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Navigating amusement parks with toddlers

Amusement parks can be a thrilling and memorable experience for the whole family. But it can also be overwhelming to bring toddlers to a theme park, especially if it’s for the very first time. With big crowds, long lines, and numerous attractions, theme parks can be a lot to take in for both you and your kids. Whether it’s your first time visiting an amusement park or your fifth—we’ve got you covered! With a little research and planning, you can ensure that your trip is a happy and enjoyable one. To make it easier for you, we put together a few helpful tips for navigating amusement parks with toddlers.

Do your research

When it comes to toddlers, being prepared is a must. Before your visit, take some time to research the attractions available and make a plan for the day. Identify the rides and activities that are suitable for your little ones and map out a route through the park to minimize unnecessary walking. 

Knowing specifics like height restrictions can be beneficial for setting expectations with your kids leading up to the trip. Having all of the information might help you avoid potential tantrums when talking about the rides they can expect to go on, and the ones they aren’t eligible for (that you don’t need to mention). Luckily, almost all of the theme parks have ride guides with height restrictions that you can research in advance. If available, download the theme park app for the park you’re visiting. This is a great way to check ride times and set alerts, order food, and look at a map of the park. 

Always check to see what you’re allowed and not allowed to bring into the park. Some parks have restrictions on strollers that you’ll want to know before you get stuck with one you can’t use. The foldable Liki Trike is the perfect stroller alternative for scenarios like these. Suitable for children ages 10 months to 3 years, Liki allows you to easily steer your toddler through an amusement park for the ultimate experience! 

Pack the essentials

It might be helpful to do a test run at a smaller local theme park before committing to a bigger trip. This will help you gauge your child’s capacity for big crowds, and will also help you understand what you’ll need to pack. 

For the big amusement parks, consider the amount of time you’ll be there and be sure to pack everything you might need throughout the day. We put together a list so you’ll be ready for anything! 

Packing list

  • Refillable water bottles

  • Sun protection: hats, sunglasses, sunscreen

  • Big backpack for storage

  • Diaper bag

  • Swaddle for naptime

  • Stroller or stroller alternative

  • Colorful bandana to attach to your stroller so it’s easy to find

  • Umbrella 

  • Electric fan and batteries

  • Extra change of clothes and a bathing suit

  • Medication and first aid kit

  • Wipes and hand sanitizer

  • Portable phone chargers

  • Comfortable walking shoes

  • Healthy snacks



Timing is everything

Whether you’re driving, flying, or taking public transportation to the park, we recommend leaving for your trip in the early morning. This will allow your kids to sleep on the journey and feel refreshed and energized when you arrive. Most importantly, take your family photos at the beginning of the day. You’ll want to capture memories when they’re excited and curious as opposed to when they’re cranky and tired at the end of a long day. 

Keep in mind that toddlers have limited attention spans and may not be able to handle long days at an amusement park. Be prepared to take breaks as needed and don't try to do too much in one day. Focus on enjoying a few key attractions rather than trying to see and do everything the park has to offer. 

Safety 

It’s important to prioritize safety when visiting a bustling theme park with toddlers. Make sure to supervise your little ones closely at all times. Use your stroller or Liki Trike in areas where there could be a risk of your toddler wandering off. Consider dressing your kids in bright colors or clothing with distinctive patterns to make them easier to spot in a crowd.

Most theme parks are outdoors, and can become exhausting quickly. Make sure to offer your kids plenty of water throughout the day so they are properly hydrated, and take regular snack breaks to keep their mood and energy levels up.

Best theme parks for toddlers in the U.S.

To make it easy for you, we hand-picked our favorite theme parks that cater specifically to toddlers. These parks have age-appropriate rides and attractions and offer amenities like family restrooms and quiet areas for nursing or napping. 

Always check the park's website or contact them directly for the latest information on attractions suitable for toddlers. By doing your own research, you can ensure that your visit to an amusement park is a memorable and enjoyable experience for the whole family. Enjoy!

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