Spending your summers in popular tourist spots like Pigeon Forge can be an excellent way to spend your vacation. These places have plenty of entertainment activities, but there isn’t much that can beat having a fun-filled day at the water park.
Water parks are popular in the summer. While they can cool you down, they may also lead to other health dangers. During summer break, rides are always packed, and there is a long waiting line, so you may spend more time in the sun, risking dehydration, exhaustion, and extreme sunburn.
To make the most of your visit to the water park and avoid getting sick, follow these tips to make the trip fun and carefree.
1. Take an afternoon respite
This tip is especially crucial if you visit the water park on the hottest days of summer. Plan your day by arriving at the park early, taking a break from 1 to 4 p.m., and returning once the sun goes down. Since a day at the water park can get tiring quickly, this midday break is invaluable in making your stay as long as possible. It helps if you’re staying somewhere nearby. For example, if you’re visiting Dollywood’s Splash Country, first locate places to stay in Pigeon Forge to kick back or even nap for a few hours. Once you regain your energy, you can get back to the part and continue with the remaining rides and activities.
2. Avoid crowded rides and long lines
Waiting in long queues while the sun beats down on you can be a real killer at the water park. As a general rule, you can avoid any ride with a longer than a 30-minutes waiting period. If you spend most of your day waiting in lines, you’ll waste the entire day and exhaust yourself unnecessarily. Therefore, stay away from long lines and go for rides with the shortest wait. You’re likely to find the biggest crowds at the most popular rides. So, save this one for the first or last two hours of the day when traffic is at its lowest.
Some parks even offer premium or special passes that allow you to skip to the front line. The extra cost is well worth it, especially when visiting on a hot summer day.
3. Don’t forget the sunscreen
Sunscreen is an essential accessory for spending a day at the water park. It protects your skin from blistering UV rays. Although the type of sunscreen may vary depending on personal choice, ideally, choose one that is an SPF of 30 or more. Ensure you apply water-resistant sunscreen at least 30 minutes before entering the park, for example, in the car or the parking lot. Be generous when using it and cover all body parts exposed to the sun as much as possible. Being at the water park means constantly having to towel off and having most of the sunscreen washed away by the water. Therefore, remember to reapply it every two to four hours to avoid sunburn.
If you have kids with you, don’t let them hit the water until they’ve been sprayed or lathered with the appropriate amount of sunscreen.
4. Be prepared
Having a fun-filled day at the water park can quickly get overwhelming, especially on a hot day or with small kids. But preparing for certain things beforehand can avoid potential mishaps and help you think fast on your feet in case of an emergency.
Here is a list of things you must prepare for when visiting a water park:
- Creating an itinerary
- Learning about all the attractions and rides offered at the park
- Packing extra dry clothes, towels, and plenty of snacks and water
- Keeping band-aids and essential medicines
- Knowing how to swim
- Deciding a meeting place in case your group or family gets separated
- A bag to keep your wet clothes
- Making a stop at the restrooms before getting into the water
- Having an appropriate adult to kid ratio
5. Dress for the park
Choose the appropriate attire for your day at the water park. Opt for flip-flops or open-toed, water-resistant sandals that allow you to move around the park easily. Avoid socks or tennis shoes to keep you from feeling stifled and overheated on a hot day. Have a place to put your slippers on each time you get on a ride. Some people may even walk barefoot, but the hot concrete can become unbearable and chew up your feet.
Wearing a swimsuit underneath your clothing can be highly beneficial. This way, you can avoid waiting for a changing room to empty so you can start your fun day right away.
6. Stay cool and hydrated
When you’re having so much fun outdoors, it can very quickly skip your mind to take a water break or cool down under the shade for a while. But these short breaks are vital for staying healthy and preventing any medical concerns from occurring. If you don’t consume enough fluids while sweating under the sun for long hours, you can quickly get dehydrated and may even experience a heat stroke.
Most water parks have vendors that sell frozen drinks, iced cocktails, desserts, and ice cream to help you enjoy a cold treat when the heat gets too much. But while these are helpful to keep you cool, sugar and alcohol can’t replace the necessity of water intake.
7. Know the rules
Read each of these carefully and avoid anything that may pose a significant risk to your safety. Like theme parks have rides designated for specific age groups, a few slides at the water park may follow the same rule. Each park’s rules and regulations may vary, so read all the relevant signs before jumping straight into the water. Every ride will have specific height and weight requirements and health and safety precautions. Don’t put yourself in unnecessary danger by going on a ride that may be dangerous for you.
You must also identify all the emergency services and know who to ask for help in an accident.
A day at the water park is all about spending some fun time cooling yourself and making everlasting memories. As long as you stay hydrated, wear sunscreen, and take a midday break—no one can ruin your day out in the sun. Stay on top of these handy tips, and you’re pretty golden for your visit to the water park!