The line for the surf simulator took more than 40-60 minutes to get through.   Some of the people in our party felt it was worth it.  Those of us watching got bored and returned for endless spins in the lazy river.

Lockers:   The price difference between the small and the large locker isn’t that much, so pay the extra buck and share the large with your friends!

Disclaimer:  No monetary compensation was provided for this post. 

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