Holiday World with Little Kids

Holiday World is one of our favorite trips of the summer! It's been around since 1946, and just keeps getting bigger and better with every year. It's super unique because different sections of the park are themed after holidays. It also has one of the best water parks ever! (Splashin Safari) There is always free parking, free sunscreen, and free soft drinks. (Which is amazing!) I'm going to give you our family itinerary of how we spend our day there, as well as some additional tips!

First of all, Holiday World runs on Central Daylight Time, so make sure you think of that when planning on what time to leave. We've showed up an entire hour before the park opens 3 years in a row. Haha! Just 5 minutes away from the park is a McDonalds where we always stop for breakfast around 9am. (The park opens at 10am). I make sure the kids' bellies are full, and we all take a restroom stop before we get there. Parking is free, and we've always been there early enough to be able to park right up close to the entrance. Ticket prices can get pretty expensive, but I know on their website you can buy tickets ahead of time to save some money! 2 years old and under are free.

Once you get through the gates, you're in the Christmas section. We go straight to the kiddie rides, just left of the Santa statue. This is a great place to start the kids out with rides. Especially if they are a little scared. (Lux is always terrified at first.) We stay here from 10-10:45, and then we get ready for Splashin Safari. It opens at 11am, and there's usually a big crowd waiting to get in that gate. You can get into the restrooms/changing rooms early, and purchase a locker. The last few times we've just kept our stuff in the bottom of our stroller.

Once the gates open, we go straight for the Splash Land section. It's fairly new, and made for littles. There are lots of small waterslides, with a zero-entry, and a splash pad section. The girls never wanted to stop going down these slides! They do have life jackets for kids, but we brought our own wings since that's what the girls are most comfortable with.

After about an hour here, we moved on to the newest kid section of Splashin Safari. Tembo Tides and Tembo Falls. There are lots of small waterslides, and a kid-sized wave pool section that's new this year.

For lunch we ate at Jungle Jake's. They mainly had pizza and wings. The girls ate pizza w/ breadsticks, and I got the sweet BBQ wings. They were pretty good. Last year we ate at the Wildebeestro, and I think I preferred that. They have more options, and it's less crowded.

After lunch, we hit the Bahari Wave Pool. It's the most crowded pool area, but it's super fun, and they had a DJ! The waves get pretty big here, so just keep a close eye on toddlers. Thea wasn't a fan of the huge waves! Lol.

By this time it was around 3pm, and we were ready to go do some more rides. We started in the Thanksgiving section and did the "Gobbler Getaway". An indoor experience where you shoot turkeys for "thanksgiving dinner". It's a ride the whole family can get on, and it's nice and air-conditioned. Last year, we ate dinner at the "Plymouth Rock Cafe" and loved it. A whole Thanksgiving-themed menu, and air-conditioned dining. It's a nice break from the heat, and different food options if you're tired of the chicken tenders/pizza.

We went to the Halloween section, where Lux rode the Scarecrow Scrambler, and the Frightful Falls log ride. Next, we moved on to the 4th of July section. Here they have the Tippee Canoes (perfect for toddlers), a classic merry-go-round, and the Eagles ride.

Our last stop was the Holidog FunTown section. There is playground equipment, a splash pad, and a few rides designed for little ones. Thea was able to ride most of these, and really enjoyed this area. We rode the train ride around the park, and by this time everyone was getting tired.

Around 6pm, we were about ready to head home. But first, ice cream. On the way back out of the park, we stopped in the Santa's Merry Marketplace in the Christmas section. They have re-done the entire inside this past year! It's super cute. The hand-dipped ice cream was amazing. On the way out, we even ran into Santa! It was an awesome day, and the girls loved it so much. They were both asleep as soon as we pulled out of the parking lot.

Additional Holiday World Tips

1. Stop for breakfast right before
2. Get to the park 15 minutes early (the kiddie rides run before 10am!)
3. Wear sneakers (tons of walking and hills), and bring flipflops for Splashin Safari
4. Don't go in a huge group if possible. You get around quicker, and can do more with less people.
5. You can bring small snacks for babies and toddlers. I would pack little granola bars and squeezables. Food is pretty expensive, and the kids waste most of it because they are more interested in the rides. 
6. Stop at all the drink stations in-between rides, and get some water to sip on while you're waiting in line. You will get dehydrated!
7. Plan and map out your itinerary before you go. Have a general idea of the areas and rides you want to hit. You will not have time to do it all, so prioritize.
8. Get familiar with the park layout ahead of time. It's realllly confusing if you've never been there before, and you're trying to navigate around the crowds.
9. If you can, go on a weekday. If weekends are your only option, try to go earlier in the summer.
10. Wear something comfortable that you don't care to get wet or dirty. And go with cheap sunglasses!


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