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Our First Visit to Lake Rudolph

By HoliBlogger Jamie W.

If you ask the locals and Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari regulars where to stay in Santa Claus, Indiana, one of the most popular responses is Sun Outdoors Lake Rudolph. And after visiting for the first time, it’s easy to see why!

It’s conveniently located next to Holiday World and has comfortable lodging available for groups, families, and individuals. Plus, there are a variety of camping and cabin options to choose from.

HoliBlogger Jamie, First Visit to Lake Rudolph, Sitting by the Camp Fire

Lodging Options

As a family of six, we spent two nights in a Holiday Cottage while visiting Holiday World. Not only is this affordable for families, but it is also fun and filled with amenities that save us money. Typically we would have to get two hotel rooms, but a Holiday Cottage has two bedrooms plus a sofa sleeper, and sleeps up to seven people.

The Holiday Cottage has a kitchen, bathroom, and fire pit for s’mores and campfires. The screened-in front porch with rockers was perfect for lounging in the morning with coffee and relaxing at night. I appreciated the campground feel, with the luxury of cable, AC, and wifi. The security around the park is another perk to staying at Lake Rudolph.

An interior shot of a Holiday Cottage at Lake Rudolph.
A bed inside a Holiday Cottage at Lake Rudolph.

Other lodging options include the Christmas, Family, and Legendary Cabins, which sleep up to eight people. RV rentals that sleep up to eight are also available. I thought this would be an excellent idea for our next visit, in lieu of a cabin but fancier than camping. More than 200 RV sites and 43 tent sites (with water and electricity) are available for camping options.

If you are staying in the cottages or cabins, there are a few essentials you’ll want to bring with you. We discovered a few of these needs on our first stay and with some tips from seasoned visitors. Don’t worry if you forget anything, the on-site Camping Stores are stocked with items (and firewood) for purchase. Keep these tips handy for your next stay!

A look at the kitchen inside a cottage at Lake Rudolph.
A table with chairs plus the kitchen inside a Holiday Cottage at Lake Rudolph.

Things to Bring With You to Lake Rudolph:

  • Your own top sheets, blankets, and towels – pillows, pillowcases, and fitted sheets are included
  • Bathmat – something to step on when you get out of the shower/tub
  • Hand soap – for the bathroom
  • Lighter and charcoal – for the campfire and lodging with charcoal grills
  • Tablecloth for the picnic table
  • Clothes dryer rack or line – you’ll want to have something to hang your towels and swimsuits on to dry (space is limited inside the cottages)
  • Aluminum foil – we lined pans with these for easier oven clean up
  • S’mores kit – items to make s’mores and sticks to roast marshmallows
  • Firewood – you can pick some up at the on-site Camping Store
  • Food – this may be obvious, but you’ll need to supply your own food and beverages
  • Golf cart decorating supplies – if you plan to rent a golf cart you’ll have the option of participating in the regular lighted Golf Cart Glow Parades
  • Bikes – the paved roads throughout Lake Rudolph are great for biking to and from activities!
  • Flashlights – walking to and from activities after dark on the Lake Rudolph campus
  • Bug spray – Lake Rudolph is in a wooded area where bugs are a natural part of life, you’ll want to bring some bug spray!
  • Fishing equipment – for fishing at Lake Rudolph
  • Dog leashes and supplies – for the canine companions
  • Volleyball and basketball – for the courts

The Amenities

We took advantage of using the free shuttle service to and from Holiday World. There are shuttle stations throughout Lake Rudolph for drop-off and pickup, which will transport you to the front of the theme park. We also enjoyed the miniature golf, Blitzen Bay pool, free evening outdoor movies, and Golf Cart Glow Parade.

The miniature golf course overlooks Lake Rudolph, which shows off Holiday World in the background. In fact, you can see The Raven roller coaster dipping just above the lake when it is operating.

HoliBlogger Jamie, First Visit to Lake Rudolph, Playing Mini Golf

Full list of amenities at Lake Rudolph:

  • Blitzen Bay pool, Blitzen Baby pool, and splash pad
  • Santa’s SplashDown WaterPark ($) and Cabana rentals ($)
  • Free shuttle service to and from Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari (available every 30 minutes while the park is open)
  • Gem mining ($)
  • Miniature golf
  • Daily character visits with Rudy Rudolph
  • Snack bar ($)
  • Dog park and obstacle course
  • Sports courts, beach volleyball, horseshoes, and playgrounds
  • Fishing and paddle boating ($) on Lake Rudolph
  • Nature trails
  • Golf cart rentals ($) (highly suggested to get around the park) 
  • Laundry ($)
  • Game room ($)
  • Welcome Center and Camping Stores

Save Money at Lake Rudolph

You don’t have to be a member to stay here! There are no membership fees and you can usually save money by checking out the Specials page. Many guests of Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari are also Coaster Club Members. If you are one of them, you can get a 10% discount on Sun Outdoors Lake Rudolph sites and lodging. Plus, all active military and veterans can take a 20% discount off their stay.

Check out a tour of our Holiday Cottage!



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A post shared by Jamie Ward (@fieldsandheels)