I am excited to have been asked by The J.M. Smucker Company to share my story of our end of the summer family staycation at Dollywood’s Splash Country, which included packing several of our favorite J.M. Smucker Company products. I am not sure who was more excited for our end of the summer family day trip to one of our favorite local attractions, Dollywood’s Splash Country, me or the kids! I really enjoy spending time with my kids and love having the kids home during the summer. But, I also love being able to work in peace, which I do not get a lot of when the kids are at home! But, before we say goodbye to the summer, we always spend a day visiting one of our favorite attractions.
Tips For Saving Money At Amusement Parks
One of our family traditions is to visit Splash Country right before the kids head back to school. It is like our last hurrah before we get back to the old grindstone of work and school. I recently wrote a post, 5 Tips For Planning A Successful Summer Family Staycation On A Budget. In the post, I offered tips to save you money on your next staycation. So, it just made sense to follow-up and offer some tips for saving money at local amusement parks for your family staycation. I hope they help you as much as they did me and my family!
Arrive after 3 p.m.: If you arrive to Splash Country after 3 in the afternoon, the next day is free. This way, we get a few hours of fun before the park closes, and then a full day of fun the next day. Because we are just about an hour away, this is perfect for us.
Parking: One of the big money suckers for a local attraction can be parking fees. For the water park we are visiting, it costs $20 to park on their grounds. We found a local trolley line that drops off right in front of the entrance to Splash Country. Total round-trip bus fare for the four of us? Just $4!!
Lockers: And another money sucker! The lockers at the front of the attraction is can go anywhere from $8 to $11. We just bring a backpack filled with the bare essentials.
Food and Drinks: We make sure to pack plenty of snacks in our backpack as well as a few reusable bottles for water. Bottled water at the park is like $4 so we just fill up an empty bottle. They actually have fountains just for this reason! For snacks, I make sure I pack food that will give the kids plenty of protein to keep them fueled for the entire day. That would include lots of our favorite snacks from The J.M. Smucker Company. Where do I shop for snacks on a budget? I stop by Walmart, my “SNACKATION” destination, to stock up on go-to summer snack solutions!
Plastic Zipper Bags: Because we don’t have a locker and we don’t want to leave our valuables in our backpack, we needed somewhere to put out important stuff. For our tickets, money and I.D., we bring a plastic zip lock bag. Chris tucks it into the pocket of his swim trunks and we are good to go!
Sunscreen: Make sure you bring a small bottle of sunscreen. The last thing you want to do is forget sunscreen and either have a family of lobsters at the end of the day or paying a million bucks for a bottle at the park.
When we are heading out to Splash Country for a day of fun in the sun, we want to leave in plenty of time. The park opens at 10:00 a.m. and we try to be there right when the gates open. Before we leave the house, I make the family a nice hot breakfast to give us a nutrition packed start to our day. To keep that momentum going throughout the day, I have to make sure the snacks I chose have plenty of flavor as well as nutrition and protein. As you can see in my post, Planning An End of Summer Family Staycation & #Snackation On A Budget, we stocked up on our favorite snacks from The J.M. Smucker Company.
Both of the kids loves the grape Smucker® Uncrustables. My husband loves the Jif To Go Chocolate Silk Spread with apples, while Henry prefers the Creamy Peanut Butter Spread with celery sticks. I am a sucker for the Chocolate Jif Whips with banana slices. Caitlin scoops up the Jif Cookies ‘N Cream Flavored Hazelnut Spread with pretzel sticks.
We had the best time at Splash Country, even if we did get rained out! The weather forecast called for cloudy with 10% chance of rain. Um…we got drenched! But hey! We were already wet, so what did we care? We stayed until the lightening started and then we decided to head home. Instead of letting the rain dampen our day, we ended up having a family game and movie night with our Smucker® snacks! If we are anything, we are creative and bounce back from being thrown a curve ball! As long as we are together, we don’t care what the activity is…as long as we do it together!