My kids are 10, 8 and 3. Navigating outings with them can be difficult to say the least. Most places cater to either the older two or the younger one, but I have found Dollywood’s Splash Country to be a place I can always count on to entertain us all. Here are just a few tips to make the most of your day at Splash Country if your kids have a big gap in their ages like mine.
1. Set Up in The Cascades.
The Cascades can be a bit of a hike for some, but for us it is totally worth the walk. Once there, my big kids can take advantage of a water slide with mild twists and turns, then swim over to the four-feet area to splash around, while the baby can ride a smaller, slow-moving slide and wade in the shallow end. With a beach-style entry and a gradual slope to the 8,000-square-foot lagoon pool, everyone is entertained and in the same place at the same time.
2. Venture over to Mountain Waves.
Like The Cascades, the wave pool (aka Mountain Waves) has a beach entry. While my older two grab inner tubes and head to the deeper waters, my 3-year-old has a blast charging at the waves just like he would at the ocean. When the waves stop (five minutes on and five minutes off), the big kids are happy to swim and splash while the baby is thrilled to “help the lifeguards,” otherwise known as stack the inner tubes on top of each other at the beach.
3. Split Up.
This won’t work for everyone, but it works well for us. My two big guys are both strong swimmers who have spent many summers in swim lessons and swim team. Their abilities, coupled with the ample number of lifeguards in the park at all times, have left me feeling comfortable with them staying together, riding a slide or two and coming back to meet my 3-year-old and me at a preplanned location (usually Little Creek Falls).
4. Float On.
Nothing thrills my bigger two more than racing around the lazy river—Downbound Float Trip. They pretend to be any number of marine wildlife while my little guy and I share an inner tube and relax together. We also enjoy making a four-person chain and holding onto each other while we float, seeing how well we can navigate the gentle circle without bumping into any walls—or other guests!
One of the things we love to do as a family anywhere we go is eat, and Splash Country has no shortage of yummy meals, snacks and treats for us to share. We can always agree on taking a break to refuel with food no matter what. We made sure to grab a few Water Park Dining Passes, which allow us to get a meal and a snack every time we visit for a one- time payment of $39.99 + tax. *Note- I purchased a Basic Dining Plan. Only Deluxe Plans are available now.
Dollywood’s Splash Country is my family’s absolute favorite local summer destination because there is truly something there for all of us to enjoy together. I know we will all leave having had a great day and with some sweet memories to take with us into the colder seasons.