A day at the water park is fun for the whole family. Slides, pools and time in the sun draw your family closer together and create memories that last forever. But without the right planning, a water park visit can quickly dissolve into sunburns, tear tracks and hunger pangs. Here’s how you can get the most out of your trip to the water park this summer.
Time It Right
While you’ll likely hear some complaints from your kids when you wake them, the early bird catches the worm. Get to the water park early and avoid the lines. Your kids may not thank you for their wake-up calls, but the complaints will be even louder if you get stuck in traffic and then a long entrance line to the park. An early arrival time also means shorter lines for popular rides and slides. Your kids probably won’t have patience for those long wait times later in the day, so give them the best opportunity at the most popular attractions.
Apply Lots of Sunscreen
While kids may complain about how sunscreen smells and feels, make sure it’s applied early and often. Most sunscreens recommend reapplication every hour, and while this may seem excessive, sunburns hurt and cause real damage if gone unchecked. If you don’t think you’ll remember to reapply with the excitement of the water park, purchase a sunscreen that retains effectiveness for four to six hours, even while in the water.
Don’t let the water deter you from capturing memories with a camera. Fortunately, smartphones now have waterproof technology. For example, with the Samsung Galaxy S7 you can snap all the pics you want while on the waterslide or even in the pool. With a 12-megapixel camera, even your low-light shots from inside a slide will come out great.
To avoid the high prices for lunch, snacks and water, pack snacks and water bottles to keep your kids full and happy. Stay away from sugary snacks that won’t fill them up for long. Instead, health bars and crackers are great for the kids, as they will expend a lot of energy and get hungry quickly, especially in the morning hours. Once the heat of the day arrives, make sure they drink plenty of fluids and refill your water bottles at drinking fountains.
Have an Exit Strategy
Many children have end-of-day meltdowns when they don’t get what they want. Luckily, there are ways to make the end of the day more manageable. Instead of “leaving,” explain that it’s time for the next activity of the day. This may be ice cream, a pizza place visit or some other end-of-day treat. When kids understand there is another activity they will likely enjoy after the water park visit, they’ll be less likely to melt down. While this may sound a lot like bribery, sometimes simple solutions are the most effective.