While it has lap lanes and does lessons just like a regular pool, it also has several features that make it pretty unique. It has a zero entry toddler section with splash fountains and buckets just like a sprayground as well as a little toddler slide, a ramp that leads from the zero entry to the regular shallow end, and a lazy river at the other end of the shallow end. The lazy river surrounds a circular area with whirlpool jets called the vortex. Then, at the far end of the aquatic center is a huge twisty slide.
My sons loved the whole thing. They started off splashing in the toddler area and going down the little slide, but gradually we made it over to the lazy river where my oldest loved floating through the lazy river with the help of a life jacket. While my boys were too short to head to the big slide (you had to be over 48 inches tall), mom and dad both had to try it and it was great fun! The whole family had a blast.
What we liked: We loved how the pool was a little like a mini-water park without the really expensive prices of some place like Great Wolf Lodge. Plus, it was very toddler friendly with the zero entry toddler area while also being fun for the older kids with the big slide and lazy river. They also had an area off to the side for parties.
What we would change: Although it's not as expensive as some other water attractions it is a little pricey. For non-Raleigh residents it's $6 for kids ages 1-12 and $14 for adults. In addition, in the middle of the winter, it was a little chilly at first. Once you got in and started playing around, you warmed up, but as with all indoor pools in the winter it's a bit chilly to start with. Plus, it's a little far away-about a 30-40 minute drive from S. Durham.
Website and other important information:
Address: 5908 Buffaloe Road, Raleigh
Hours for Public Swim: Closed Monday, Tuesday-Saturday-10am-7pm, Sunday 12pm-5pm
(the big slide)
(view of the whole center with the toddler area in the foreground)
(the lap swim portion of the pool)