Are you ready for Spring? I know I am, but it seems like every time it starts to feel nice outside it’s cold again by the next day. Thankfully, at Castaway Bay you can enjoy a Castaway Bay getaway where it is always a nice 82 degrees. It’s the perfect staycation to recover from the winter “blahs” and fun for the whole family!
Having lived in Ohio most of my life you would think the unpredictable weather this time of year would’t surprise me anymore. But the constant change between feeling so much like spring followed by a period of snow and ice has left me scratching my head. Regardless of the weather, we were definitely in need of a little winter weekend getaway. Since Castaway Bay is always a perfect 82 degrees it’s definitely an ideal place for a winter weekend getaway! The timing ended up being perfect because it was quite cold the weekend we went!
Disclosure: I received complimentary accommodations and other promotional items to facilitate my review. Regardless, all opinions are my own and those of my family. Please see my Disclosure Policy for more information.
The kids were more than just a little excited to head up to Castaway Bay for the weekend. I was definitely in need of a bit of a break as well! Although it was a little snowy the day we drove up there, nothing was going to stop us from going! We couldn’t wait to enjoy the 38,000-square-foot indoor waterpark and fun activities.
The Fun Begins
When we arrived we piled out of our car with our bags eager to drop them off in our room and go have some fun! Castaway Bay not only has an indoor waterpark, arcade and fitness center, but they also have a variety of kid-friendly activities as well! All the day’s activities can be found on the Island Times which can be picked up at the front desk and is displayed in the elevators as well.
We arrived just before 3pm which was the perfect time because cookie decorating was about to begin! So we dropped off our bags and headed to Club Castaway to decorate some cookies as well as souvenir bags and t-shirts. The movie Zootopia was playing on the big screen while we enjoyed the cookies and coloring. Then we had personalized souvenirs to take home!
After making our souvenirs we were ready for dinner. The Quaker Steak & Lube is actually connected to Castaway Bay which means we didn’t even have to go back out into the cold. It has such a fun atmosphere! We really enjoy eating there. My chicken tenders and fried pickles were so good! Plus we had food left over to take back to our room.
A Beautiful Bay View
Our room was on the first floor, but we still had a balcony with a breathtaking view of the Sandusky Bay. If you haven’t seen the bay in the winter with snow and ice on it, you definitely should! It’s beautiful!
We were in a Starfish Bay-View Room which includes two double beds, a single sleeper chair, fridge and microwave, coffee maker and the private screened balcony. Like all rooms, free WIFI and waterpark passes for the day of check-in and check-out are included. In order to do more this year, I brought my mom with us to help with the kids. The Starfish room can accommodate up to 5 people, but it was a little snug. I think it would be perfect for families with smaller children.
The door has multiple lock options from the inside. This is something you may not give much thought to, but I was definitely grateful for them as my sleep walking child tried to walk out the door around midnight!
Castaway Bay Indoor Waterpark Fun
After dinner on Saturday we were ready for some fun at the waterpark! The Wave Pool is always a favorite, and we all enjoyed some time in it. Because I had help this year I was able to do more with the kids including riding Rendezvous Run (also known as the “water rollercoaster”) with my oldest, go down some slides, play on the animal rafts with my youngest two and enjoy the hot tub with my daughter. This was all in one day!
Something neat I discovered this year was that the hot tub actually goes outdoors. We went out there, and it’s a really neat experience to be in a hot tub in freezing cold weather, but we didn’t stay out there long! I was convinced my hair was going to freeze!
As always, we felt safe with plenty of lifeguards on duty and looking out for everyone’s safety. They even checked up on my daughter to make sure she was over the height requirements for wear a life jacket in the Wave Pool. She was, but I appreciate that they check.
Our Winter Weekend Getaway
We had a great time at Castaway Bay, and the timing was fantastic! There is nothing better for cabin fever than having fun at an indoor waterpark. With multiple activities both in and out of the waterpark, beautiful views, good food and a fun arcade (which we surprisingly didn’t spend time in this year), Castaway Bay is a great place for families looking to beat those winter blues!
If you just want waterpark fun without the stay, day passes are available (and you could win some as well below!).
Connect with Castaway Bay
Would you like to enjoy some family fun at Castaway Bay? You could win 4 Day Passes to the Indoor Waterpark! This giveaway runs through 3/14/18 and is open to US residents ages 18+. *Please note travel and accommodations are not included.*
As I’m still learning to navigate life as a single parent, some fun ideas just don’t seem possible. The kids are getting stir crazy and we could definitely use a couple days of fun. The first thing that crosses my mind, though, is “can I manage that?” When I was invited for a review of Castaway Bay this winter, that is exactly what I thought. Being familiar with the layout, though, I thought if there is any place that has a waterpark manageable for single parents it’s definitely Castaway Bay! So I decided to put that theory to the test!
Disclosure: I received a complimentary stay to facilitate my review. Regardless, all opinions are my own and those of my family. Please see my Disclosure Policy for more information.
We take a big chunk of winter off from homeschooling so we don’t have to reset after the holidays. So each new school year starts in January with the new year. Easing back into a routine is always a little challenging after time off. Although this winter was fairly mild, the kids were still antsy within a few weeks and ready for a little break. Castaway Bay is perfect for just a couple days of fun. It’s a “one tank trip” for us so a couple days off was all we needed to enjoy their 38,000-square-foot indoor waterpark.
Having been to Castaway Bay before, we were familiar not only with the layouts but also the fun activities that are available as well. It’s so much more than “just” a waterpark. If I was going to tackle this, though, I was going to have to come up with a game plan. What were we going to do while we were there? How was I going to make sure all three kids have fun when I will have to stay with at least my youngest the whole time. I couldn’t ask my older two kids to just forgo any waterpark fun. So, putting together a game plan is exactly what we did!
More Than Just a Waterpark
In addition to an indoor waterpark that is always at the perfect temperature, Castaway Bay offers a lot of other fun activities for the kids. So, our first plan of action was to decide just how much we wanted to do while we were there. Some of the options are: the arcade, visiting with the Peanuts Gang, crafts, coloring souvenirs, a Dance Party, Bed Time Story with Snoopy, a Peanuts movie and more. Although we enjoyed just about all of the activities last year, we mutually decided to narrow things down to the arcade and the souvenirs this year so we could have more waterpark time.
There was definitely no shortage in arcade time! I love that the arcade uses a card system rather than tokens and tickets. You simply load up the card with credits and it puts all the tickets you win right there on the card, too. It’s much easier than keeping track of tokens and tickets. We played quite a few games and had a blast!
For souvenirs, we colored t-shirts again. At first, I wasn’t sure what we would do with more Castaway Bay t-shirts, but what I saw unfold before me was really neat. For one, my youngest was actually coloring his own! They were all having a nice time coloring and did an awesome job! I had them write their names as well as the year on them and it was neat to compare them to last year’s shirts!
A Room with a View
The kids were so excited about going again, but I had to explain we wouldn’t be in one of the bigger rooms with the bunk beds, though, since there are just four of us. What I knew about our room, though, that I couldn’t wait for them to see was the view of the bay! It did not disappoint! In fact, all three of them couldn’t wait to get out on the balcony to sit and enjoy the view. The balcony has a full screen so there is no worries about bugs or falls.
The room we were in was the Starfish Bayview. It includes two full-size beds as well as a pull out chair. Decorated in the fun, tropical theme that is seen throughout the hotel, it has pictures of Cedar Point rides including my favorite – Raptor! It has a table with chairs, dresser, mini fridge, a safe, TV and more. Linens for the pull out chair were available in the dresser. Somehow I ended up sharing a bed with my 6 year old while my 10 year old had a whole bed to himself and my daughter slept on the pull out chair. Seems about right! Ha!
The best part is our plan included leaving our big stuff in the car until we could check in to our room since we went early, but it was already ready for us! That made things even easier!
After getting settled in, having a good lunch at Quaker Steak & Lube (which is attached to the resort), and our fun at the arcade we were ready to tackle the water park!
4 Things That Make Castaway Bay Waterpark Manageable for Single Parents
With a game plan in place, Castaway Bay is definitely a waterpark manageable for single parents. It offers features that are convenient and helpful for everyone including: plenty of towels, lockers, life jackets, water fountains and more. It is nice and warm with a variety of attractions with plenty of chairs for lounging underneath the relaxing sky lights.
We chose to go on weekdays because we aren’t limited to weekends since we homeschool. After I initially made the plans I thought maybe I should have chosen the weekend so I could have had a family member or friend go with us to help out. Regardless, it worked out great! Here are 4 things about Castaway Bay that makes it manageable:
The indoor waterpark within Castaway Bay only has one entrance and exit and there is always someone on staff right outside the doors. Plus, the area is compact. Although there are distinct attractions within the waterpark, they are all close to each other. If my older two were going to a different attraction they had to check in with me to tell me which one they’d be at. Every time they went to a different one they would have to check in. If I needed to do a sweep around the water park, it was as simple as walking around a block.
I think it’s always reassuring to have trained life guards, but I found their staff to be very helpful in general. There are multiple life guards for each attraction and others walking between the attractions. Unfortunately, my youngest slipped in the locker room, and there was someone there within minutes to make sure he was OK. His ankle was a little swollen so they got an ice pack and checked up on us a bit later. By then, he was ready to go again anyway!
My youngest is definitely too young to go into a public bathroom by himself. So when he needed bathroom breaks, I could simply use one of the Family Bathrooms. These bathrooms also have more room and a shower. It’s a great option for parents with young kids in general.
Food Within the Water Park
Are the kids hungry but can’t wait? No need to gather them all up and head out to get a bite just to come back later. There is a snack shack right within the waterpark. So it’s easy to grab a snack for everyone and get back to the fun with no fuss!
Our Castaway Bay Fun
We had a great time at Castaway Bay. I went there with a little bit of worry and some hope. Despite being a single mom and having three kids with sensory challenges, we really had an amazing time! The kids did great, and we had a good plan in place so everyone could have fun. B, my oldest son, found many kids to play with as he often does and basically did everything available. My daughter mostly stayed near or with me but went on the “water roller coaster” with her brother. My youngest son was always with me, of course. It was a much needed break that sent us home with some great memories!
Connect with Castaway Bay
Would you like to enjoy some family fun at Castaway Bay? You could win 4 Day Passes to the Indoor Water Park! This giveaway runs through 4/15/17 and is open to US residents ages 18+. *Please note travel and accommodations are not included.*
Are you ready for a Cedar Point family adventure? We had the opportunity to visit Cedar Point a few times this summer, but recently we visited together as a family – all 5 of us! Pulling off an epic Cedar Point family adventure can be a little challenging when you have kids of various ages and interests, but with a little planning (and sticking to it), it’s totally possible!
I picked up a few ideas from our Cedar Point family visit last year, and things definitely went more smoothly this year. Here are my Top 6 Tips for an Epic Cedar Point Family Adventure that will help ensure everyone will leave with a big smile on their face!
Disclosure: We received complimentary general admission tickets to facilitate our review. Regardless, all opinions are my own and those of my family.
1. Plan Ahead
There are a wealth of resources on the Cedar Point website to help you plan your epic adventure. I admit, I’m not a planner. I like to have a general idea of what we’ll be doing, but it doesn’t go much beyond that. When you are visiting Cedar Point with kids of multiple ages and interests, though, planning ahead is absolutely necessary. How tall are they? What kinds of rides do they like?
What we did is made a game plan based on this information. Our oldest is now able to ride all of the rides based on his height (but I wasn’t sure he was ready for all of them!), so we made a plan. My husband would rather not ride the bigger roller coasters due to his neuropathy, so the plan was simple – Brayden and I would ride these big coasters while Joey and the other two kids would visit the arcade or go on a smaller ride.
Certain rides my husband would ride with our older two kids, and I would stay with our youngest for a smaller ride – or just to take a few selfies on Snap Chat! Whatever is fun, right? Ha! Whatever works for your family, it’s ideal to plan it in advance so there won’t be confusion and delays when you’re there. You can make the most of your time!
Our daughter was now tall enough to ride some of the bigger rides, so that was definitely exciting – and a “must do” for our plan!
If you ask my husband, though, he will tell you the best experience ever was getting to be a tester for the virtual reality on Iron Dragon. He still talks about it!
2. Take a Bag (or Wagon)
One of the biggest mistakes you could make it not having a few things on hand. Taking a bag (or a wagon if you have younger kids) is a must. Be sure to have necessities like sunscreen, a change of clothes (particularly for younger children), a small first aid kit, towel (even if you don’t go on the rides that get you wet, it can still be handy to have a towel), water bottles, and kids’ comfort items.
If you have a plan in place for some people riding rides while others are doing something else, you won’t necessarily need a locker for your bag. There are lockers available, though, for a fee, so if it’s better to keep it in a locker that is always an option, too!
It’s also a good idea to take jackets. Even if the weather is nice (or even hot) during the day, it can get cooler at night – especially closer to the beach. It’s better to have jackets and not need them than not having them and needing them!
3. Check Out Additional Activities
There are many great activities for kids at Cedar Point. There are fun opportunities to meet the Peanuts Crew as well as watch them perform! In Frontier Town there are animals to pet and feed, mining and sifting fun, shows to watch, and a museum! Of course, there are also games to play throughout the park!
Do your kids like dinosaurs? You definitely will want to check out Dinosaurs Alive! Not only can you walk through and see life-sized dinosaurs (and learn a lot about them), but it’s also interactive. The kids can make some of the dinosaurs move, and there is a fun area to dig for fossils! Dinosaurs Alive! does require a separate admission.
4. Get a Souvenir Cup
Water bottles are great. They help ensure you’ll stay hydrated, but what about when you (or the kids) want something different to drink? There are a variety of drinks available from sodas to Powerade in multiple flavors. Instead of paying around $5 every time you get a drink, it’s ideal to just get a souvenir cup so you can get free refills all day. If you know you’ll be visiting a few times throughout the summer, there is also a souvenir cup for free refills for the whole year! It seems like a lot, but after doing the math, I discovered we saved quite a bit of money overall!
5. Plan Your Meals
Will you be eating there? Are you bringing a picnic lunch? Whether you’re buying food or going back to the car for a packed lunch, it’s good to know the when and where. If you’re going to choose food within the park, be sure to check out the Drinking and Dining Deals first to see how you can save. Set a specific meal (or snack) time and plan to relax or attend some of the shows while eating and letting food settle!
6. Take Advantage of Cedar Point Family Resources
Be sure to take advantage of the great resources for families for a safe and fun trip. Some of the resources include the Family Care Centers (particularly helpful if you are nursing and/or have little ones), Parent Swap (so one parent can ride while the other waits for the kids and swap out so the other can ride), KidTrack to help reunite parents and lost children.
Cedar Point Family Fun
For more tips for Cedar Point family fun be sure to check out the tips and tricks on the Cedar Point website as well!
Connect with Cedar Point
Get Ready for 2017
Cedar Point is open for the regular season only one more weekend, but the fun is far from over. Be sure to check out all the exciting fun coming up for HalloWeekends, and even get ready for next year. Season passes for 2017 are available now!
Plus, your visit to HalloWeekends can be free with the purchase of the 2017 Season Pass. All new 2017 Season and Platinum Passes include one free fall visit valid any single operating day through October 30. Plus, additional visits in the fall are just $14.99 each for all new 2017 Season Passholders.
What are your favorite Cedar Point family moments?