Taking small children to an amusement park seems like it might be an impossible task. How do you keep them occupied if they can’t ride most of the rides? The answer lies in planning in advance. Keep this list in mind for your next trip and you’ll be amazed at how much fun your family can have.
Bring a Stroller
Even if your child hasn’t ridden in a stroller for years, you’ll never regret bringing one along. When your child is walking, they are great for carting around your things and giving your back a break. After a few hours of walking around in the sun, even the most independent kids will be happy to ride around for awhile and might even nap for an hour or two.
Plan for Lines
Going in the offseason can greatly reduce the crowds that you have to deal with, but there’s no way to completely avoid waiting in lines. By anticipating that in advance, you can come up with an idea of how you can help your child pass the time in constructive ways. Whether it’s letting them watch videos on your phone, buying them something from the gift shop to distract them, or playing games together, have some ideas in mind before you find yourself standing in line.
Beat the Heat
Most of us hit the theme parks in the summer when the kids are out of school and that means that it’s hot. Most amusement parks will have plenty of benches and AC running in indoor attractions, but often the lines run out the door, leaving you waiting for long stretches in the heat until you’re near the head of the line.
Most kids don’t deal well with heat so be prepared to help them stay cool. Bring plenty of water if the park allows it, if not buy drinks, but make sure to keep your little one well hydrated. Sunscreen and a hat are mandatory. Consider bringing along an icepack or a misting fan to help keep your child cool.
Study the Park
Some parks offer “fast pass” programs that allow you to take a ticket that guarantees you a short wait in line during a set window of time. Find out if your destination has one of these programs and use it.
Look at online maps to figure out the layout of the park and note where restrooms, the first aid station, and the rides appropriate for your child are located. Keep these areas in mind as you plan your day so that you can make a beeline in an emergency.
Bringing a young child on your trip does add new challenges, but the memories you make together will far outweigh the headaches.