Grand Bear Resort: Great Water Park for the kids, one hour from Chi
We stayed at the Grand Bear Resort for a full weekend and really enjoyed it. Not only is it close to Starved Rock, but the small town of Utica is really quite pleasant as well. You really don't need to go anywhere if you stay in the resort, which has cabins, motel style rooms and more extensive full fledged villas because the facilities are so extensive. The resort delivers on the water park, which is in a huge hall with six sections, each of which has a different wet activity. Across the parking lot is an indoor amusement park with a dozen rides and more games, plus a sports bar and (mediocre by Chicago standards but not bad for downstate) pizzeria. Food in general is quite limited but they do have a breakfast buffet. We chose to bring our own food and were happy with our decision.
Far and away what the lodge delivers on is the water attractions. After a full weekend in the pools we still weren't tired of it. The hot tub was great, the lazy river delighted my daughter and she came to love the water slide and wave pool. Eye candy is in limited supply, it being a family oriented place, but there is some.