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5 Summertime Family Traditions

Amusement Park Trips
Stay close to home and take the family to the amusement park.
Stay close to home and take the family to the amusement park.
Bernard Jaubert/Getty Images

A trip to an amusement park can be a chance for everyone to relax, laugh and play. If you can't swing a full-fledged vacation trip, a day at an amusement park can make a memorable "stay-cation."

If there's an amusement park close by, you might make enough daytrips to warrant a season pass. Or you might take a weekend getaway – staying at a hotel or campground – and spend one day at a park, trying one you haven't visited before. The biggest parks have accommodations. A family can spend days visiting Mickey and friends every summer.

Make the most of your visit:

  • Explore the park before you go. Most have websites. See what attractions are offered. Make sure they'll be operating.
  • Park concessions are pricey. Take water bottles and snacks if you can. Don't go in hungry, but don't overeat before riding the rides.
  • Take a backpack or fanny pack, not a purse.
  • Wear comfortable, safe shoes.
  • Take raingear, light jackets and dry clothes, especially if there are water rides.
  • Choose a park with attractions suited to your kids. Younger children can feel left out if rides are closed to them.
  • If you have an only child or a big gap between kids, let the kids invite a friend.
  • Get in line in time for the attractions you care about. Go on a weekday if possible, and start as early as you can.
  • If you let older children freelance, set meeting times and places.
  • Don't buy souvenirs until it's time to leave. You won't have to carry them all day, and the kids can decide what they really want.

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