Before you throw your kids in the car and head off for a day at the amusement park, there are some things you need to consider. Few things can be more frustrating and disappointing than going to an amusement park ready to have a great time, only to end up having a miserable day instead. With these tips you can ensure that your family has a day to be remembered fondly for many years to come.
- Check the Forecast. This seems obvious, but so often, with all the other planning that goes into a trip to an amusement park, people fail to check the weather forecast. Just because it’s sunny now doesn’t mean it will be this evening. So tune into the weather forecast, and if the temperature is going to be blazing (or freezing!) or heavy thunderstorms are moving in, plan your amusement park trip for a different day.
- Dress For Success. Forget about those oh-so-cute outfits and high fashion. Go for comfort and coolness. Some travel specialists suggest a bathing suit and flip-flops as the outfit of choice for an amusement park. You may want to add an old T-shirt and pair of shorts or a cover-up, especially for the children.
- Lather Up. Many a great day at the amusement park has been spoiled by lack of SPF. Sunburn is the last thing you want for yourself or your kids, so slather on the sunscreen well and often, and relax.
- Travel light. When you have children, there’s a tendency to take every item you think they might possibly need — or even think about needing. Having to carry heavy bags, or bags of any kind for that matter, can ruin your day at the park. So pack lightly and don’t worry if you leave some things behind. More than likely no one will notice because they’ll be having such a great time. If you feel you must carry a bag, check it into a rented locker, so you won’t be lugging it all over the park.
- Set Expense Limits Before You Go. Temptation is heavy at amusement parks. Oh, the food, the games, the souvenirs! Make a budget and be sure everyone knows how much they’re allowed to spend. Knowing the limits beforehand will not only ensure that you don’t overspend, it will also cut down on the begging and whining you’ll have to listen to all day–and that’s always a good thing!
- Go Early. Showing up early at an amusement park is the best way to beat the crowds and avoid long lines for rides and other activities. Have your tickets ready and you’ll be at the head of the line.
- Plan Your Strategy. You want everyone in the family to be able to do the things they want to. For this to happen, you’ll have to do some pre-planning. Get a map of the amusement park in advance and find the best route that will give everyone a chance to accomplish at least part of what they want. No one should be left out, even you!
- Conserve Your Energy. Don’t try to do the most strenuous activities (such as wave pools) as soon as you get to the amusement park. Activities like these are very hard on little ones, and you don’t want them to get overtired too quickly. So alternate more strenuous activities with less strenuous ones. Take frequent breaks to hydrate and rest, especially if you have children under the age of 12.
- Make Sure Everyone Follows the Amusement Park Rules. Thrills and chills are part of the overall entertainment at an amusement park, but you want to be sure it’s the right kind of excitement. For instance, don’t let a child who is too small get on a ride just because he’s with Dad. It’s too dangerous. Following the park’s rules and regulations will keep everyone safe and thrilled in all the best ways.
Written by Pat Brill