“Summer Bucket List” check-off #3: Water Park Fun!

And just like that, our 3rd item has been checked off of our summer bucket list. Last week, I took Mia to a small water park on her day off from preschool.

Now when I say water park, it’s pretty much the size of a large playground, but in a calf-deep pool with lots of water features and waterfalls. It’s located at the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center and is the perfect size for my water loving two year old.

These photos were taken with y iPhone and have not been edited (so unlike me). I did take my fancy camera to the park but, I decided that I like it way too much to let it get wet so I left it wrapped up in a towel in my beach bag.

photo 2We only stayed for about 2 hours. Mia spent most of her time between the ground fountains and army-crawling around on her belly in the super shallow section by the edge of the water. She wanted nothing to do with the slide, the waterfalls or the water guns. There were quite a lot of big kids around and I’m sure she was overwhelmed by them. Honestly I’m glad, because I didn’t really want to head into the splash zone myself to supervise my kid among the running, jumping and screaming big kids. Maybe she’ll be a little more daring on our next trip.

photo 1

photo 3During one of the “water breaks” that are performed every hour or so (when EVERYBODY must leave the water for 5 minutes), Mia saw a few girls walk by with popcorn. That’s Mia’s weakness. She just had to have some, too. She had been fussing during the 5 minute break to go back into the water (she didn’t understand why she couldn’t go back in) but as soon as she saw the popcorn (which was right as the water came back on and kids were allowed to return to the pool), Mia didn’t want anything else but that dang popcorn. So of course, this sucker of a mom agreed to her request and got a cup of popcorn to keep the peace.

photo 5Mia had a blast here. She had a giant smile on her face nearly the whole time (except during their water break) and she still asks me to go back to the “agua park” on a daily basis. I usually respond with, “Sorry baby, it’s closed today.” We’ll go again for sure.

photo 4

Overall our experience was great, but there were a few details that weren’t (in my opinion).

There’s hardly any shade for the side-liners who are observing their children or who are just taking a break. Make sure you have plenty of sunblock on during your visit.

Also, I didn’t like that you can’t bring in your own food. They do have a concession stand but it’s filled with the typical junk you’d expect to find there like nachos, hamburgers, popcorn, chips, ice cream, sodas, etc. I’d much rather feed my two year old a healthy snack and/or lunch (you know, AFTER she eats a cup of popcorn). Two year olds are already hard enough to feed (they can be picky and only want what they’re used to) so trying to find something off of the menu that they’ll successfully eat is not ideal. I had even packed a lunch for us that day with sandwiches, apples, carrots, milk and raisins. I had to leave it all in the car and then try to feed her lunch while we drove home. They should let us bring our own food in.

I’ll end this on a good note. I think what I loved most of all was the price! I don’t think you can beat $6 for adults and $0 for kids who are 2 and under. That’s right, Mia was free! The kids price (age 3+) is $4 which is still pretty great. This place is very affordable and we’ll definitely be coming back a few more times before summer is out.

Here is what our summer bucket list looks like now…

 

bucket list check off 3

 

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Comments

  1. This looks like so much fun! We don’t have anything like this in my city. There is a “water park” but it’s more of a glorified fountain for kids. It’s just in a public park so it’s free, so I guess I can’t really complain. But it looks like you have an awesome time!

    • We have a little wading pool at a local public park near us, but it’s a little anti-climatic. It does the trick, though, on a hot day where I don’t feel like getting in the pool. I’d love to see more fountains and wading pools around, though. This particular water park will be one we head to for a while before Mia’s ready for the big time parks (and the way more expensive ones…eek). Thanks for commenting.

  2. What an awesome option for a warm summer day, and those prices are great! I wish we had something similar near us! I would be kind of frustrated that I couldn’t bring outside food in too! Do they let you leave and come back? Maybe you could take a break and head to the car to eat and then head back in if they let you.

    • Libby, they actually do let you leave (hand stamp) and come back in. And when we left for the day I did see a family huddled under the only tree in the parking lot eating their feast that they packed from home. The kids were all much older than mine, though. That’s the problem. My two year old was pissed off over the 5 minute break that everyone was forced to take from playing in the water. The thought of gathering all of our belongings (that were used to save our spot on the nearby stairs) to sit in our hot car (there’s no seating or shade outside of the park) with my sassy 2 year old..sounds miserable. Now if she were a year or 2 older…then YES! Great suggestion! That’s something I’ll definitely give a try in the future. Thanks for the advice and for commenting :)

  3. That is so cheap!!!! I could afford doing that a couple times a week! I hate when you can’t bring your own food because I have the pickiest eater on my hands. That water park looks freaking awesome even if it’s as small as you say. From what I can see it’s the perfect little size :) I’m so jealous we don’t have something like that nearby. We have tons of water parks and amusements parks, probably about 10 within an hour drive, but they are super expensive. The cheapest one to get in is probably 50$ per person :(

    • Tina, this park is about a 25-30 minute drive. I’m pretty sure the big water parks are a bit further away from me than that. Probably within an hour. But you’re right, they’re so much more expensive and not really that worth it when you have a toddler who can’t even go on most of the rides. I’m SO GLAD we discovered this place (thanks Jenna!). I think there should be more little water parks sprinkled across southern California. I mean, it only makes sense. It’s freaking HOT here!

  4. I wasn’t too pleased about the no outside food policy either but I was able to sneak in a lunch for little miss picky (aka Abby). I had it in a separate lunch bag that I hid under a towel as they searched my other bag… just FYI for next time. Oh, and the Puddle Jumper life jacket/arm floaties thing you can “rent” in exchange for your drivers license or car keys is great! I keeps them upright once the water gets a little deeper.

    • Well Sneaky Snake Jenna! You know, I should have done that too! Next time, I’ll have to sneak in a few things also. And thanks for that great advice on the life jackets! I had no idea. We’ll give those a try next time. Mia’s never worn one, hopefully she won’t make a scene :)

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