Summer is here and visiting an amusement park with your little ones is a must-do for most families. Unfortunately, this outdoor ritual can be physically and emotionally draining for parents who aren’t prepared. Luckily, with some thoughtful planning and the following helpful tips, parents can avoid the stress and burden of theme parks.
Check the theme park’s website before you go. It might offer discounted prices for purchasing tickets ahead of time online. You may also stumble upon some great deals on Groupon or other promotion sites if you do a little research first. Consider following the park on social media for a few weeks before your visit for special pricing or perks exclusive to their followers.
Print a map of the amusement park and plot a route that prioritizes the rides and attractions you and your family don’t want to miss. Especially with young children, knowing what you will be doing for meals and snacks is also essential. Packing a bag of healthy snacks and drinks not only saves you money but helps you avoid long lines and cranky, hungry children.
Some must-haves for a day in an amusement park: refillable water bottle, snacks, sunscreen, bug spray, travel-size umbrella, ponchos, hats, stroller, camera, wallet, cell phone, mini first aid kit, change of clothes, towels, Ziploc bags (to store valuables during water rides), hand wipes or sanitizer.
*Remember, packing the night before can help reduce the morning chaos and stress of getting everyone up, ready and out the door.
Make sure you and your loved ones are wearing comfortable walking shoes and weather-appropriate clothes. Dress younger kids in brightly colored clothing so they stand out in a crowd. If visiting a water park, don’t forget your swimsuits.
When you arrive at the park, point out park employees to your little ones to make them aware of who to approach if they get lost. With older children, designate a meeting place in case you lose track of one another. Make sure your kids know your mobile number or have it on them. Pin a business card or piece of paper with your number into your tiny one’s pocket to always have on hand.
A day in an amusement park can be an overwhelming experience but being equipped with a detailed game plan can make it a fun day in the sun for everyone.