After our first trip to Sea World in San Antonio, Texas I thought I would share my pointers for surviving a day trip with preschool age kiddos. I talked to a lot of friends before we went and got great advice and I know as we go back, we will learn even more but here’s what I know so far! And if you missed my major mom fail on our first trip, read all about it here.
- Bring Diapers & Wipes
Just kidding! Hopefully if you’ve been mothering for more than 5 minutes you will remember all of your children’s diapering needs. But if you’re like me and you lose your mind half the time, let me just say being peed on all over Sea World is not that bad. To be honest with you, it is so hot you may not know if it’s sweat or pee so there’s that! Don’t test out this theory, just pack your bag well and keep an eye on it while you are there. In all seriousness, keep your credit cards and cash on your person, even while on the splash pad. My sister carries a water proof wristlet… genius!
- Snacks & a Cooler in the Car
On the Sea World website it makes it sound like you can’t bring in a lot of snacks, but they are very lenient on it so I highly recommend bringing in lots of single served snacks for the kids to keep them going. I found very few snacks in the park that my munchkins would eat besides junk that leaves them hungry in 20 minutes. I packed some healthy bars, a couple of apples, nuts and toddler food pouches. One of my savvy girlfriends who buys a Sea World Annual Pass every year recommended we have a cooler in the car and feed the kids a lunch type meal right before we go in. This was a great idea and the only thing I would add is to have another lunch ready for when you arrive back in the car unless you plan to wait in some serious lines and eat in the park.
- Bring a Covered Wagon or Stroller
We brought the BEST covered wagon to haul the kids around in and it was perfect! They stayed cool and shaded, it was easy to navigate and it saved us $18 (what renting a double stroller costs at the park) and my babies would have never made it walking around. This is where we bought our wagon on Amazon and we LOVE love love it!
- Bright Colored Scarf or Ribbon
One of my besties and veteran mom friend who takes her 3 kiddos to do all kinds of fun stuff told me about this trick! I tied a bright and colorful polka dotted scarf to the top of the handle of our wagon. There were a lot of red wagons so the scarf helped us find our ride quick in a big crowd or a sea of baby toters!
- Get the Map
Because Sea World wants you to use their app, they are not passing out maps like they use to. Besides the show times on the app being wrong, the app was also really slow loading for us. We found ourselves walking around looking for things while we waited for the app to load so we got lost and hot! As soon as we got ahold of a paper map, things got a lot easier! So ask at the gate and make a plan!
- Keep Your Expectations
This is really important! Be realistic about how long your littles will be able to hang in the heat and sun without a nap before life just gets miserable for everyone. Preschool age children are not known for their cooperation skills when their worn out and tired. We drove 2 hours to get to the park and my 4 year old and 14 month old did great and had a lot of fun but the last hour was a little much, we will definitely be cutting our trip down to about 3 – 4 hours next time if we are just going for the day.
This is just my experience so far! Some other great tips from my friends and fellow mamas is that if you have preschoolers and plan to do the splash pad, you WILL get wet. Wear a bathing suit and cover up even if you bring a change of clothes for later. Hit up Sesame Street’s Bay of Play first because it gets packed right after lunch. And if you think you might go back to Sea World even once, get the Annual Pass because it comes with free parking so it will pay for itself in 2 visits. All of the advice I got helped me so much in planning our trip, I hope this helps you survive Sea World with you little ones! What other great tips do you have?