Rediscover the Catskills!

It’s summer and the Catskills are calling. The premier Hudson Valley destination of decades ago is once again making a splash with the opening of The Kartrite Resort & Indoor Waterpark.

Just about an hour and a half drive from southern Westchester, the 324 all-suite luxury resort sits on 1,600 acres among the rolling mountains in Monticello. My husband, our three children, and I recently visited for a two-day, one-night stay. We were smiling from the moment we walked into the grand lobby, a bright, colorful, lively space that felt shiny and new (the resort officially opened to the public in April, 2019).

Get wet

Of course, the real star of The Kartrite is the waterpark. Billed as the largest indoor waterpark in New York, it is 80,000 square feet with nearly a dozen water attractions. With our bathing suits and flip-flops on, we headed in and had the best kind of vacation dilemma – how to choose where to have fun first?

We ended up getting our feet wet in the Puddle Ducks area, a shallow adventure lagoon perfect for the littlest visitors. Our 18-month-old son, Aidan, waded right in with his life vest on. (Life vests of all sizes are available inside the waterpark – just take what you need off the rack and return it when finished.) There are four small waterslides and some other creative water features in the Puddle Ducks section. By the end of our second day in the park, Aidan had mastered all of the slides, with a constant smile on his face, though one of us was always waiting to catch him at the bottom!

The big kids were itching for some more thrilling activities, and they weren’t disappointed. Our 11-year-old daughter, Ava, headed right for the big waterslides. Her favorite was called the Time Warp. She liked that it was fast, dizzying, and made a big splash. The other slides are called The Krakken (also fast and featuring saucers creating a drop and dive sensation), Jiggerty-Jaggerty (multiple slides where riders on mats can race each other), and Nor’easter (similar in shape to a half pipe). Be aware that there are height restrictions for the waterslides, and there are also many steps to climb to get to the launch points (while carrying your mat or tube).

Our 7-year-old son, Gavin, loved the Kartrite Island area which has water spraying at you from all directions, several twisty slides (enjoyable but tamer than the larger ones), and a massive dump bucket that tips over every few minutes. It’s quite the rush to be standing underneath when the water comes pouring down!

Ava and Gavin also spent a lot of time trying to shoot hoops in the Cannon Ballers pool and challenging themselves at the Later Gator Crossing, a rope bridge that participants cross on floating pads. It wasn’t easy, but they did it!

Of course, no waterpark would be complete without a lazy river. The Kartrite’s is called Empire Bay, but I wouldn’t exactly call it lazy! The winding path takes you through several cascading water features, so make sure you’re paying attention as you lounge in your tube.

For Douglas and me, the best and most relaxing part of the waterpark was the heated, indoor/outdoor pool called Affinity Springs. The water is only three feet deep and it’s a great spot for swimming and soaking in the sun.

Dry out

Once you’re back on dry land, there are many other indoor adventures to keep the whole family entertained (for additional fees). You can start with the Playopolis arcade, which is jam-packed with all kinds of games from the classics to today’s interactive video games, plus air hockey and pool tables. There is also a four-lane mini bowling alley, laser tag, a rope obstacle course with zip line, an indoor rock wall, and more. As if that was not enough, the resort offers rotating daily activities such as arts and crafts projects and family movie nights (on a big screen in the lobby), plus there’s a spa, a fitness center, hiking, shopping – they’ve thought of it all.

Rest and refueling

The accommodations are also top of the line. There are multiple types of rooms to satisfy every family’s needs. We stayed in a Family King Bunk Suite, a spacious room with a king bed, two sets of bunk beds in a separate enclave (Ava and Gavin loved those!), a queen sleeper sofa, a large TV, a mini-fridge and a microwave. The décor in the rooms and throughout the property is modern, chic, and fun.

Last, but not least, let’s talk food. We did not leave the premises during our stay instead we opted for the many food options on site. On our first day in the waterpark, we grabbed lunch from the Surfside Grill (inside the park), which offers quick bites such as burgers, pizza, and salads. That evening, we went a little more upscale for dinner, eating at Bixby’s Tavern & Taproom. The kids’ menu is more than reasonable, with staples such as mac ‘n cheese and peanut butter and jelly. The next morning, we started our day at the resort’s buffet called Eat. Eat. Eat. It has myriad food choices, from an omelet station to French toast and eggs to cereal and pastries. But our favorite eats may have been from Pop’s Sweet Shoppe, a candy shop with a candy wall, cookies, homemade fudge, gelato, and more.

My kids have already asked when we can go back to The Kartrite, and I do hope it’s soon. This modern twist on those legendary Catskills vacations has something for everyone, myself included.

Andrea White is the Calendar Editor for Westchester Family. She loves to go on adventures with her family.

The Kartrite Resort & Indoor Waterpark

555 Resorts World Drive

Monticello, N.Y.


Reservations: 844-527-8748

Hotel Direct: 845-397-2500

RESORT RATES: Start at $199+ in low season, and each room includes a set number of waterpark passes based on room type and occupancy.

WATERPARK ONLY PASSES: “Splash Passes” can be purchased individually online for $59 to $99, depending on the season.