What more summer fun can you have than a trip to the water park? You get some sun, scream and giggle down the slides, enjoy the refreshing water, relax on the lazy river…it’s a dream, really. There are, however, some important things you need to remember to ensure your trip is a smashing success. To help you stay prepared, I’m going to share with you my list of what to pack for a trip to the water park.
A few weeks ago, we attended an event at Wild River Country in North Little Rock, Arkansas. From Memorial Day weekend through August 12, they are open 7 days a week! You can purchase day passes or season tickets. Wild River Country also offers discounts to children under 4ft tall (2yrs and under are free), military members, and seniors 60+. A season pass will also get you 10% off of food and drinks at the Cookhouse and the gift shop!
The sun was hot, the water was cool, the slides were amazing, and the lazy river was relaxing [mostly…I do have boys]. During our family night, we tried the Wave Pool, the lazy river, the Tad Pool (which is a toddler section–my boys wanted to check out the water wall), and the Cyclone. The Cyclone was my favorite! It’s a family ride that can seat up to four people and you ride through complete darkness. We held the boys’ hands to make sure they wouldn’t let go in the dark, but they did great!
My boys also went on a few rides without me: Wild River Rapids and Pipeline and my husband was the most adventurous and went on the Aqualoop and Free Fall Plus. We definitely have to go back and try out the rest!
What to Pack for a Trip to the Water Park: A List of Water Park Essentials
With two kids, a husband, and my clumsy self, I knew I had to be totally prepared before heading out. We packed various items from comfort items to first aid to the things you simply can’t head to the water park without.
What to Pack for the Water Park
Waterproof Sun Protectant
At the water park, you will be out in the sun for a long time. Water can make sunburns get even worse, so make sure you are wearing good, natural sunscreen to help prevent burns and damaging your skin. Make sure it is waterproof and that you reapply it as needed (the containers will usually tell you how long until you need to reapply) so that you stay protected during your entire trip. I made my own sunscreen with my essential oils and no one got burned (and usually we do get burned); I plan to share this recipe with you soon.
While you may not be able to wear your sunglasses the entire time, especially when you are on the slides, bring them along for the times you will need them to protect your eyes, like when you’re relaxing on the lazy river or on a beach chair taking a break.
You may also choose to bring a beach hat. This is totally up to you and mostly makes sense if you are the one sitting and watching instead of getting wet.
Bandages, even waterproof, won’t last long at a waterpark, but they will be okay briefly as needed. No joke, I broke off my toenail before we even got into the water and I needed to use two bandages on it (because I’m clumsy). I used the waterproof bandage while I sat in the Cabanas waiting for it to heal a little bit. Once it was healed up enough, I was able to wade in the wave pool for a bit with the boys and have my toe completely protected with the waterproof bandage. All was well and I was able to completely remove it before heading to the water slides! You just never know what will happen…skinned knees is one we usually deal with a lot.
You may want to have an entire first aid kit available too, though I’m sure the water park will have something in place to help out should you need something like that.
At Wild River Country, you are able to bring in one unopened bottle of water. I recommend having a bottle along, because even though you’ll be surrounded by water, you will need to stay hydrated. They also have places you can get bottled water and other beverages should you need them.
While you cannot bring food into the Wild River Country water park, I do recommend either having money for food at their stands or having some snacks in your car for when you plan to go on break if you will be there for much of the day.
We were treated to the Cabanas, where we were served some of the food they have available: pizzas, hot dogs, burgers, and chicken fingers. You can rent out a Cabana with or without the food included. I loved having this option, because we had a set time to eat so we wouldn’t get too busy and forget, we had a nice and relaxing shaded area to rest as needed, and there was also a locked storage bin where we could keep our things. Plus, the pizza tasted so good. It totally hit the spot.
Have you ever noticed how swimming makes you starving? Definitely make sure you are fed and fed well. Oh, and we didn’t wait for 30 minutes to swim after eating and no one cramped up, so keep enjoying your fun family time!
You definitely don’t want to forget beach towels! These are great for drying off, warming up, or using as blankets.
I know this is a given, but I realized I should still put it, because, well, I’m the type that would forget this sort of thing.
Wild River Country does have stands with life jackets you can use for your littles to keep them safe, but if there are any specific style life jackets that work better for your kids, bring them along. The life jackets they had there worked for my kids on all of the rides, but they need special life jackets for when they want to actually swim in the pool, like Ole’ Swimmin’ Hole.
These are optional, but I do recommend bringing either beach shoes that you can keep on your feet the entire time, or sandals that won’t mind the wetness, just simply to have when you are walking from ride to ride so you don’t burn your feet. We just left our flip flops near the end of the ride and went back to get them after we finished up.
Having a cover is totally optional, but if you are like me, you may want a swim cover or a shirt to wear when you are taking breaks or walking around or heading out the door, or even for on the way in (though we just changed into swimsuits in the bathroom after we arrived).
We always bring along some extra clothing that we can change into when the day is through or just to have in case of accidents (kid accidents or just getting our regular outfits wet unintentionally). As parents, we’ve learned it’s just always a good idea to bring along extras…everywhere.
Your hair will likely get out of place. You can leave it if you’re comfortable with that, but I like to have along a brush and/or comb to keep our hair fairly tame between rides and so it can dry properly on the way home.
Extra Ponytail Holder
If you’re like me, you tend to lose ponytail holders. Hopefully it’ll stay put on the rides, but I always carry along one or two extras in my purse or beach bag just in case. You can use these for other things too, like if you need to seal a bag shut or temporarily fix a broken strap.
I like to have these handy in case someone gets water in their ears. This way we can soak it out and our ears are comfortable again and hopefully prevent swimmer’s ear.
Book for Break Time (Optional)
If you plan on spending the entire day at the water park, you may want to bring along a book to read when it’s time to rest and take a break. If you’re in the Cabanas, you’ll have a nice, shaded area to read comfortably and recharge for some more water park fun. Bringing along books for the kids is also a great idea to keep them reading and help them learn to take breaks and relax too.
Other Items You May Need
Depending on your needs, you may want to bring along some other “in case of emergency” items. Some of these items may include the following: lip balm (sun protectant types are best), safety pins (in case of broken swimsuits), baggies, a bag for wet items, a permanent marker (to label your items or whose water is whose), waterproof camera, extra earring backs (in case one falls off), waterproof watch.
Print this free waterpark packing list
Can you think of anything I may have missed? Share in the comments below!