Many parents have been writing me and asking for ways to stay cool during the hottest month of the season. Suggestions for pools, water parks and beaches are what everyone is seeking information on to beat the heat.  A trip to the water park is always a win! Six Flags America is the closest theme park with a full water park included with the price of admission for Southern Maryland families. I put together this article to provide a guide to summer fun at Six Flags America.


TIMING IS EVERYTHING


If you want to go to the water park and it be a relaxing and refreshing experience for everyone; your best bet is to set a time limit. Going from open to close can be a bit over whelming if you have young children. A entire day at a water park; could equal a few days on recovery if the day is treated like a marathon. Trust me, I know from experience. Investing in a season pass pays for itself after 2-3 visits. If you are able to get a season pass than there’s no pressure to see and do everything in one day. To make your day smooth sailing; set a time limit ahead of time. Depending on your children’s age will determine how long to stay. For toddler and preschoolers, I recommend two to three hours. For elementary age, four to five hours.


BEST DAY TO PLAY AND WHERE TO PLAY


From talking to a handful of expert parents who have been season passholders for a few years, it has been agreed upon that going during a week day is way less crowded than a weekend. The best days to attend are Monday thru Wednesday.

Once there be sure to check out these sections of the water park… One of the newer attractions is the Wahoo River! It is so much fun! Enjoy a lazy laid back ride around the river with your feet up. Another family attraction is the wave pool. Buccaneer beach and Splash Water Falls are two great places to hang out if you have kids multiple ages.


SAFETY FIRST


Theme parks can get crowded really quick. To avoid a lost little one situation, I recommend a buddy system. Pairing children to a adult or even siblings to each other can be helpful if clearly established ahead of time. It makes keeping a head count and track of everyone easier. It’s also a good idea to have a meet up spot. Establish a little spot that everyone can rendezvous back to. In  addition, remind your children what to do if they should become lost or separated from the group. If you have a little one often runs off, consider writing your cell phone number on the inside of their arm.


BYO SUPPLIES


There are some essentials that you will need to enjoy the day at the water park. Everyone is different. I find it helpful to have a stroller. This can be used as a portable locker and napping station.  You want to have what you need with out being weighed down. Lockers can also be expansive, so here’s what you need.

  • Sunscreen- It’s best to have sunscreen on hand since it should be reapplied about every hour. I do recommend skipping the itty bitty tiny whiny bikini and wearing a rash guard.
  • Waterproof phone case- I always put my phone in a water proof case and my ID, credit card and pass in another case around my neck. This way I don’t have to worry about them getting walked off with.
  • Water bottles- Hydration on hot days is important and reusable water bottles are permitted. I like to bring water bottles with handles so I can hang them from the stroller.
  • Additional things I personally like to have- sunglasses, goggles and puddle jumpers. While the park provides a variety of life vests. It’s nice to have one that fits just right and is yours.
  • Bringing a towels and a change of clothing are optional. Since I have a stroller I just load it up with supplies. If you need to pack lite; you can always leave the towel and dry clothing in the car and change there once you are done at the park.
  • Another item to consider for babies and small children are extra swim diapers and pool shoes. The pool deck can get very hot so have swim shoes on can help from burning the bottom of their feet.

MEAL PLANNING


If you are on a budget I suggest eating meals before and after your time at the park. Especially, since outside food isn’t permitted in the park. The park opens at 11:00 a.m. most days; so you can just eat a picnic lunch by or in the car and than make your way into the park. After a few hours head home before dinner. However, the season meal pass is very affordable ($40 for the entire year, includes meals for each day you visit) and is recommended by many expert parents who are season pass holders. We got to try the pizza and garlic knots which were tasty. The dip and dots were very refreshing on a hot day.


ADD CERTIFIED


Did you know that Six Flags is the first  to become a Autism Certified Center Park in the DMV?

As an accredited Certified Autism Center™, Six Flags America will provide:

  • Trained, helpful, front-line team members equipped to better assist autistic guests and those with other sensory sensitivities to help them enjoy their time at the park;
  • A sensory guide for every attraction that provides insight into how the attraction or ride may be affected by each of the five senses to make it easier for individuals and families to plan activities that align with their needs;
  • Low sensory areas to allow guests with sensory sensitivities to take a break and relax in a less stimulating environment;
  • An updated Accessibility Guide will be available online on the park’s accessibility page and Guest Services area; and
  • Park-wide implementation of the IBCCES Accessibility Card program. This is a free online program with mobile app option for guests to use when requesting assistance or accommodations at any of the Six Flags parks. To learn more about the program visit accessibilitycard.org.

Six Flags America will now offer Sensory Sensitive Days on Wednesdays, July 24 and August 17. These days will be open to all guests with reduced environmental triggers throughout the park.

  • No park audio. sound and music where possible;
  • Signage highlighting surprise sounds and experiences;
  • Free noise canceling ear plugs upon request; and
  • Additional low sensory locations identified throughout the park.

 


BEYOND SUMMER FUN


The park is open nearly year round. Each season there is something to enjoy in the park! Including: Hurricane Harbor Summer, Boo-Family Friendly Halloween Experience and Fright Fest in the fall and Holiday in the Park in the winter. Season passes are as low as $8 a month. To learn more about tickets and pass visit their page.


PARK INFORMATION


SIX FLAGS AMERICA

Location: 13710 Central Ave, Bowie, MD 20721

Hours: Vary Open most days 11AM-7PM

Link

***I want to thank Six Flags for inviting The Playful Parent for a fun day at the park. The Playful Parent is not paid to write articles. All pictures and information presented are my own unbiased opinion.  It is an honor to share tips and suggestions to help make vacationing fun and easy for families. For more information on travel and guides for other attractions check out The Playful Parents Indoor/Outdoor Guide . ***