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Heading to an amusement park with young kids this summer? From the experts at Santa’s Village in Bracebridge—one of Ontario’s oldest and most popular family tourist destinations—here are some pro tips on how to survive a day at an amusement park, to make it a truly magical experience.

  1. Study the park map before you arrive. Amusement parks are big and busy.  Knowing where washrooms, guest services, food, and other essentials are beforehand can save you a lot of trouble later, especially in diaper emergencies.


  2. Pack your bathing suit. And a towel, too. Most family amusement parks have splash pads or water rides, so dive in, cool off, and have fun!


  3. Follow your kids’ lead. Amusement parks are made for family fun! Let your little ones explore, have fun, and rest when they need. Giving kids the power to choose where to go and what to do keeps everyone enthusiastic and happy.

  4. Don’t try to do everything. There is so much for families to do at amusement and theme parks, it can sometimes be overwhelming. Having an idea beforehand of what activities best suit your family saves lots of time and helps manage expectations. Make a plan that everyone agrees to, but be sure to work in some extra time for inevitable diversions.

  5. Take breaks. Everyone needs a rest or two throughout a busy day. Taking breaks helps keep everyone’s energy up for the fun stuff. Stop for lunch and snacks, or just take a rest and people-watch.

  6. Make an “if you get lost” plan. No one likes to think that they will be separated from their family, but it does sometimes happen. When you arrive at any amusement park, be sure to talk with your children about what to do if it happens to them. Show them where the guest services office is, point out the park employees, and identify a family meeting place. Give each child a piece of paper with your cell phone numbers on it and tell them to give it to a park employee if they get lost.

  7. Wear comfortable shoes. This may seem like a simple tip, but it’s so important! If your feet hurt or are tired, you’re not going to enjoy your day.

  8. Get a good night’s sleep. Again, simple, but true. We all know how important sleep is to keeping little ones (and mom and dad) happy during the day. Go to bed early the day before your park visit and you’ll have more energy for your exciting visit. You might consider not telling the smallest family members about your destination in advance. The anticipation could make it harder for them to settle in to sleep—as many of us learn on Christmas Eve!

For six decades, Santa’s Village has been one of Bracebridge’s most famous and popular tourist destinations. The Village has two theme parks, a day camp, animals, and a family campground, where kids of all ages can visit Santa, enjoy rides, games, and countless other family-friendly activities. Visit this year and experience it all, including a splash pad in the main park and a bungee trampoline at Sportsland, the park for older kids.

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