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Friday, July 5, 2013

10 Water Park Survival Tips

*This is a sponsored post on behalf of Schiltterbahn waterparks. All content within is my own.

Spending the day with your family at the water park is always a blast – at least it should be. It’s summer time and it’s hot, everyone is looking for a fun way to cool off, and there is something there for everyone. Unfortunately, and especially if you have children, a trip to the water park isn’t always as carefree as you might like to be. There is however a very simple solution: BE PREPARED

Today I give you 10 Water Park Survival Tips. 

1.       KNOW YOUR WATER PARK: What are their operating hours? What are their specific rules? Can you bring in outside food or drink? Do you have to pay for parking or tube rental? Are there lockers to store your belongings? Does the park have specific areas for smaller children?

2.       PLAN AHEAD: I cannot express how extremely important this one is! Almost anything can go smoothly if you just plan for it in advance – especially if you have children!  Call ahead and ask what time of the week/day is best for avoiding large crowds.  Go online to the park’s website and scope out the layout and the different rides. You can decide ahead of time which rides you’d like to experience and make a plan on how to spend your day. You can also familiarize yourself with the restrooms and food and drink vendors.

3.       WEAR SHOES: I know you might not want to, but trust me when I tell you – wear shoes! There’s a good chance you’ll be walking across the park all day long and that ground gets hot. Save yourself the trouble of blisters on your feet. Water shoes work best but flip flops get the job done too.

4.       SUN BLOCK: For the love of all things Holy, put on some sun block! It’s hot as Hades and the sun is beating down on you – save yourself from the misery of an awful sunburn! Put.On.Sunscreen. Then, reapply it every hour or two.

5.       GET A DRY GOODS CONTAINER: You know those little tube (or sometimes rectangle) shaped plastic things people wear around their necks? Get one! You can put your money and ID in them and they will stay dry all day. This also saves you from having to walk back and forth to your locker all day. Less time walking across the park and more time in the water. Makes sense right!?

6.       STAY HYDRATED: This might seem silly to you considering that you are IN the water but you have to stay hydrated. Skip the sodas and opt for the water.

7.       SAFETY DEVICES FOR THE LITTLE ONES: Some water parks (like Schlitterbahn!) provide life jackets and place them all around the park. I love that. The first few times we took Addison to Schlitterbahn I was a nervous wreck. The fact that there were life jackets available really eased my anxiety. It is extremely important that you have some sort of floatation device on your children. There will be so much going on and lots of people around and adults can get distracted very easily.

8.       HAVE A BUDDY SYSTEM: If you are headed to the water park with a large group, pair up. This way no one is ever left alone. There is safety in numbers people.

9.       ID TAGS: Okay, I’m going to sound a little paranoid here, but bare with me. If your kids are a bit older you might let them explore the park on their own. Take a picture of them with your cell phone before you let them run off. This way you will remember what they are wearing and will have a current picture on hand. Also – create and laminate ID tags and have your children wear them around their wrists or ankles. Information to include: name, parent’s name, and emergency phone numbers. This way if your child gets lost someone can help them get in contact with you.

10.   ESTABLISH A CHECK IN POINT: This is especially important if you are with a group or you let your children explore on their own: Before your party separates establish a check in point. Then, every hour or two, everyone can meet up at that spot just to “check in.”

Be prepared and really enjoy your day at the water park. You deserve it! 

Which of these tips do you find most helpful? Do you have any tips for me?

*This post is part of a series sponsored by Schiltterbahn water parks. I received a family four pack of tickets to Schlitterbahn in exchange for writing this series. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

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