The modern family is very busy and sometimes has limited family fun time. Because of this, it's important for family outings to allow the entire family to be able to have fun. Water parks certainly fall under this category, as kids and adults alike enjoy spending time cooling off in the water. But there are a lot of things that can make visiting a water park difficult for parents.
First of all, making the trip to the water park requires a bit more preparation. If you have younger children, it's expected that you're going to have to pack some extra items anywhere you go, but this is especially true when visiting a water park. Parents have to remember to pack an extra supply of sunscreen, beach towels, dry clothes, and much more just to be prepared. Additionally, it can be a pain to have to continuously return to your belongings throughout the day to re-apply sunscreen, dry off, etc. You can sit and watch your belongings the entire day, but then you miss actually experiencing the park with your family. One potential solution that we are seeing more and more is water parks that offer free sunscreen at stations strategically located throughout the park. Not reapplying sunscreen on your children can make for several painful days for everyone if your kids get sunburn. More sunscreen stations would allow you to pack less, and spend more time with your family without worry.
Additionally, most dry parks have areas with various activities and rides for family members of all ages to enjoy, but that isn't always the case when visiting a water park. There is usually a zero depth entry with an interactive play feature for younger kids. The play feature might have a small slide or two, water sprays, and maybe a water gun or cannon to play with. Counsilman-Hunsaker also typically sees a water feature that dumps or sprays water on kids below in this zero depth entry area. These features are great for really young children, but older kids might not pay them any attention.
A lazy river can be a great way to spend some one-on-one time with your kids, but they are typically too deep for smaller kids to enjoy. Counsilman-Hunsaker hopes to see more water parks offer shorter, more shallow lazy rivers with some smaller inner tubes for younger kids to feel more comfortable riding on.
Kids of all ages are drawn to water slides and wave pools. But these features tend to have height requirements, meaning younger kids aren't able to join in on the fun.
Because each area of a water park is meant for a specific age range, it can be difficult for larger families to all spend time together at water parks. Additionally, the selection of attractions can be rather limited for middle-aged children–those who aren't toddlers, but are still too small for larger attractions. Parents want new attractions for this age group, as well as more family slides and rides, allowing everyone to be included in the experience.
Families want to visit water parks because they offer a fun experience for every member of the family. But they can be taxing on parents with kids of different ages. With that being said, more and more we are beginning to see water parks make changes and adapt to better accommodate families and their needs to make water parks a recreation destination for everyone.