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9 Tips for Visiting Castaway Bay

Castaway Bay in Sandusky invited us to enjoy the water park free of charge in exchange for this promotional post.  All opinions are my own.  Your experience may differ.
We have been to Castaway Bay a few times (3/2016 & 2/2015) and I am always learning how to make it better for us through first-hand experience.  The facility is particularly great for families with younger children and is designed to entertain a range of ages.
Tip #1: Stay at the Hotel
You might be tempted to save a few extra dollars and just get a day pass to Castaway Bay.  While that is a frugal option, I highly recommend that you get the hotel room, especially if you have children that are of napping ages.

Having a hotel room allows your children to have a quiet break from the activities, relax for a few, take a nap, rest, refresh so you can enjoy the waterpark recharged.

Rooms are also equipped with a mini-fridge, microwave, and coffee maker.. so you could bring your own snacks or food from home and save money on meals.

Staying at a hotel owned by Cedar Point gives you special discounts on tickets to Cedar Point and Soak City and early entry to both parks.

Tip #2: Read the Rules
Many of the attractions have height requirements and restrictions.  Be prepared to strap a life jacket on shorter guests (regardless of their ability to swim) when entering the wave pool, creature cove and other areas with a deeper water depth.  Life Jackets come in a wide variety of sizes, so check the weight recommendations and make sure you have the
right one.  For younger guests, there is a strap that needs to be attached between their legs.
In addition to height requirements, some attractions may not be suitable if you or your family members have certain limitations or health conditions.  Always use your best judgement and be safe.
Tip #3: Rent a Locker
Renting a locker is one of the best things you can do at Castaway Bay.  They are easy to use and you just use a pin code to access your belongings all day.  We just used ours to store our keys, wallet and phone, but larger lockers are available if you want to store your other belongings. The prices have gone up (I think the small locker was $10 this time),
but $10 was well worth it to not have to worry about someone walking off with my brand new cell phone.
Tip #4: Take Frequent Breaks

The chlorine in the air and water can wear you and the kids out rather quickly, so taking frequent breaks to rest and refuel is highly recommended.  Plus it gives you and your family the opportunity to transition to new activities.

During our visit we stopped to get snacks, lunch (at Quaker Steak), ice cream (at Ebb and Eddy’s) and we participated in the Dance Party and story time at the end of our visit.
Tip #5: Family Bathrooms
Castaway Bay has two family bathrooms which make trips to the restroom easy. There is a toilet, sink, changing table, garbage and shower in each oversized bathroom.
The Family Bathroom is perfect for us as we could both get showered and changed while helping our children do the same at the end of our visit, just remember to bring your own body wash, shampoo and conditioner.
Tip #6: Swim Diapers

You can buy a pack of disposable swim diapers, but if you plan on swimming more than a couple of times, it might be worth the investment to buy a reusable swim diaper.  {affiliate link} I-Play makes a few and we have had great experiences with their brand. Naomi is wearing an I-Play bathing suit with the swim diaper built in.  Regardless of which option you
choose, it is best to bring a back up… because everyone poops.

Tip #7: Goggles

I highly recommend that you bring goggles for your child.  It eases the stress of possibly getting water splashed into their eyes and allows for more enjoyment of the water park.  Frogglez are my favorite brand because they float in the water, have easy velcro adjustment, and the band is fabric so it doesn’t pull the kids hair.

Tip #8: Adult to Child Ratio
This really depends on the age and maturity of your children.  We went with two adults and three children and found at times we could have used an extra pair of eyes and hands.  There were times that all three children wanted to do different activities and that made the visit a bit more difficult.  Carlyn was thrilled with the raft ride, while Rosa didn’t even want to try it, so I found myself riding with her at times or holding Naomi and waiting in line with her so she could go alone as I didn’t want to send her up into a long line by herself.
Rosa had a blast in the wave pool, but Naomi didn’t want anything to do with the life jackets.. so take your children and temperaments into consideration when planning who will be attending.
Tip #9: Swim Lessons

The America’s National Institute of Health study concluded that participation in formal swimming lessons was associated with an 88% reduction in the risk of drowning for children ages 1 to 4 years (Archives Pediatric Medicine, Vol 163 No 3, March 2009).

I can’t tell you what a difference it makes to know that Rosa can hold her own in the pool and Carlyn has no fear of the water, which makes a visit to the waterpark a lot of fun.  Weekly swimming lessons play a huge role in making the experience more enjoyable as the kids are not afraid to get wet, they know how to safely enter and exit a pool and other life-saving swimming skills.

Overall we had a fantastic time.  It was awesome to see Carlyn become a lot braver and tackle all of the slides that she was able to ride (and love them) while Rosa spent a good amount of her time in the wave pool tackling the waves and practicing her handstands which then developed into finally doing a somersault in the water (after a whole year of resistance in swimming classes).  Naomi can now walk so that opened the door for her to explore on her own and also enjoy the warm Grotto waters.

Find other indoor water parks: Indoor Water Parks in Metro Detroit, Michigan and Beyond

Amber Louchart
Author: Amber Louchart

Amber is the proud mother to four beautiful children, Damian (27), Rosaleigh (14), Carlyn (11), and Naomi (8). Her family also includes four cats. She loves being a stay-at-home mom and feels blessed to be able to care for her children full-time and provide them with so many opportunities through Metro Detroit Mommy. In addition to Metro Detroit Mommy, Amber has a passion for hosting karaoke with Malibu Entertainment.  She enjoys the metro Detroit nightlife especially, singing, dancing and meeting new people.