Planning a visit to an amusement park is one of the best summer pastimes. Whether you’re visiting a large theme park for multiple days or just taking a day trip for a family fun day, there is always plenty for everyone to enjoy. It can, however, be a little challenging to manage the day with kids that vary in age and are interested in doing different things. Here are some tips for surviving a day at the amusement park with kids of multiple ages.
Go in with a Plan
Start your day off on the right foot by doing your homework before you arrive. Take a look at the park layout, read up on height and age requirements, and come up with a plan of attack to make sure that everyone gets to do their must-do items. Research websites to see if there are any special tricks that can help to organize your day, such as avoiding a certain area at a specific time for a parade or show.
Break Off into Ride Groups
If you have littles who aren’t quite ready for thrill rides plus big kids who want to be hanging upside down by their feet while hurling a hundred miles an hour, split up into groups if you have enough adult supervision. Plan regular intervals to meet up and have meals or go together on attractions that everyone can enjoy.
When the numbers or supervision just don’t work out that you can divide and conquer, take turns letting the kids pick what attraction to do next. At most parks, there are specific groupings of attractions with something for everyone in each area. Alternate thrill rides with “chill” rides through everything in an area before you move on to the next to prevent extra walking.
Take Advantage of Child Swap
Find out if the amusement park you are visiting has a child swap option available. Sometimes, if two adults in the same group want to ride the same larger attraction, there is a program in place that will let them trade places without waiting in line again. This way one can stay with young children while the other has a chance to ride.
Pack Snacks and Activities for Little Ones
Patience is not always the strong point of younger children. If they’re required to wait while older kids go on a ride that they aren’t ready for, there could be meltdowns. Keep some small snacks and things to do on hand to pull out while they’re waiting. This will help keep them amused and keep little tummies content in between meals so that you’re not spending a small fortune on park food.
Scope Out Places for Rest Breaks
Keep an eye out for shady places with lots of seating so that you’ll know where to go when someone needs a little time out or a chance to rest their feet. These areas also make good meeting places when you’ve split up to do different attractions.
Taking kids of multiple ages to an amusement park can be a challenge, but it can also be a lot of fun. Just know your plan going in and try to keep the day as fair and balanced for everyone as you can.