This summer, we’re promoting some awesome family day trips as part of our Camp Campanelli series. We’re testing out some popular destinations are rounding up some tips to help you make the most of your outing.
We know your time is precious – especially when you’re traveling with young kids (under the age of five). You’ve likely got one day to get somewhere, get home, and enjoy an attraction in between that time.
Today, we’re featuring one of Canada’s most renowned amusement parts: Canada’s Wonderland.
We recently visited the park with four adults, two 4-year-olds and one two-year-old. People immediately commented on our instagram that we were wasting our time and money. Others pleaded for tips on how they could take their own kids and make it a fun excursion.
For most Ontario residents, Canada’s Wonderland (CW) is apart of your childhood memories. Whether your parents took you there as part of their corporate family day-trips (I always went with my step-dad on Bank of Nova Scotia day) or you went as a teenager with a group of friends, you’ve likely got some sort of fond memory related to CW. And, many of us want to relive that with our own kids as soon as they’re born.
So what is the best age to take your kids to the park?
We found our toddlers to be at a ripe ol’ age to enjoy the park. But, it’s actually less about age and more about how tall your child is. If your kiddos are 41 inches or taller, they’re big enough to go on most of the toddler rides. If they’re under 36 inches, they can’t go on many things except for the baby-type (slow moving swans) rides. In our group, one toddler was over 41 inches so we could do the kiddie-roller-coasters, one was the level down, so he could ride on a decent amount of kiddie attractions and the third boy was in the smallest category so he had to sit out quite a bit.
So I’d recommend checking your kids’ heights before you head to the park just to give yourself an idea of how many rides you’ll actually be able to go on. Some kids can’t handle seeing things that they want to go on but can’t so avoid those tantrums by checking height before you visit CW.
Here are a few other tips and tricks to maximize your visit to the park with toddlers in tow:
- Visit the park mid-week and/or on an overcast day. It can get hot in the park (there’s a lot of pavement and the ride seats are plastic) so choosing a cloudy day will help keep your kids from over heating. The line ups also tend to be shorter on rainy/cloudy days because
- Pack for Splash Works so you can cool off and take a break from the rides
- Bring a picnic and/or healthy snacks for your toddlers so you’re not feeding them treats all day
- Bring a small stroller (if only just for your bags) or rent one at CW. The park is quite vast and small children might get tired trying to walk the entire thing. We found the strollers to be very handy.
- Arrive early for best parking options
- Make sure you get your child’s height assessed so he/she gets an appropriate wristband (there are different colours for different heights). You’ll be able to see what rides your kids can go on a lot easier once they’ve gotten their colour-coded wrist band.
- If adults want to go on rides, spring for the Fast Passes. We kept switching out adults (the dads would run off and go on a few rides while the mothers remained in Snoopy Land with the kids and vice versa). The Fast Passes get you right to the front of the line so you can do a lot more in a lot less time.
- Bring your swimwear/towels/life jackets and leave them in the car. When you’re ready for the water park, have someone run back and grab it all. If you decide not to go to Splash Works, you won’t have carried your stuff all around the park all day.
- Limit the personal belongings you bring with you. You can now buy meal plans in advance so you barely even need a wallet. On most of the big rides you have to leave your personal belongings behind and we’ve seen some people skip the ride because they don’t want to put their wallet into the bins. Pack light & smart to avoid these issues!