Family Time Calendar: Get Out - iVillage

Want to treat your children to a day they'll never forget? Take a trip to a theme park! While it's guaranteed fun for the kids, you may be less than enthusiastic about shelling out big bucks for admission tickets, waiting in long lines or getting on stomach-turning rides. Here are some ideas to make the trip fun for everyone.

  • Start early: Being among the first ones at the park will ensure a great parking space and fewer crowds. By hitting the rides early, you'll also be able to break for lunch at a time when the restaurants and concession stands may not be too packed with people.
  • Pace yourself: Don't stay from sunup to sundown. Of course you want to get your money's worth on those expensive admission tickets, but you also want your children to enjoy themselves. Young kids especially can become overstimulated by all of the noise and attractions. Keep the peace by taking frequent breaks and limiting the amount of rides.
  • Bring food: You know the drill -- your child is suddenly starving, so you make your way to the concession stand, only to discover a line of people at least a mile long. Avoid a mealtime meltdown by bringing portable snacks such as apples, cheese, mini bagels, animal crackers and bottled water from home.
  • Save money on admission: Check the theme park's Website in advance for any discount offers on admission tickets. If you plan to visit the theme park a few times during the year, you may want to consider purchasing a family season pass. In addition to unlimited access, some parks offer perks such as free entry for friends on select days and the ability to jump to the front of any line.
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