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.*