Shut Up and Swim at the Holiday Inn (1977)
The Holidome: the first indoor water park.

Shut Up and Swim at the Holiday Inn (1977)

Our national fixation on childhood took a smoke break in the 1970s. There’s no better evidence of this than in the vacation literature of the time. For example, this brochure from the Alton, IL, Holiday Inn advertised the latest and greatest in family leisure spaces circa 1977:

The Holidome: the first indoor water park.
Fun for kids of adult ages.
Exciting! The plush chairs in the middle section are a perfect place for Mom and Dad to swirl their Tom Collins and yell at the kids who were running to the pool.
Pools are for sitting.
Don't splash the Breck girls!
Pools, by the way, were for sitting in or aside and for giving the whole motel that unshakable smell of chlorine and wet carpet. Yet, who could blame the kids for wanting to run around? They’d just driven from Schaumburg to Elyria-Lorain.

All this fun has made the kiddos hungry. There are exactly two items on the kids menu: fried chicken and a hot dog.

The Fountains Restaurant
I'll have what my great aunt is having.
You were promised a movie – in your room! – but Dad found out that they cost $1.95 each and he won’t pay it. Besides, it’s 7:30! Time for bed!
Shut up and sleep.
Tucking the kids away.
Mom and Dad are just a few floors away, enjoying some kind of rendition of “Baker Street” without a saxophone.
The Sliver Streak Lounge
Musicians gotta eat.
Happy travels!

Care Morency

Care is a writer living in the Chicago suburbs. She has worked as a journalist and in communications for her local library and park district. She is also a cat mom, a guitar player, a jewelry enthusiast, a survivor of the Reagan Administration and Princess Leia's long-lost little sister.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. I love it! My family would travel maybe once a year if we were lucky and I would load up on brochures wherever we stopped. My travel dreams were filled with scenes like these.

  2. Fantastic post! I wish our road trips entailed such luxuries. We were lucky if the motel had a magic fingers bed.

  3. The house I grew up in was about half a mile from that Holiday Inn! It actually had a pretty nice game room where I used to walk and play Spy Hunter or Gradius. In case anyone is wondering, I was there about two years ago, and yes, it still looks exactly the same. And still smells like chlorine.

  4. I’m so jealous, CarlosTheDwarf! Most Holiday Inns have had all the fun rebranded out of them.

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