Summer is such a great time to take the family on a day trip. We live in the northern suburbs of Philadelphia, PA and are less than a 2 hour drive to the beach, the mountains or the rolling farm fields of Lancaster. (Be sure to check out my list of more than 100 Eastern Pennsylvania Road Trip ideas!) We are also able to get to a whole bunch of amusement parks for a day trip – from Knoebels and Diggerland to Dutch Wonderland and Hersheypark.
With a little bit of effort, you can make your amusement park days SO much more enjoyable. Check out our list of what to take to an amusement park if you’re planning to head to one with the kids during the Summer months! Being prepared will help you have a great time and stay comfortable so you can spend a long day at the park.
1. Collapsible Wagon – Our Mac folding wagon has quickly become one of our very favorite travel accessories. The kids (mostly Landon) love to be pulled around and wagons make for a very easy in/out process when they are going on lots of rides. The best part about the collapsible wagon is that it folds flat and doesn’t hog all of our trunk space the way a traditional wagon does.
2. Cooler or Insulated Bags with Ice Packs – Many amusement parks are pretty lenient when it comes to bringing in outside food and drinks. This perk is AWESOME and a huge money saver. We like to pack a cooler bag or one of our PackIt Cool bags with water bottles, juice boxes, sandwiches for lunch or dinner and snacks.
3. Food and Drinks – Banking off #2, bringing your own food and drinks into an amusement park can significantly cut down your spending. Check the park’s website to see if they allow outside food. If they do, load your bag with bottled water, juice boxes, snacks and sandwiches. We usually bring lots of drinks, homemade hoagies and a variety of the kids’ favorite snacks.
4. Safety Tats – Amusement Parks are huge and sometimes, even the best behaved kids end up lost in a big crowd. Safety Tats are temporary tattoos that you can order with your contact info (ie phone number) printed right on them.
5. Sunscreen – Sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to forget to throw the sunscreen into your bag. Make sure you lather up the kids before you leave for the park and then reapply according to your product’s instructions.
7. Swim Diapers and Other Essentials – Maybe you’re not going to haul the entire diaper bag to the park with you, but be sure to pack enough diapers (regular and swim) or Pull-Ups and wipes to get you through your day!
8. Water-Resistant Blanket – These things are all the rage! We have actually owned a couple for a few years. They have earned a permanent spot in each of our cars and have given us a nice dry spot to sit at many horse shows, beach trips, fireworks nights and more. They work great at amusement parks for lunch under a shady tree or to watch fireworks from, etc.
9. Change of Clothing – Because? Water rides happen. Ice cream cones melt. It’s never a bad idea to throw a change of clothes into your bag.
10. Ziploc bags – I admit, I am pretty obsessed with Ziploc bags when we go on a trip. They help me to compartmentalize and organize all of our STUFF from snacks to toiletries. Amusement Parks are no exception. Since Ziplocs are sealed WATERproof bags, they are ideal for keeping items away from the water. I like to pack food, diaper essentials and also spare outfits in Ziploc bags. Bonus – turn an empty Ziploc into a trash bag for any food wrappers, dirty diapers, etc. OR a wet bag for log-flume-soaked clothing.
11. Munchkin Click Lock Food Pouch Spoon Tips – If you are toting a baby or toddler with you, these spoons are absolutely heaven-sent! We used to frequently feed Landon baby food from pouches – especially when we were out and about. We loved not having to remember to pack a spoon, no toting around dirty spoons in the diaper bag until we finally remembered to take them out. No need for a bowl either. Simply twist the spoon tip onto the baby food pouch and squeeze food onto the spoon. Too easy! I love the included cap – eliminates the need to clean the spoon right away.
12. Rain Poncho – Summer heat and humidity often produce afternoon thunderstorms. Toss a few cheap rain ponchos in your bag in case it starts to pour. Gift shops often have ponchos, but the prices are almost always extremely inflated.
13. Park Map – Print a map of the amusement park before you go. Many parks have these available on their websites. Use the map to plan out the rides your family wants to go on ahead of time. If you can’t find a map online, grab one as you enter the park.
14. Swimsuits – Many amusement parks have water rides, while others have an entire waterpark. It’s a good idea to toss swimsuits into your bag, just in case!
15. Sanitizing Hand Wipes – People. Dirt. Food. Bathrooms. Rides. Sanitizing hand wipes are a great idea for have at-the-ready for the times you can’t get to running water and soap.
16. Rapid Phone Charger – I tend to use my phone a lot to snap quick pictures and video when we’re on-the-go. It’s great that they phone is so convenient but I hate how quickly it drains my phone battery. Keep a rapid charger and phone cord in your bag so you’re not left with a dead phone.
17. Backpack – Yup – a good ‘ol backpack is a fantastic type of bag to pack all of these goodies into. You can carry them hands-free and they hold a lot. Need more space? Have the kids carry backpacks too!
More Summer fun you might enjoy…