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Floating WhoaZone water park to reopen on Lake Michigan on June 23

Whiting's WhoaZone opens on June 23.

WHITING — Mark your calendars for summer fun.

The WhoaZone floating water park in Lake Michigan reopens for the summer season in a little more than two weeks, and it will be bigger than last year.

"We are planning to expand the park for this summer by about 25 percent, which will raise the capacity to 120 to 140 people," WhoaZone spokeswoman Shannon Brower said.

WhoaZone operator Empire Recreation Management estimates it brought in about 21,000 visitors from 15 states to Northwest Indiana last year. That included about 14,638 visitors from neighboring Illinois, and many who traveled more than 90 miles to Northwest Indiana's lakefront at Whihala Beach.

The company invested about $25,000 in the expansion, which is simply a matter of anchoring more inflatable features to the lake floor. A storm forced an early closure last year, but WhoaZone's inflatable slides, jumping platforms and other water features are easily replaced.

The first-of-its-kind attraction for the area lets kids clamber on floating monkey bars, wiggle bridges, traversing walls and other features in 12-foot-deep water in Lake Michigan about 100 feet from the shore.

This year, WhoaZone will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from June 23 to Aug. 19 when weather permits.

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Whiting WhoaZone water park saw over 20,000 people in its first season; city plans to expand next summer
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It costs $20 for an hour, or $15 for an early bird special at 10 a.m. or 11 a.m. The company also rents out kayaks, standup paddle boards and cords, which are small, circular, paddle-powered boats suitable for kids.

Check back at nwi.com for updates to this story.

Head to pools, water parks and splash pads to stay cool and have fun this summer

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.