Monday, June 11, 2018

Schlitterbahn with a Toddler


Those of you that don't know, Schlitterbahn is a waterpark in New Braunfels, TX with over 70 acres of water slides, tube chutes, pools, hot tubs and resorts. We've been going to Schlitterbahn with my family since I was in 7th grade! Back when I was in school, my family would stay on the Schlitterbahn property at the resort for a long weekend, so we could enjoy the waterpark for a couple of days. It's definitely big enough for a multiday experience! These days we usually go for a weekend adventure playing at Schlitterbahn one day and floating the river the next. We even did this for my sister's bachelorette weekend two years ago!

This past weekend we did Schlitterbahn on Saturday and floated the river Sunday with Chloe in tow! I thought I'd share some of my dos and don'ts on doing Schlitterbahn with a toddler.

"I just want to go play and have fun Mom! Stop taking pictures of me!"

Packing your cooler.

You can bring food into Schlitterbahn, just make sure you don't have any alcohol {though they do sell it at the parks if you're interested} or glass in your cooler or bags. Make sure to pack lots of snacks that your toddler and you will enjoy! We try to stock up with lots of fruit, yogurt pouches, cookies and sandwich supplies. The snacks will be necessary with all the walking and moving you'll do all day.

Choosing a home base location.
When you get to the park, the first thing you need to do is find the perfect table to claim with all of your stuff for the day. This is going to be your home base, so make sure you choose wisely. I highly recommend being around the big lagoon in the main park. There is a kiddie area in the far, back corner. If you have a toddler, try to get near there so it's easy to go back and forth.

Storing your valuables.
There are lockers for rent in several areas around the park. I highly recommend getting one of these for your group. Go ahead and throw all of your phones, wallets and keys in together. This is why most of my pictures are from the end of the day because who needs a phone when you're having so much fun!


Toddler areas to check out.
There are several areas geared specifically to little swimmers!
In Schlitterbahn West or the Original Park

  • Lagoon Kiddie Park: This is the one I mentioned above. Several small slides in shallow water for the little ones!
  • Lagoon: Great for swimming around with mom and dad or relaxing in a tube.
  • Schatze's Central Park: Small child area with several slides and fun water features. Designed to look like a little German town.
  • Polywog Pond: Water fantasy area for little ones!
I'll admit, we spent most of our time with Chloe at the Lagoon Kiddie Park because it was close to our table. There are tables near the Polywog Pond area, but I don't think there area by Schatze's Central Park. But you'll definitely pass by Schatze's while you're walking around after finishing a tube chute. You'll even pass by it while floating along the Raging River and Cliffhanger!

In Schlitterbahn East 
Blastenhoff

  • Kinderhaven: A small pirate ship with slides for little ones. It's right off of the main wave pool, so it's easy to get to and see!
  • Han's Hideout: More supervision needed here, but it's the bigger pirate ship with easy body slides for kids. Toddlers can definitely do this, but you'll need an adult to take them up to the slide and another to wait for them at the bottom. You can't ride with them, so you'll find yourself running to the bottom if you're solo!
  • Torrent River/Wave Pool: This is a wavy lazy river. There are bottomed tubes for small riders, but make sure you hold onto them tight because the waves can get BIG! Chloe loved floating around and then playing in the waves at the wave pool.

Tubenbach

  • Sea Creature Cove: Shallow pool with several slides and water features for little ones. Chloe didn't play in here, but we stopped in to stand under the water mushroom!
Surfenburg
  • Kiddie Coast: Fun activity area for kids. This is a larger area with a pirate ship and submarine with lots of slides and space to play.
  • Kristal River: Lazy river with a quick pace! There are bottomed tubes to float in as well as some alligators to climb and ride around on.
Taking your toddler on bigger rides.
You know your toddler best, so depending on how brave and comfortable in the water they are will determine what you think they can ride! Obviously many body slides and tube slides have height requirements. Be sure to obey these requirements as they are set there for a reason. However, tube chutes don't have height requirements. These are the much longer rides lasting from 10-30+ minutes with varying levels of intensity. These are found in the old park and in Tubenbach. Chloe rode everything in the lower intensity list except Cliffhanger because we were getting snacks and playing in the Kiddie Park again.

Lower Intensity
  • Raging River
  • Cliffhanger
  • Congo River Expedition
  • The Falls
High Intensity: due to larger quick moving slides
  • WhiteWater Rapids
  • Hillside

In case you're wondering, I did go on the tube chutes that Chloe went on with no problem at all! They are quick at times and there are some slides on them, but nothing too alarming. Again, make sure you know your body and what you're capable on in pregnancy before riding. Don't do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable!

Traveling between parks.
There are free buses for you to use when transfering between Schlitterbahn East and West parks! You can choose to pack up your stuff and move it with you when you head over to another park, or you can leave your belongings at your table. We usually leave ours at the main park so we don't have to worry about packing up and unloading again. In over 15 years, we've never had any trouble with people stealing our stuff! If you feel more comfortable bringing your things, there are tons of tables available at each park. Just know that you may have more difficulty finding a table during the busiest part of the day!

Whatever you do, make sure you have fun! Schlitterbahn is one of my favorite summertime destinations. It's fun for all ages! This time I loved taking it a bit easier, skipping some of the bigger rides and playing with my girl in the kiddie areas. Don't get me wrong, I was able to do some things with my siblings while Chloe hung back with her grandparents. It was nice having both JP and my parents there to help out a little! It gave me the chance to relax or play. 


One more recommendation I have for Schlitterbahn is to go with a group! It doesn't have to be a huge group, but having a few friends or family makes it so much fun! If you have a toddler along with you, it also gives you that many more hands for helping!

Schlitterbahn is a must do in Texas if you have a free weekend or weekday that you're looking to fill! You get to beat the Texas heat and have fun at the same time. I highly recommend it and I'm pretty sure Chloe does too!

What are some of your favorite things to do with a toddler during the summer?
Have you ever taken your toddler to a waterpark? What do you recommend?


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