No summer would be complete without at least one visit to a theme park. However, a day full of rides, sweet treats, and sunshine can easily be ruined by ill-preparedness. The following tips will provide some guidelines to fend off both minor and major mishaps and ensure your amusement park adventure is an enjoyable and memorable experience.
Before The Big Day
The best tip for a stress-free day is to plan ahead. Don’t wait until the morning of to start scrambling. By preparing and planning a few days ahead of time, you can easily avoid small problems and annoyances that could sour the mood of the whole trip.
Get Details Online
Check the theme park’s website before you go. In addition to offering discounts for purchasing tickets in advance online, it may also list important information such as height requirements for rides, available amenities, and restaurant locations and menus. You may also want to print the park map. Perusing the map beforehand can help you and your family pinpoint the do-not-miss rides and attractions, helping reduce the amount of time spent debating what to do next.
Make sure everyone in your family is wearing comfortable, weather-appropriate clothes. Dress younger kids in brightly-colored apparel so they’re easier to spot in a large crowd. If you’re visiting a water park, remember to pack bathing suits and a spare change of clothes.
Pack the Essentials
Always bring some sort of backpack to an amusement park. This gives everyone a safe place to store their valuable belongings, as well as room for essential items such as wipes and first aid kits.
Here are some items that are lifesavers at amusement parks:
Wipes are always handy. Whether used for cleaning hands, getting a stain off a shirt, or scraping off the ice cream that has just dripped on one’s shoe, wipes are a convenient solution and much more sanitary than a dry napkin from the food stand.
In the concrete oasis of an amusement park, sunburn can occur quickly. Be sure to bring a bottle of sunscreen with an SPF of at least 75. If you’re planning to visit a waterpark, it may be wise to purchase a water-resistant type. Keep in mind that many sunscreens take half an hour to fully bind to one’s skin and should be reapplied every two hours.
Ziploc bags are a lifesaver at an amusement park. They can keep a cell phone dry, hold wet clothes after a water ride, carry a picnic lunch, or keep all the pieces of a gift shop Lego set grouped together.
You’ve finally made it into the park! You and your family are all excited to get on with the day’s activities, but now is not the time to let your guard down. Here are some final tips to ensure everyone enjoys a fun, safe day.
Go Against the Flow
Most people enter a theme park, head toward the first attraction they see, and work their way to the back of the park. To avoid the biggest crowds, start at the back of the park and work your way forward.
Since young children can get overstimulated quickly, prevent meltdowns and tantrums with some downtime. A nap or a quiet picnic lunch in the shade can be just enough of a break to prepare your child for round two.
Keep an eye on your little ones at all times. Make sure your kids always hold onto an adult’s hand when walking through a large crowd.
A day at the amusement park can take a lot out of you, but with a little preparation, it can be a fun day for everyone…including Mom and Dad!
Katherine Truong is an editorial intern