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Planning Your First Family Waterpark Trip


There are waterparks all across the UK – and beyond – and it’s not hard to see why. The rides, rapids, water attractions, cooling sprays and wave pools are a huge draw for families.


Waterparks can be a really enjoyable day out for the entire family, but it’s important to minimise the stress ahead of the big day.


As always, the devil is in the detail. Which is why we’ve rounded up the best tips to make your first family waterpark trip a total splash!




The Day Before

Do all your planning in the days leading up to your family outing. Make sure you check the right times for the park, and plan to get there roughly half an hour before the park opens. The crowds will be smaller and there will be a better chance of you getting a great parking spot.



As with most family outings, the day before is your chance to get ahead of yourself and do some packing.


When you’re packing make sure you include everything you could need throughout the day. The obvious choices stand out here, including:

- Bathing suits

Goggles are a must to keep all the chlorine out of small eyes

- Plenty of towels

- Sunscreen, especially if it is an outdoor waterpark. Alternatively, consider a sun protecting top – like this Big Fisch shark rash vest for boys, or this Nike long sleeve hydro top for girls.

- Hats!

- Sandals, flip-flops, or crocs for everyone


It is also beneficial to bring:

- Thick jumpers and tracksuit bottoms. They are ideal to slip on over the top of swimwear once you leave the pool and prevent any little ones from getting too cold

- Waterproof cases for your phone and money

- If there are lockers, see if you need to bring your own padlock

- Picnic food – including plenty of water. Avoid caffeinated drinks, as these contribute to dehydration.

Water shoes (especially for the children). They will help avoid any burns from hot pavements, cuts from rough pool floors, and any bruises from slippery walkways.

- A float device for little ones, but check with the waterpark as they may have specific guidelines for which type of float you can bring


Some waterparks may also have rules on what kind of swimwear and clothing that they deem to be appropriate. There may be items that are prohibited, such as wet suits, and bathing suits with metal buckles or zippers.


Waterpark cafes and restaurants can fill up quickly, so it is advisable to bring your own picnic with you. Prepare a lunch box before you leave, packing it with all of your children’s favourite lunchtime snacks. This will not only ensure your children will like their lunch food but it also means you can snack throughout the day without having to venture to a café.




The Day of the Big Trip



During the day of your family trip out, try and set off as early as possible. Getting there early is the key so you can get settled before the crowds arrive!


Make sure you park close to the entrance. When it comes to home time, this can be a wonder when the family are tired after a long day of swimming! Parking closest to the entrance of the waterpark can sometimes be at an extra cost, but it’s worth it. The last thing you want to happen is forget where you’ve parked in a sea of cars – we’ve all been there!


Once inside, see if the waterpark provides lockers or somewhere secure for you to store your belongings. By storing them somewhere safe, you can concentrate on having a great day out with your family!



It goes without saying, but make sure you keep an eye on your little ones during the day. You can’t always guarantee that the lifeguards can keep their eyes on every small swimmer!


Don’t forget to organise a meeting point. This will help the children feel more relaxed and safe knowing they can find you at any point throughout the day, especially if they are playing with other children.  


Once the day starts winding down – and you and your family are ready to head back home - gather your bits and head for the car. Perhaps stopping off to get an ice-cream on the way to the car as a lovely sweet end to a great day out.





Hopefully our tips and tricks will help you feel organised and prepared for your first family trip to a waterpark. Did we miss any tips that work for you? Let us know in the comments below, or tweet us @SimplySwimUK!