How to prepare for a day at the waterpark with the kids:
Step 1: Convince the grandparents to take them.
But in all seriousness, I love waterparks. Not so much the slides and not so much the crowds – but whoever came up with the lazy river idea just gets me. I would say they know me on a creepy level if they also served wine on these so-called “rivers”. Probably a good thing they don’t, as I do need to be responsible enough to watch my kids.
So yesterday, we decided it would be a good idea to take the kids to the waterpark today. My initial thought was…COOL!! We haven’t gone in a while and this would be fun for all of us. I was also excited to have something to threaten the kids with all day when they didn’t do what I asked them to.
Something like this…
Me: “Time to clean up your toys”
Them: “Okay Mom, we’re just going to play while we clean up”
Me (10 mins later): “Girls, clean up now – or we can’t go tomorrow”
Them: “OK we’re doing it”
Me (10 minutes later and losing my shit): “OK we are not going to the waterpark tomorrow!!”
Them: “Your the meanest Mom ever”
But they know I want to go on the lazy river – so they totally take advantage of me in that way.
However, going to the waterpark also comes with its own stresses. Packing, lines, crowds, questionable water…So I looked for a survival guide online, to help me get through a day like today. I couldn’t find anything remotely close to what I needed. So I took note of what to do, and what not to do based on my day today and here are my steps for surviving a day at the waterpark.
- Make sure its going to be hot and sunny. You need the perfect combination of sun and heat otherwise getting off the slides and going to the next adventure is going to be hell. Today – it was not that. All the girls were walking from slide to slide with their arms crossed in front of them. You also become very aware of how warm the wave pool is versus the lazy river and at the same time incredibly grossed out.
- Buy your tickets on-line. You usually save some money doing this and saves you time in the lineup. This also helps you budget – I mean at the counter I may have not known how everything added up and gone for the cabana rental also – but online it clearly reminds you of your financial status in this world when you see the prices all together.
- Pack lightly.
- Towels, sunscreen, reusable water bottle, and an extra pair of underwear. Wear everything else.
- Since you’ve decided to go to the waterpark and they cost like a gazillion dollars- its likely you do have some disposable income and can afford a meal there as well. I’m all for cost savings – but save yourself the stress of packing, cooling and lugging around food and items and just plan it into your budget. You will also save your sanity knowing that you don’t have to say no to every other food request because of what you packed.
- Chill your favourite bottle of wine before you leave – it will be a nice reward at the end of the day for all your patience
- Get there about 15 minutes before it opens so you can be in the doors at the official opening time – this is the best time because all the good slides have no line-ups.
- Trick your kids early into going on some of the slides that you like. My middle daughter (remember – ADHD/sensory issues) is irrationally scared of her shadow, which means a lot of trying and failing to convince her to go on anything remotely cool. Half our time is spent trying – the other half is succumbing to spending the day in the toddler splash pad because we have given up. We at least tricked her into the adventure tubing (amped up lazy river) at the start by telling her it was simply the lazy river – she was screaming blue bloody murder most of the way and didn’t trust us at all after. Parenting WIN!!
- Know where everything in the park is so you know the areas to avoid – like the gift shop. NEVER – EVER – choose any type of outing to a place in which you have to pass through the gift shop to exit.
- Try to outnumber your kids. Usually impossible and it sucks when the kids have different tolerances for thrills. If possible, bring an older niece, friend or babysitter to help with this.
- Try to remember that this is making memories for the kids – so no matter how lame or frustrating it can be, they will be super happy you spent the equivalent of a car payment to take them to a water park. HAHAHA – who are we kidding, by the time we are half way home they will be telling us we are the worst parents ever because we told them to share their markers. After you’ve bribed them with ice cream in order to leave.
- Open your chilled bottle of wine upon your return and pour yourself a glass. Congrats! You did it!!
Bookmark this page and share it with your friends so that you have it handy when needed. Many of these points can also apply to amusement parks, zoos, etc. Enjoy your wine!!