A Day at the Beach

Yesterday we went to the Beach Waterpark . We’ve gone for the past three summers with our kids and we have an absolute blast. This year was no different except that both were tall enough to go on most of the water rides.

If you’ve never been to the beach, it’s worth the trip as long as you do some planning in advance and go with certain expectations. First, buy your tickets on-line. You’ll save quite a bit of money. We paid $62 for four of instead of $119.00. If I’d been better at planning ahead, I could have purchased our tickets for $48 during an advance sale promotion. If you know you’re going to go, start checking their website in Spring and listen for deals announced on the radio. Advance tickets are not dated (except they need to be used that season), so if the day you picked looks rainy or gloomy, just choose a different day to go.
Second, parking is $7.50. There’s no way around not paying this.
Third, expect the park to be a bit on the seedy side and expect the bathrooms to be dirty. We always make sure that everyone has flip flops to wear when going to the bathrooms. PP and I always giggle about the sign on the outside that says “We’re proud of our clean bathrooms”. We’d hate to think what they’re definition of dirty is. The bathrooms are old, well used and rarely seem clean.
Besides the bathrooms, a great deal of the “rocks” have been picked away to expose the foam on the inside. We always ask the kids to not pick at the rocks and to not play around them. Some of the chairs are broken, just check before you sit down. We normally pick a spot on the back side of the lagoon and stake out our claims to chairs there. We like it because by mid-afternoon this is fairly shady and on a hot, bright sunny day a bit of shade is welcome after 5 hours in the sun.
Fourth, plan to eat lunch in the park. You can pack a picnic lunch but you have to go out of the park and into the parking lot area to eat it. Again, some simple planning can mean you’ll have a great time without a lot of money. Everytime we’ve gone, we’ve chosen to eat pizza for lunch. We purchased their pizza lunch deal which included a large cheese pizza, two orders of bread sticks and a pitcher of pop. Both kids loved the pop part and we chose orange Fanta – Yum! All of that was $18.50 (no tax). The pizza and bread sticks were delicious and made fresh. If we could buy this pizza and get it delivered to our house, we would. It’s that good. If you’re not a pizza fan, then you can buy a cheeseburger and fries for $5.00. Add a drink and it’s $7.00. To me, this isn’t really sticking it the customers which they could easily do. We would have easily paid $30 for our meal and not blinked an eye. I’m used to going to Kings Island where $20 will not easily buy one person something to eat much less lunch for four.
Fifth, arrive early and stay late. The park opens at 10 am. We arrived a little late for us, 10:30. Still early enough to find seats, though. We left at 6:30 and would have stayed longer but we chose to eat dinner out of the waterpark. Lots of kid camps come each day. They arrive at about 11 and leave at 3. The quietest part of the day is between 3 and 6 – the camp kids are gone and the families coming just for the evening haven’t arrived yet. We’ve found that even with all of the camp kids, you can still ride whatever ride you want without more than a 15 minute wait.
Sixth, the wave pool is outstanding and a highlight of every trip. Be sure to go to the wave pool several times during your visit – the wave machine works for 10 minutes and then is off for 10 minutes. It’s just the best – super fun and so much nicer than the real beach :~) no sand and no salt – just pure fun!
Our weather couldn’t have been more perfect. Temperatures were in the uppper 70’s low 80’s and the sunshine was bright with few clouds in the sky. The water was a little chilly, but not enough to keep us out. I can’t wait until we go again next summer!