We have been going to amusement parks and other similar attractions (like zoos) since my children were very little, so we have learned some things along the way. Surviving a day out can be a challenge, so here are some tips! Getting through a full day at the park can be exhausting for a parent as well – so make sure you take care of yourself as well. Things like staying hydrated and wearing comfortable shoes is a must!
Look for ways to save money
A day at the amusement park (or even just a few hours) can add up very quickly. Look for discounts and ways to save on each trip to the park, from discount theme park tickets to packing food to bring (to minimize the cost of food at the park).
Sunscreen / hats / sunglasses
Sun protection is important, plus you don’t want to spend your day with the sun glaring in your eyes. Bring sunscreen – I recommend a natural sunscreen that isn’t full of chemicals. Sun hats and sunglasses are great too. I can’t tell you how many times my kids would ask for their sunglasses.
If you are going to a park that also has a water park or water feature, swimsuits – especially rash guards (swim shirts, either short or long sleeve) are great!
Hydration is important especially on hot days. Even if your park doesn’t allow you to bring in drinks, bring reusable water bottles you can fill up at water fountains or concession stands. It can be a struggle to stay hydrated and cool, so make sure you take water breaks.
Food & Snacks
Not every park allows you to bring in food, but if they do, be prepared with food. Keep in mind too that if you have a food allergy or intolerance, you can bring a note and your own food. It will save you money and time – plus peace of mind if you have food allergies. Another option is to bring a cooler of food and go back to the car for lunch. This can be a trek – but waiting in line and paying for food inside the park can take a lot of time and money.
And if you can bring your own food, I highly recommend it. Park food can mean a lot of junk food, and eating junk food all day, combined with walking for hours (often in the heat) leave me feeling pretty gross. Even if I can bring some fruit and granola bars (my favorite are PROBARs), having some real nutrition instead of sugary drinks, popcorn and pizza, makes a HUGE difference.
Change of clothes
You never know when the kids will need a change of clothes – a ride that splashes you, a spilled drink, etc. While I like to travel light, at least keep something in the car or an extra set of clothes rolled up in a ziploc bag.
Medicines / Epi-pens / etc
I always bring my child’s Epi-Pen and allergy medicine. You don’t want to be away from home and have an emergency. I always have things like Tylenol on hand as well, because it is best to be prepared and I never rule out a headache after 10 hours of walking around at the park!
Trekking around all day, especially on pavement, can be tough. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes, keeping in mind that your feet may get hot and tired. We usually keep flip flops in the car for afterwards so everyone can take off their shoes and relax on the way home!
I have not been to an amusement park in quite a while. All these suggestions are terrific and I know I won’t forget the sunscreen.
It has been a while since I have been to an amusement park. But you definitely need to be prepared, especially since you are there for most the day/
Great tips. as a Mom who goes to Disney a lot, these tips are very helpful. thank you for the help.
Beautiful park. Blessed with natural beauty, and tons and tons of variety… and all sorts of things to do! Thanks for the tour!
As always, you offer the best tips. I have left the house so many times without thinking through what we need!
Awesome ideas! I am always a fan of brining food in a cooler to either eat in the car or if they allow food in we pack snacks that way we aren’t spending $100+ just on food.
Thank you so much for these tips, as a soon to be mom, I’ll take these tips to heart.
Most of these also work for bringing your grandma! I brought my grandma to Canadas Wonderland for the first time this year… it was an experience!
Nnniiiccceeeee…you need to come fully ready for anything. Amusement parks can turn out to be horror parks for kids!
It’s certainly a lot of work exploring with kids, but so worth it. Great tips listed here.
My kids are young teens now, but I certainly still make sure we have everything we need going on a trip because we also travel a lot. Great tips, by the way.
We don’t go much to amusement parks, but we are planing to go to one this Christmas. Thanks for the tips.
There are ways to save money. When the kids were little, we’d bring peanut butter and jelly lunches and snacks. The kids loved it and it saved us a ton.
Great tips, last time we went to the park, my little brother was asking for water a lot. So, I’m glad you put the water bottles on the list.
These are excellent tips. Amusement parks are so much fun for kids, but only if you’re prepared. Otherwise, you get bored, thirsty, hungry little tyrants. LOL. (Said from experience).
So many good tips! WE took our kids to Disney this summer and yes to all of this.
I’m sure any parents will need these tips. Dealing with the kids at places could be one of the hardest parts haha.
I remember when we used to go to amusement parks when I was a kid. We weren’t as prepared and this list would have been helpful!
Taking kids to amusement parks is also fun and many shops give discounts when you have kids. I saw some parents bring toys for their kids too so that their kids will not tempt to ask for new toys.