If you are looking for the best water park packing list to prepare for your upcoming water park visit, you’re in the right place!
The lazy river and wave pool are calling; you need to figure out what to wear to the water park and start packing. It can vary depending on whether you are visiting an indoor or outdoor water park, if there is a dress code, and the type of water rides you will be enjoying.
A little planning before hitting the water park will ensure the entire family has a great time.
As avid water park fans and season pass holder’s to Kings Island, we know a thing or two about packing for a day trip to the water park. Let’s dive into what to pack and wear during a visit to the water park.
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What To Wear To The Water Park
Comfort is Key
A top priority when considering what to wear to a water park is comfort. Opt for lightweight, loose-fitting clothing to wear over swimwear. A comfortable pair of sandals that are easy to slip on and off will make getting around the water park more enjoyable.
You may also opt to bring sunglasses and a hat as the sun can be intense.
Another great option is to bring a pair of water shoes for the entire family to wear throughout the park. The hot cement can burn little feet and big feet! Water shoes also prevent little cutes and scrapes from the rough cement of pools and splash areas.
I am partial to water shoes that have a stiff plastic sole. That way they can be used elsewhere, such as in a creek, the beach, etc.
Tip: Keep a change of dry clothes in the car, so you don’t have to drive home wet.
Check the Water Park Dress Code
Before strapping on your cute new one piece with a zipper, be sure to pop over to the water parks’ dress code page to ensure you can ride water slides. Many water parks have a firm rule against suits with zippers, buttons, and any exposed metal.
Each water park has rules that vary, but the major will state that your swimwear will need to be suitable for a family environment. This means thongs and transparent clothing are not appropriate and the park will make you cover up or purchase a suit from their gift shop at top dollar.
Guests who require a diaper must wear reuseable swim diapers or a diaper specifically designed for aquatic use.
Determine What Attractions You Will Be Doing
Prevent an embarrassing moment by ensuring you have the correct swimwear on. For example, a bikini top can easily come up during the plunge on a waterslide. While a bikini might be your go-to swimsuit, consider a one-piece or two-piece without ties, especially if you plan to zip down water slides.
Another swimwear option is rash guards to help protect your skin. Whatever you choose, ensure it is comfortable and secure. The last thing you want is losing your suit on a water ride.
Suppose you are bringing small children to the water park. In that case, the most important thing to bring is a kid’s life jacket. While most water parks provide complimentary life jackets for children and adults, it is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Honestly, some of them are not in the greatest condition.
Bringing your own life vest guarantees your child will have a safe way to enjoy the water park.
If your child is comfortable in puddle jumpers, bring those for the pools. Most parks will not allow floats or inflatable tubes.
Consider What You Doing After The Water Park
Many water parks are a part of a theme park, such as Blizzard Beach in Walt Disney World and Soak City at Kings Island in Ohio. If you plan to hit attractions at both the amusement park and the water park on the same day without returning to your room or home, you will need to pack and dress accordingly.
Visits to indoor water parks such as Great Wolf Lodge give guests the option to return to their hotel room for clothing changes or forgotten items. This isn’t the case when venturing out for a full day of splashes and roller coasters; therefore, coming prepared with dry clothes is essential.
My daughter and I often love to hop back and forth from Soak City to Planet Snoopy at Kings Island. Here is what I wear:
- A lightweight backpack to store our belongings in. The backpack allows me to carry our items throughout the park without going back to the car. Tip: You can always take things back to your vehicle if you don’t want to carry them through the amusement park.
- I come to the park in my swimsuit with undergarments, towels, and other supplies packed away in my backpack. I wear a pair of lightweight quick-dry shorts and a tank top.
- It is good to bring Ziploc bags to wrap wet bathing suits in to keep in your backpack after the park.
- My daughter comes in her swimsuit or the clothes she will change into after the water park.
- I wear these sandals or a pair of flip flops.
- I typically don’t wear a cover-up since I am going from attraction to attraction with my daughter. However, if I were visiting for a more relaxed visit, a cover-up would be in my bag.
Check out these great Last Minute Summer Ideas In Ohio for more information on Zoombezi Bay.
What Else To Pack For The Water Park
While planning for your water-filled adventure, there are other things to consider outside of what to wear.
Bring An Refillable Water Bottle
You will need to stay hydrated if you are hitting a water park, especially during those hot summer months. While many water parks have beverages for purchase, I recommend bringing a refillable water bottle throughout the day.
Stop to refill your bottle at water fountains, and if you need ice, you can typically get it at a concession stand that offers fountain drinks.
Note: Many water parks will not let you enter the park with a full water bottle or your own food. If there is a medical condition, outside food is typically permitted. While outside food may not be allowed, I stash a granola bar or other portable snacks in my beach towel when visiting with small kids.
Are You Renting A Locker
Is it just me, or has the cost to rent lockers gotten way out of hand?! First-timers, expect to pay anywhere from $12-35 dollars on lockers depending on the size. A locker is a great place to store credit cards, phones, wallets, and even your entire bag if you don’t feel like carrying it around.
Different size lockers cost different amounts, so you can get a smaller locker if you are only looking to store small items. However, there may be times when you cannot find a lounger or area to place a bag, so larger lockers are also available.
Disclaimer: Items stolen or lost are not the park’s responsible.
Many water park goers take their chances by opting out of a locker and using a waterproof phone case to store their phone, credit cards, and car key. For phones with a digital wallet or apple pay, you can utilize this tap and pay method instead of bringing credit cards into the park.
The excitement of family members and friends can often have us rushing to pack the basics. However, don’t forget to pack the necessities! Having an adequate amount of sunscreen is vital on a hot summer day to prevent burning or sun poisoning.
Keep a small first aid kit with stuff for scrapes and medication for headaches, upset tummy, or allergies. Hand sanitizer is always a good thing to keep on hand as well.
Tip: If you plan a full day at a theme park or water park, don’t forget to pack any prescription medication you may need.
Most water parks offer a shower area for guests who wish to rinse off after a long day at the water park. You will need to bring your own shampoo and soap. Other necessities may include feminine hygiene products, deodorant, a hairbrush, sunglasses, and goggles.
Things To Keep Busy For Non-Riders
Not everyone going to a water park is there for the big slides and water rides. If you are a non-rider, be sure to pack things to keep yourself busy while others in your parties venture off. Often guests will be seen lounging with a favorite book, listening to music or a podcast. Stick a portable charger in your beach bag as a backup in case your phone’s battery starts to run low.
The Ultimate Water Park Packing List
- Appropriate swimsuit/rash guard
- A beach towel and towel clips
- Flip flops
- Beach Bag or Backpack
- Cover Up
- Waterproof cell phone case
- Waterproof camera if taking photos
- Credit cards
- Water park tickets or season pass
- Car key
- Change of Clothes
- Reusable Water Bottle
- Lip balm
- Ziploc Bags for wet items
- First Aid Kit with medications
- Hand Sanitizer
- Book/ magazine
- Portable Charger
- Snacks (if allowed)
- Lifevest or puddle jumper
- Baby gear: swim diapers, sun hat diaper bag, etc.
A Few Tips For Visiting An Indoor Water Park
A great way to spend a weekend beating the extreme heat or cold is to visit an indoor water park. While the list above remains the same for indoor water parks, there are a few things you will want to consider:
- Bringing a hairdryer. If you are doing a day pass at an indoor water park during the winter months, you may want to use the hairdryer before venturing out to the cold car.
- You will still need sunscreen. Many indoor water parks have retractable roofs, transparent roofs, and/or outdoor areas.
- If you are staying at a hotel such as Great Wolf Lodge, you can keep valuables in your room and use your wristband to pay for food and get into your hotel room.
- If going with small kids, you may want to bring water toys for them like a Barbie or ball.
Did you enjoy our article on the Ultimate Water Park Packing List + What To Wear At The Water Park? Here are a few related articles highlighting some fantastic waterparks we have visited.
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