(StatePoint) You don’t have to wait until summer to pack up the family for a fun waterpark adventure. The indoor waterpark concept was first pioneered in Wisconsin Dells and the region is now chock-full of both indoor and outdoor parks. Here are some great tips to prepare for and enjoy a family getaway in the Dells, the self-proclaimed “waterpark capital of the world!”
Whether you’ve visited before or are a newbie to waterpark rides and slides, here are some tips to know before you go:
• The right swimsuit is key: Don’t wear swimsuits with buttons, zippers, belts, rivets or other metal adornments. You might be prohibited from certain attractions, as such items can damage slides, and even if you are allowed, you don’t want your suit to catch and tear.
• Bring walking shoes: Definitely pack water shoes or sandals, but bring comfy walking shoes for dry activities and rides that abound at these parks.
• Make time for non-water fun: These waterparks are huge, so go beyond pools and water slides and visit the many game rooms, arcades, virtual reality simulators, escape rooms, mini golf courses, bowling alleys, lounges and more.
• Rent a cabana or bungalow: They make for easy family meeting spots and a place to call home base and relax between attractions.
• Get a waterproof case for your phone: Most people will be using their phones to take family photos and coordinate meeting times. A plastic waterproof case will protect gear from drops and splashes.
• Take advantage of kids’ clubs: Most resorts feature clubs offering activities like hikes, crafts, games, scavenger hunts and other fun that will give parents much-needed down time.
• Relax and pamper yourself: The larger waterparks offer luxurious spas and salons for adults to rejuvenate their bodies and minds. You can schedule massages, body and skin treatments and hair and nail services.
• Don’t leave toddlers behind with the grandparents: You can find activities for all ages at most waterparks. Popular toddler attractions include smaller slides, special pools with water seats, geysers, interactive games and more. And seniors can enjoy everything from swim-up bars to golf simulators to sitting beside lazy rivers.
• Use sunscreen, even at indoor parks: Obviously, you need sunscreen at outdoor slides, rides and pools. And reapply frequently, because most sunscreens wear off in water. But don’t forget you can burn at many indoor parks because of transparent roofs.
• Eat at the park: Local state law prohibits food or beverages from being brought in from outside the waterpark (although you can bring things to your room). But there are tons of culinary options at all parks — from family-friendly fare to exotic eats to world-class gourmet dining. So, no need to leave for meals!
Over the years, the waterpark adventure in the Wisconsin Dells has morphed from splashing around a theme park to enjoying full service vacation destinations complete with family entertainment centers, luxurious spas and restaurants. With a little smart preparation, all family members can have a blast, no matter if they are 3 or 83.
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