I wanted to share about my family's recent visit to Beech Bend Park.
Growing up in Wisconsin, we went to Noah's Ark every summer. Billed as America's Largest Waterpark (at the time), those slides hold many precious memories of my childhood and teen years. The Sunday before school started, we decided to go to a water park.
Living in Nashville, there are several nearby water parks – the local Nashville Shores (read this review on Suburban Turmoil), Beech Bend Park (an hour away in Bowling Green, KY) and Holiday World (2.5 hours away in Santa Claus, IN).
While most friends said to go to Holiday World, we opted to go to Beech Bend Park because it was closer and we thought it would be a perfect first water park experience for the kids. We also decided to leave Ezra home with a baby-sitter to make it a bit easier for us to do the slides with Elias and Adeline. I was happy to not be quite so far away, just in case something happened.
We had an amazing time. Since I found few personal reviews of Beech Bend Park, I thought I would share some photos and tips here.
Beech Bend Park is both a small water park and amusement park in one and is a fantastic day trip for families. We plan to make a trip there for many summers to come.
Arrive at opening: We left early so that we would be there just before the park opened. This was great because the park as not crowded in the early morning hours and we were able to go on all the rides with practically no waiting.
Buy tickets online: We bought our tickets online, which made it easier to get into the park, as the line was quite long to buy tickets. This definitely saved time and money!
Get a locker: Lockers are available inside the park, so you can absolutely store towels, wallets, cell phones, etc. with ease. I brought my phone to take a few pictures inside the park and was happy to have the locker available.
Bring food: You are allowed to bring food into Beech Bend Park and we saw many people with coolers. We didn't prepare to do this, but I will for future visits. The food was basic amusement park fare and wasn't terribly expensive.
Take advantage of the free life vests: Adeline can swim, though she isn't a super strong swimmer. We still felt that she would be okay sliding down the slides with an adult and did not bring her puddle jumper. This proved to be a mistake because she was terrified of the slides for the first hour we were there. We stumbled on to free life vests in the kiddie area of the park and once she put one on, she felt much safer and braver. This was a great, unexpected benefit.
Wear water shoes: The concrete gets hot, so be sure to have water shoes for the entire family. I wore the same water shoes that I have had for about 12 years, and they literally fell apart at Beech Bend Park. Thankfully I had flip flops for the second half of the day, but they were a pain since I could not wear them while going down slides.
What to expect at Beech Bend Park's Splash Lagoon
Beech Bend Park's Splash Lagoon has a lazy river, wave pool, two sets of large slides, a set of kiddie slides, a children's play area and a “leisure” pool.
We were able to do all the slides with Elias, who is 8. Adeline was terrified of the newest, large set of “flying saucer” slides, so we did not go on those with her. The smaller set of large slides were very fun though and perfect for our whole family to enjoy.
The children's play area is amazing, with lots of slide options and plenty of chairs. This was the perfect area for Adeline to acclimate to the slides and get comfortable before trying the bigger slides out.
Beech Bend Park also offers plenty of seating for parents who don't want to get in the water. That said, all the slides in the children's area can be done by adults, which was great for us as we helped Adeline conquer her fears.
Beech Bend Park offers free sunscreen at stations throughout the water park, which made it very easy to reapply regularly.
After enjoying the water park, we ended the day by visiting the amusement park side of the park. We were all pretty tired, so we only did a few of the rides included the swings, tilt-a-whirl, teacups, grand carousel and roller coaster.
The kids had a blast and enjoyed everything immensely. Though we were there on a weekend, we didn't have to wait to go on any of the rides. It was perfection!
If you plan to do the amusement park, know that you must be wearing shorts, a shirt (or sundress) and shoes. You cannot ride them in a bathing suit. We thankfully had cover ups in our locker. (The boys were fine in their swim trunks and rash guards.)
We had an absolute blast at Beech Bend Park and can't wait to go back next year.
Does your family do water parks in the summer? What tips do you have?
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