Sunday, June 5, 2016

9 Tips For Going To Amusement Parks With Kids

Last summer, our family of 5 had season passes to our local amusement park (Adventureland) and we used them nearly every weekend throughout the summer. There was a time when we avoided amusement parks. Not because we didn't like them, but because we weren't sure how good they were for young kids. Now that we're in our sophomore year of season passes (and in our third year of attending amusement parks), we know just how much fun it is for the kids. We've learned quite a few tricks and tips in all of our visits and we picked out our top tips to share with everyone who plans on attending an amusement park with kids in tow:
  • Pack plenty of water or Gatorade. Quite a few amusement parks will allow you to bring your own in (be sure to read the park's rules and regulations before attending). Also, pack sunscreen, extra clothes for after water rides, and wear comfortable walking shoes. Flip flops are never a good idea at an amusement park. Also, having long hair pulled back into a pony tail will keep hair out of faces while going on rides.
  • Be sure to take sunglasses off before rides. Just saying because this may have happened a time or two to me.
  • If you can, go on a weekday rather than a weekend to avoid the larger weekend crowd.
  • Adhere to regular snack and meal times while you're at the park. Avoid the hangry kid. Check to see if the park you'll be at let's you bring in your own food/snacks or if you must purchase there. Be sure to add that into your park budget.
  • Watch/know the predicted forecast. We went one day two years ago with rain showers predicted. While it was an unforgettable experience to ride a wooden roller coaster in pouring down rain (with it being my 5 year old's first roller coaster experience), that may not be what you're going for. 
  • Go at the best times possible for your kids. If you're kids nap in the afternoon, go first thing in the morning or immediately after naps (check park hours of operations).
  • Check out season passes. Season passes are more than worth it for us as a family of 5. There's been days when we go just for the kiddie rides for a couple of hours or make a long day of it. With kids, it's nice to know we have options.
  • Work your way back to front. We've found it helpful to walk to the back of the park and work our way forward. The back of the park has no lines because everyone starts at the front. By the time we've made our way to the front, everyone is at the back of the park. Also, by the time you're at the front the kids have typically hit their limit. You're that much closer to the car. This is a great tactic if you have young kids.
  • We found 4 or 5 is about the perfect age to go. Not only do most 4 year olds not require naps and can go for longer periods, but they can do most rides at amusement parks.
Now, if you'll excuse me, it's time to put my hands up on the roller coaster.