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Eight Things to Make Amusement Parks More Enjoyable For Your Kid (And Yourself)

Photo: Raul Cacho Oses (Unsplash)
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Who doesn’t love amusement parks, right? The rides are exciting, the cotton candy is delicious, and the characters your kids love come to life right before your eyes. However, parks can be really tiring for little children—not to mention parents—especially if you’re not super prepared for a long day. Trust me I’ve been there.

So, based on my own park hopping experience, I’m sharing my absolute must-haves for visiting amusement parks with kids. Also, most of these products are really good for generally long days outdoors (like baseball games, city tours, picnics, etc) so even if you’re not planning a trip to Disney any time soon, you might find something you need here.

Shade Stroller Cover

I cannot say enough good things about this stroller cover. When we travel we always have our travel stroller with us, which compared to our everyday Uppababy Vista, has a short canopy that doesn’t provide a ton of shade. I was freaking out about traveling in the summer with it until my friend recommended this extra shade cover, and it was a game changer. It has 50 SPF, and protects your baby from most rays. In the case of our travel stroller at least, it completely shaded our son’s legs, keeping him safe from the hard noon sun.

Photo: Amazon

Stroller Side Sling

Speaking of strollers, another thing that is not great in our travel stroller is the cargo area under the seat. It’s tiny, fits almost nothing, and is hard to access. This side sling was a perfect addition to keep things you need to access throughout the day, like snacks and water, handy. I loved it so much that I’ve now installed one in our everyday stroller, because one can never have enough storage with a kid. The only downside of these is that if you want to fold your travel stroller to get in a car, you need to remove the sling first before doing so. Don’t be like me and waste minutes huffing and puffing not understanding why the stroller wouldn’t fully collapse. Also know that everything else I’ve recommended in this post fits perfectly well in this side pouch; I’ve got you covered!

Photo: Amazon

Safety Wrist Link

If you have a toddler that likes to sprint out of your hands, this is the solution to all your problems. Similar to those backpacks with attached leashes, this wrist link allows you to keep your kid safe and close to you. The difference is this goes around their wrist and is less clunky than a backpack. Also, I’ve seen many children decide to not walk anymore once the backpack is on their shoulders because they ~know~ what’s happening. The Blisstime wrist link’s material is breathable and comfortable on your skin; I tried it on myself, and it’s like you have nothing on.

Photo: Amazon

Cooling Towel

I’ll admit, I made fun of my husband when he talked about his cooling towel, because I thought they were a scam. Cut to my dad not feeling super well on our last trip to Florida because of a heat wave. We dunked one of these in cold water and put it around his neck, and it kept him cool for hours. Of course the catch with these is that you need to have access to cold water to get the whole thing started, and then you’ll be carrying a wet towel around all day, but it’s still worth it if you fear your little one might overheat at the park.


Graphic: Shep McAllister

Of all the yummy things your kids will be consuming at the park—hello corndogs!—water is probably going to be on the bottom of their priority list. So I recommend always having Pedialyte handy in case they get super dehydrated. Obviously, offer your kid plenty of water during the day, and try to get them to drink that before resorting to this, but it’s good to be prepared in case of emergency.

Photo: Amazon

Misting Fan

These are sold pretty much at every amusement park in existence during the summer, so sure, you can get one once you’re in there and need it. However the advantage of getting this ahead of time is that you’ll pay way less than anything inside the park. You can use it as a fan only, as a mister only or as a misting fan. Plus the blades on the fan are flexible and my kid loved playing with them for hours without me having to worry about injured fingers.

Graphic: Shep McAllister

CamelBak Backpack

You know what sucks on a really packed day full of attractions? Having to wait in line to buy water. That’s why I recommend bringing your own hydration pack backpack that can carry up to 70 oz. of water, while keeping it cool all day (as long as you pack it full of ice like we do). The only thing I have to say is that the water that sits on the tube gets warm as the sun hits it, so you might need to suffer through the first sip to get to the cold stuff.

Unfortunate aside: We also learned that it is a wonderful chew toy for a teething toddler :)

Photo: Storq

Storq Backpack

Speaking of backpacks, my ultimate favorite caryall backpack is this one by Storq. The outer pocket closes with a magnet—whoever did this is a genius—and the zipper of the main pocket opens super wide to give you easy access to the stuff inside it. There’s also a pouch attached to the bag for essentials like keys and phones that tend to get lost in the pockets of other diaper bags. Also, it’s actually stylish, and not just by diaper bag standards. I love it for everyday use, but it really shines while traveling with a little one.

Ready for a packed day of fun? Let me know what your must-haves are for amusement parks, as we are planning several trips this summer!

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