We recently took the kids up to Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH and it was quite an experience. My daughter and her friend were roller coaster fiends. It was pretty cute watching them jump up and down as soon as they got off a ride begging to go again. Little thrill seekers. I was not surprised, Cedar Point has some of the best coasters in the country.
Cedar Point is located up on Lake Erie and is an easy drive from Columbus. I think it took us about two and a half hours to get up there. We packed up a bunch of snacks, water, and movie choices then hit the road. During our trip the kids watched a movie, read and chatted. We tried to fill our bellies with snacks we brought in order to save money on food.
Once we got there, we applied a ton of sunscreen – I was fortunate to have been asked to be a sponsor for Coppertone through Meijer, so I had some of their current sunscreen products; which in my opinion,worked terrifically and kept all of us from getting burned. We also were given free passes into the park. This was the push I needed to get my kids to an amusement park.
A few things I learned about hitting an amusement park with kiddos:
- Try to find discounted tickets or buy online. Many times they have deals for groups.
- Try to go on a low traffic day. We went on Monday, July 11 and waited literally no more than 20 minutes for a ride. My girl and her friend rode the Gemini three times in about 20 minutes. It was terrific!
- If you plan to go on a weekend or high traffic day, spring for the fast passes. They get you on rides quicker. Seriously, when is the next time you are going to be at Cedar Point – do you want to spend most of your time waiting in line?
- Read the restrictions about food and water. We brought in sealed water bottles and kept refilling from cups of water we asked for at drink stations. We also bought one souvenir cup and got free refills all day on various sodas and drinks, and just shared. (Coke or Sprite help when you have motion sickness like me).
- Do not buy the meal plans unless you truly plan on eating a lot. We ate breakfast and snacks on the way up. During the day we ate one meal and the kids got ice cream. We ate snacks in the car on the way home. The meal plan would have cost us $120 for the day, and we ended up only spending about $60 for all four of us.
- Sunscreen it up, seriously. You are in full sun most of the time and the last thing you want to go home with is a burn.
- Pay for parking online. Makes it easy to just show your QR code.
- Bring a hat and sunglasses.
- We also brought a handheld fan that squirts water – this was really effective helping us to cool down.
- Bring water shoes (flip flops or wear river sandals during the day or something) and bathing suits or a change of clothes if you plan on riding the water rides. You get SOAKED. The last thing a woman needs is a rash between her thighs from wet denim…and I saw plenty of that…
- Bringing a baby in a stroller seems like torture for child and parents. Unless you absolutely have to bring the baby, don’t. They can’t ride the rides, and unless it is a cool day they are roasting in that bucket seat. But, I can be overly cautious and phobic about germs and overheating…so don’t necessarily listen to me.
- Make it your vacation. I spoke with a number of families who were up for three to four days. They took advantage of the amusement park and the water park right next door. I am sure there are deals for hotel and admission rates.
- Don’t be ashamed by how much you pack for a one day outing.