Use these tips for visiting an amusement park with little kids before you actually go.
Tips for Visiting an Amusement Park
We love visiting amusement parks with the kids, especially in the summer when my husband’s off from work and we can go any day of the week. The kids love all of the rides, games, and food, and we love making memories with them.
Some of my happiest childhood memories are from visiting amusement parks with my family. Do you feel the same?
Tips for Taking Kids to Amusement Parks
Here are some of my helpful tips for visiting an amusement park with young kids:
Know the answers to these questions before you go.
- What park will you be visiting?
- Does it have kid-friendly rides, especially for younger kids?
- Is there a charge for kids under three?
- Are there any available discounts?
- How far is it from where you live?
- Will you be in the car for long?
- Can you bring food and drinks in?
- Where are the eating venues, and how expensive are they?
- How long will it take you to visit the entire park?
Tip: A great gift idea for kids is passes to their favorite park! My kids’ grandparents give the kids passes for Christmas so that they can go multiple times in the summer.
Bonus Tip: Hersheypark has great stay-and-play packages at the Hershey Lodge.
Choose a day when the amusement park won’t be busy.
Trust me: you don’t want to bring little kids to an amusement park on a busy day when they might spend most of the day waiting in line to get on rides that last 30 seconds.
The busiest days will be Friday or Saturday, plus summer holidays. Try to plan a day during the week, preferably early in the day when most people are at work.
Choose a time of the day when the kids will be at their best.
This tip is for kiddos who may be used to taking naps on a daily basis. One missed nap at an amusement park will not make for an amusing tantrum…
If you can, try to plan your day around the naptime. Perhaps you can travel during naptime so your kiddos can rest in the car.
Also consider when your kiddos like to eat. If you arrive right around lunchtime and the kids are ravenous, they may give you a hard time as you try to navigate the park.
Be prepared with enough supplies.
I say ‘enough’ because you won’t really need everything. When we go to an amusement park, we can usually pack one backpack with everything we need and keep the rest in the car.
For my older kiddos, I like to bring:
- a spare set of clothes,
- a jacket in case it gets chilly,
- a few bottles of water,
- a few small snacks,
- quarters for games,
- and Dramamine (my oldest gets very car/ride sick).
You’ll find that as the kids get older and older, you’ll need less and less. A lot of these items we leave in the car, just in case.
For babies, I would bring:
- a stroller,
- changing pad,
- small snacks,
- spare set of clothes,
- sun hat,
- a jacket,
- and the baby carrier.
Why the stroller and the carrier? Sometimes, the baby likes to be held instead of being in the stroller all day. The carrier helps Mom’s or Dad’s back and arms if baby wants to be carried, plus it’s super light and easy to bring along. An older kid can rest in the stroller when the baby isn’t inside.
Honestly, with my last baby, I didn’t bring the stroller along since it was super easy to wear her in the baby carrier. I really liked using either my Lillebaby All Seasons, my Beachfront Baby Ringsling or my Tula Coast Carrier.
Make a plan of attack.
This is for navigating the park. It’s super important to know where everything is, especially with little kids in tow!
- Visit the park’s website and find the park map. (Bonus points for parks with their own app!)
- Create a route you’d like to follow, perhaps one that gives the kids the chance to ride as many rides as they can before seeing an exhibit or going to the gift shop.
- Know where the bathrooms or changing rooms are. If necessary, locate the breastfeeding stations.
- Know where the first aid stations are.
- Find ATMs, just in case.
The point is not to follow that plan exactly but to know where you are in case of melt downs, potty breaks, hunger, emergencies, etc. The more prepared you are before you go, the less stressed you’ll be when you’re there.
When the kids get older, this all gets easier. I promise! By that time, you’ll be a pro at navigating amusement parks with kids.
What tips would you add?
Leave a comment below to let me know!