Top Seven Tips for Visiting Schlitterbahn with children from toddlers to 5-year-olds
Schlitterbahn has an amazing selection of rides for children from the littlest toddler to the fearless daredevil who insists on riding the “big rides”! I have been bringing my little boy to Schlitterbahn since he was one year old. And now he is five. So on this subject, I feel like I can speak with a good bit of authority.
1. Come Early: Get to park early (by 9:00 a.m.) be the first in and claim a table near the kids’ area that best suits your child. (See number 3.)
2. Roll It: Make sure everything you bring can roll. On my first visit with my son, he had just turned one year old and knew how to walk. So I packed my normal “kid bag” plus some snacks and pool gear, and headed out. Even though I knew exactly where I wanted to go, it was a long walk and he decided quickly he wanted to be carried. If he or the bag was on wheels, our day would have been much easier. So either pack everything into a stroller or bring some rolling luggage. You can get everything on rollers these days.
3. Pick a Good Spot:
Every Schlitterbahn has specially designed kids areas perfect for toddlers to five-year-olds. We’re listing spots in Schlitterbahn New Braunfels, since it’s the largest park and the kids areas are, in some cases, tucked away. But you can find every kids area at every park by asking a member of our team at the entrance.
Year 1 to 2 – For small children who have not started walking yet, or have just begun to walk, they will love Schatze’s Central Park (The Original Schlitterbahn). Lots of shade for mom and water features like a mini car wash, super small slides, and water sprinkling surprises that pop right out of the ground are perfect for our tiniest guests. And meet-and-greet with Schatze. Butterfly Bayou is in Surfenberg and is another perfect spot for our littlest guests because of the shallow water.
Year 2 to 3 – Polywog Pond and Lagoon Kiddie Park (The Original Schlitterbahn), Kiddie Coast (Surfenburg), Butterfly Bayou (Tubenbach), Kinderhaven (Blastenhoff) are great areas for kids who are more active, mobile, and want to splash and slide.
Year 3 to 4 – Han’s Hideout (Blastenhoff) is great fun for kids who are older and more comfortable in the water. This kids’ adventure area is especially awesome for kids with older siblings or friends so they can play together and have fun. The Tadpool (The Original Schlitterbahn) is located right next to Schatze and Polywog Pond. The water in the Tadpool is great for kids who want to practice swim lessons and includes four small themed slides. Tadpool is another great place for older and younger children to play together.
Year 5 – Most children over 5 can enjoy the majority of Schlitterbahn’s rides, slides, tube chutes, and rivers. While there is no lap riding, you can find an available tube with a bottom to use in rivers and chutes. At this age, pick your favorite part of the park to enjoy and your whole family will have an awesome time!
Pro Tip: Our staff moms park at the Wavefest Entrance at our main park. This is the one on Austin St. next to the resort. It is the last parking area to fill and often has the shortest lines for admission. Plus there is a locker area right inside and plenty of shade areas.
4. Food and Drinks: My child could live on turkey hot dogs and fresh strawberries if I let him. And most of the time, french fries do not even tempt him. If you have a picky eater like me, luckily Schlitterbahn allows you to bring in whatever juice, milk, cereal, pickle and jelly sandwich your discriminating half pint aficionado could want. (Just remember not to bring glass – pickle and jelly jars are commonly brought in and have to be emptied – or alcohol into Schlitterbahn.) Pack plenty of water for your crew to keep hydrated on these hot Texas summer days. Fun recipes for your ice chest are also found here. And we have ideas on picking the perfect cooler here.
5. Swim Diapers: Pack swim diapers. (But don’t panic. Schlitterbahn retail shops sell swim diapers if you forget them.)
6. Life Jackets: We have them for free, use them. You know. Safety First. Visit Guest Relations if you are having trouble finding them in the park.
7. Nap Time: Even on exciting trips to the waterpark, most small children need a nap. Some kids are able to sleep in a shady spot on a park lounger. But if you have a go back to your hotel for a couple of hours, it’s okay because you are able to come in and out of Schlitterbahn all day as long as you are still wearing your wristband.
FUN FACT: The newest kids area in New Braunfels is in Tubenbach and features a brightly colored Dragon. It’s called Sea Creature Cove and the dragon was featured on our newsroom in 2013.