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Family Guide to Knott's Soak City Waterpark

Caryn Bailey

Knott's Anniversary Ambassador
Caryn is a long-time family-focused writer and digital media expert, who covers a range of lifestyle topics including food, fashion, beauty, film, travel, and technology. Caryn draws from her experience as a mother and a healthcare professional to share her knowledge and experiences. Having traveled the world, Orange County is home to Caryn and her two young children. Read more about Caryn's adventures on Rockin Mama

With temperatures soaring above 100 degrees, the best place to cool off in Southern California is Knott’s Soak City Waterpark. The waterpark recently underwent a renovation with the addition of 7 new water slides, 20 additional cabanas, new shade and seating areas, and expanded dining options.

Knott's Soak City now spans 15 acres and offers families an immersive aquatic reprieve from the Southland’s scorching heat. As Orange County’s largest waterpark, there is something to do for everyone. Whether you have an infant or a teen, make a splash at Soak City this summer.

Before your visit, be sure to check out our guide to a day at Soak City with Kids.


Family Guide to Knott's Soak City Waterpark With Kids

What to Pack
A swimsuit, towel, and sunscreen are necessities when visiting Soak City. Beyond that, there are some items that will help make the day go by seamlessly. Pack a medium-sized bag that will fit your essentials and fit inside one of the lockers available for rent at Soak City. Sunglasses, water shoes, a cover-up/rash guard, water, and some small snacks will make it more comfortable if you plan to be at the park for the whole day. Also, pack any medications you and your child might need. At the end of the day, you may want to rinse off the chlorine. An extra set of clothes and your essential toiletries will ensure that you don’t have to repeat the process when you get home. Also, remember to bring an extra bag to hold your wet clothing.

Rent a Locker

One of my best tips for enjoying a day at Soak City is to rent a locker. A locker will give you security knowing that your personal items are safe. Everything except a small waterproof container housing some money and a towel, if desired, can be stored in your locker and accessed throughout the day. While change is available, I recommend carrying smaller bills and coins to avoid the hassle of having the correct amount required to rent a locker.

Plan Your Day
Whether your children are two or twenty-two, aquatic adventure awaits. If you have small children, I encourage you to visit SoakCityOC.com to get a sense of the slides and attractions specifically designed for your child’s age and height. Having a short discussion about what you plan to do together will help reduce any disappointment regarding slides and attractions that may not be suitable based on age and height.

Take Regular Breaks
Regular breaks from the water and sun can help kids avoid sunburns, fatigue, or adverse effects from the sun. If your child still naps, find a shady spot and enjoy a bit of downtime while your child naps. If you rented a cabana, this is the ideal location for a short rest time. Planning breaks and downtime will help eliminate any potential meltdowns.

Anticipate when your child will be hungry and plan meals accordingly. It is common for kids to forget they are hungry because of the excitement of being at the park. Soak City offers two meal venues (and additional snack/drink stations throughout the park), each offering kid-friendly meals and snacks. If you plan to visit Soak City throughout the season, opt for one of their dining plans, which offer the best value.

Consider renting a cabana for the day, to seek reprieve from the hot sun. Soak City offers three, semi-private cabanas to choose from, which accommodate up to 8 people and include 4 inner tube rentals, waiter service, a shaded area, and a table with an umbrella.

Stay Hydrated
Being in the water is not equivalent to drinking water. Keep your kids (and yourself) well hydrated throughout the day as the heat from the summer sun can be intense. You can also purchase a Souvenir Bottle and enjoy free or $1 refills all season long, depending on which option to you choose.

Stay Safe
As a parent, safety is at the forefront of my mind whenever we visit a waterpark. With a few precautionary steps, everything from sunburns to minor cuts and bruises can be avoided or easily remedied.

Apply sunscreen upon arrival and throughout the day to prevent sunburns. Pay attention to the amount of time a sunscreen is effective while in the water and reapply accordingly.

Utilize Soak City’s complimentary life jackets for children who still learning to swim. Sunset River and the Tidal Wave Bay are key areas where a life jacket is highly recommended.

Locate the First Aid station adjacent to the WipeOut Surf Shop in the event of illness or accidents.

Have a plan in the event that you and your child get separated. A central meeting place such as Guest Services will help you and your child understand where to go in the event that they should wander too far from you. If your child is lost, alert an associate immediately to mobilize assistance.

Have Fun
Each of my kids has their own agenda when it comes to visiting Knott’s Soak City. Fortunately, we decided a season pass was the best way to enjoy the waterpark throughout the summer without feeling pressured to experience all of the attractions in one visit. A season pass provides tremendous value and affords you the option of enjoying the park at your leisure the entire summer. The season runs through September 9, 2018.

For additional information including directions, where to park, obtaining tickets, and park hours, visit knotts.com/play/soak-city 

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Caryn Bailey

Knott's Anniversary Ambassador
Caryn is a long-time family-focused writer and digital media expert, who covers a range of lifestyle topics including food, fashion, beauty, film, travel, and technology. Caryn draws from her experience as a mother and a healthcare professional to share her knowledge and experiences. Having traveled the world, Orange County is home to Caryn and her two young children. Read more about Caryn's adventures on Rockin Mama

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