Stop. Before you put on your swimsuit you need to read these water park tips. If you are dreading the wave pool, trying to wiggle out of water slides, and not even looking forward to riding the lazy river, you need this post.

Water parks can be stressful, but they can be fun too! Check out these water park tips to help you have fun and not stress out!

Water parks can be an awesome place for family fun. Photo: Maria Smith, TravelingMom of Many

Moms who don’t get excited about spending the day in their swim suit, these water park tips are for you! It’s true! You can have fun while navigating water parks with kids! For all those moms who have begrudgingly obliged your children with a ‘splashtastic’ good time, begrudge no more! These water park tips are what you need to survive a day with your kids at water parks across the country.

9 Mom Approved Water Park Tips

These water park tips are what parents need to know before going to the park.

The tips are the things you need to know before you put on your swimsuit. Photo: Maria Smith, TravelingMom of Many

1. Pay to park closer.

These water park tips may not save you money, but they will save your sanity. At a lot of water parks, the parking is far, far, FAR away.

At Six Flags Over Georgia, which features Hurricane Harbor water park, visitors can have the option of paying a little more to park closer. If you aren’t looking forward to spending the day getting wet, then a long hot walk to the park is probably something you can (and should!) skip.

2. Get there early.

The only thing worse than dealing with your kids at a water park is dealing with other people’s kids at a water park. Get there as early as possible, like 30 minutes prior to the park opening. The crowds will be lower, as will the temperature, and you will probably be able to get a better parking spot.

3. Think about renting a cabana.

Water park tips can include splurging for a cabana like this one at Dollywood's Splash Country. A sudden rain shower couldn't ruin our day!

Splurge for a cabana to help lessen your stress. Photo: Maria Smith, TravelingMom of Many

Renting a cabana is one of my most expensive water park tips, but once you have one, you may never go back.

My first experience with a water park cabana was at Dollywood’s Splash Country. We had a place to keep our things, relax, and when the rain came, we didn’t have to leave right away. It even had a TV to entertain our younger kids. Many other water parks have this amenity too. It might be worth it!

4. Bring food and water if possible.

One of the most annoying parts of going to a water park is standing in long lines for food that may not be that great. I like to pack a big, healthy lunch and go back to the car in the middle of the day to eat it.

Some parks, like at Rapids Water Park in West Palm Beach, have a designated area with picnic tables to make this even easier. And then we only bought the ooeey, gooey yummy treats we really wanted! This water park tip will lower your stress and keep some money in your wallet too.

5. Set expectations.

My kids love going to water parks and want to ride every single slide, over and over again. Before we even get out of the car, I let them know which slides, rides or attractions we can or cannot ride. It’s also helpful to let them know what time you want to leave so they don’t give you trouble when it’s time to head to the exit (hopefully).

6. Skip the wave pool.

Know your limits is one of the water park tips many people ignore. Perhaps places like the wave pool that cause you stress should be ignored.

There might be some attractions, like the wave pool, you might want to skip. Photo: Maria Smith, TravelingMom of Many

I know. I know. Everyone loves the wave pool. Everyone except moms who are watching several kids all while trying to stay on their own two feet. Does this stress you out? Just skip it. If you are outnumbered, skip it. Not a great swimmer? Skip it. Trying to save your blowout and not get your hair wet, definitely skip it.

However, if by chance, you have kids who are all excellent swimmers and you can sit in a lounge chair under an umbrella, then spend the day there! You should always be sure to ask if there are life jackets available like at Rapids Water Park even for good swimmers.

7. Pack your patience.

Patience is a virtue. Do you have it? I do not. Water parks are often only open during peak times (like summer) and that means crowds. Just know they will be there. Play games in line. Be silly while walking to the next attraction. Make it fun instead of complaining.

8. Bring a waterproof case for your phone and money.

While you’d like to think you can go all day and not be on your phone, you know you can’t. The kids will be too darn cute to not put them on the ‘Gram. Just be sure to put your phone in a plastic waterproof case. Also, stick money or a credit card in there and leave your purse at home (NOT in the car please). You might look like a tourist from a far away land with this around your neck, but who cares! Your phone will stay dry.

 9. Rent a locker.

Patience is one of the most important water park tips I can suggest.

You don’t need to carry around bags all day! Photo: Maria Smith, TravelingMom of Many

I tend to not want to spend money on lockers but sometimes it just makes sense. When you are carrying around towels and extra clothes for a big family (or a small family), it can get heavy and irritating. Shove that stuff into a locker and be done with it. This is especially good for parks like Six Flags Over Georgia that offers both a full water park as well as a full theme park. Best bet: do the water stuff first and let the roller coasters dry you off.

Do these water park tips have you ready to hit the slides right now?

From Rapids Water Park in West Palm Beach to Six Flags Over Georgia near Atlanta to Dollywood’s Splash Country in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, I have learned how to survive a water park with my family. And now, I actually like going. Splash on!