Beech_Bend_Splash_Lagoon_Tiki_IslandLooking for a fun day trip idea from Nashville? Consider heading north about one hour on I-65 to Beech Bend Park and Splash Lagoon.

I remember visiting Beech Bend as a child but the new and improved Beech Bend has an amazing new water park (just opened in 2010) that you could easily spend the entire day exploring.

I recently headed to Beech Bend with my husband and our two daughters, ages 6 and 9. It was a hot August day so we devoted a couple of hours in the morning to rides and then we headed to the water park for the remainder of the day. Our girls were literally the last ones to leave the wave pool.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that Beech Bend offers two family friendly savings:

Free SPF 30 sunscreen for patrons

  • Free soft drinks (Pepsi products and you can also get water from these dispensers if you’re concerned about too much soda)

In 2010, Beech Bend was named Amusement Park of the Year at Amusement Today’s (AT’s) Golden Ticket Awards, competing with such amusement parks as Holiday World and Six Flags. The amusement park reminds me of a state fair type carnival and that’s reinforced even more by the fact that Beech Bend is located in a beautiful farm area just outside Bowling Green, Kentucky. Our favorite rides included the Whitewater Express (perfect on a hot day), the old time cars, the beautiful carousel, and the haunted house. Roller coaster fans will love the Kentucky Rumbler, ranked number 16 for all wooden roller coasters in the world in 2010, and more low-key family activities include miniature golf and bumper cars.

Maybe it’s because we headed to Beech Bend on a 90-plus degree summer day, but my favorite part of Beech Bend is definitely the Splash Lagoon water park. The lazy river circles around the water park area and is connected to the wave pool, which features not too rough waves ideal for kids of all ages. I loved the one and two-seater inner tubes that were available. The Tiki Island area, newly opened in 2011, was a huge hit for my girls and they literally spent hours going up and down the slides. There are seven to choose from as well as a giant tiki theme tipping bucket. There’s also a splash zone area perfect for toddlers and preschoolers, an Olympic size pool, and Raging Rapids, which features more daring slides.

Admission prices are reasonable and includes entrance to both the amusement park and water park and you can leave the park to get towels, etc. from your car after getting your hand stamped. Lockers are also provided for a small rental fee.

Bowling Green is a college town (home of my alma mater WKU) and there are a multitude of family friendly restaurant options for dinner once you’ve worked up an appetite riding rides and enjoying the splash park.

Disclosure: I received free passes to Beech Bend and Splash Lagoon from the Bowling Green Convention & Visitors Bureau.