These water park tips are provided by guest blogger Joyce from Childhood Beckons.
My family gets season passes to a local water park each summer, and it’s often our go-to summertime activity. Over the years, we’ve learned a few things, and often we’ve learned them the hard way. Is visiting a water park on your family’s summer bucket list? Here are 10 tips to make your trip to the water park an enjoyable experience.
1. Do your research. Chances are your local water park has a website full of information that would be useful for your trip. Take note of opening and closing times and park rules. Can you bring in your own food and drink? Can you rent a locker for valuable items?
2. Talk about expectations before the trip. Talk to your kids about things like patiently waiting their turn, walking instead of running, and what to do if they are lost. I have also used this time to remind my son that there will come a time when we have to leave the park, and that I expect him to accept this fact without debate.
3. Pack your bag. Make sure you have plenty of towels and sunscreen. A first-aid kit for minor scrapes and blisters is also great to have. Pack a cooler with your lunch if that’s allowed, or bring some cash for the concession stands. And be sure to pack plenty of swim diapers for young kids that are not yet potty-trained.
4. Let your child pack a bag. My son takes great pride in packing and carrying his own gear. Plus, that’s one less thing for me to carry! We gave him his own kid-sized beach tote bag to fill with the things he’d like to bring. Things like goggles, sink and seek rings and other sinker pool toys, a kickboard, and a football pool toy. He’s also in charge of carrying his own outdoor chair.
5. Make sure there’s something for everyone. Is there enough excitement for your thrill-seeker and a splash pad or shallow area for your toddler? Is there a place you can go to take a break from the rides and just play with your pool toys?
6. Go early. Get there when the park opens so you can find a nice spot to sit. Tables and chairs are taken fast. To avoid the crowds, you could also go later in the afternoon, because the early birds are likely to be packing up after a long day of fun. Also, week days are typically better than weekends.
7. Decide on a meeting place and time. If your family or group will be splitting up and visiting separate attractions, decide on a meeting place beforehand.
8. Practice sun safety. Don’t forget the sunscreen! It’s recommended to apply sunscreen 30 minutes before sun exposure for maximum effectiveness. Sunscreen wears off over time, especially during swimming or exercising, so remember to reapply often.
9. Stay hydrated. It’s easy for kids to get caught up in all the fun and forget that they need to drink. But just because they are in water, doesn’t mean they can skip out on drinking it. Remind your family to take frequent water breaks.
10. Wear swim shoes. Flip-flops and other shoes aren’t a good option because they usually aren’t allowed on slides and rides. But walking to the various attractions barefooted isn’t a good option either. Often the pavement is rough and hot. Plus, no one really wants to walk through those unappealing mystery puddles.
What are your water park tips? Share with us in the comments below, or join the conversation on Facebook!
Have a great trip!
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Joyce is the mom behind Childhood Beckons, where she encourages parents to focus on their families and the childhood that beckons them. Her motto is “Childhood is calling my son to play and explore. And childhood is calling me to help him on his journey.” She enjoys discovering creative ways to play and learn and passing along her family’s favorites. You can find Joyce on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.