Note: This post is sponsored by Schlitterbahn Waterpark and H-E-B stores.
Schlitterbahn New Braunfels is the perfect water park for preschoolers. You can bring a picnic, parking is free, life jackets are provided and there are incredible water playgrounds in every park. Did I mention kids 2 and under are free?!
10 Tips for taking preschoolers to Schlitterbahn
1. East and West Schlitterbahn
To fully enjoy all that Schlitterbahn New Branunfels has to offer it is important to understand how the waterpark is laid out. Schlitterbahn is 64 acres and has 2 parks, the East and the West. The West is the the original Schlitterbahn that I remember coming to as a kid. The East has 3 separate sections inside of the park: Surfenburg, Blastenhoff, and Tubenbach. The East East and West parks are separated by a few neighborhood streets, and there is a free shuttle that runs all day to and from both parks.
To make the most of the day, it is important to plan. There are 6 awesome water playgrounds scattered throughout the 4 sections of the park for little ones. We like to start in the east park section of Surfenburg. Kiddie Park has a pirate ship, giant octopus, yellow submarine and numerous small slides all with padded foam slides.
2. Arrive at 9:30 and set up camp
By arriving at 9:30, you ensure a good parking spot in the East lot closest to Surfenberg. (Note: This lot will fill up by 10am.) The ticket booth is typically open a little early so you can get wristbands and apply sunscreen while you wait for the gates to open. Once inside, I recommend leaving the cooler and towels at Surfenburg. There are tons of shaded picnic tables surrounding Kiddie Coast.
I love that you can take The Falls (no heigh requirement or line) from Surfenberg to Blastenhoff. In Blastenoff, my 3 and 5 year olds kids favorite stop is Han’s Hideout. It’s a five story tall water fun house with dumping buckets, dueling water cannons, net crawls, tunnels, and slides.
3. Kids 2 and younger are always free
Bring the little ones! I promise they will love Schlitterbahn. My 3 year old had a blast chasing her 5 year old brother through the water playgrounds.
4. Only 8 rides have height restrictions
Out of Schlitterbahn’s 51 rivers, rides, slides, and chutes only 8 require riders to be at least 42″ tall. This means, there is so much for younger kids to do! Schlitterbahn offers tubes with bottoms to better accommodate smaller children, and there are lots of family tube or double tube rides. My 5 year old is 44″ tall and was able to ride everything he wanted to, including his very favorite, the Boogie Bahn.
What to bring to Schlitterbahn
5. Swim shirts, sunscreen, hats
Sunscreen is a must, and if your preschoolers are anything like mine, they don’t like it! Typically, sunscreen needs to be re-applied every 80 minutes, so swim shirts and hats make this process a little easier. Hats have been known to fly off on rides so make sure it’s tied on or held in your hands on rides.
6. Water shoes & swim diapers
For little kids, I love Natives! They comes in tons of colors, awesome for the water and stay on little feet. The pathways in Schlitterbahn can get hot in the middle of summer and there is a decent amount of walking from park to park so water shoes are a must. Swim diapers are also a necessity. Swim diapers and water shoes are available in the gift shops in case you forget.
That’s right, you can bring a rolling cooler packed with all the food and snacks! Keyword: Rolling. Schlitterbahn is big, and you won’t be sorry the cooler has wheels! It’s also fair to note there are lots of fun treats to buy and eat at Schlitterbahn. I can’t leave without Dippin Dots! As for options to buy food at Schlitterbahn New Braunfels, here’s the low down. For the picnic route, don’t forget plates, napkins and silverware. Here are some lunch and snack ideas to pack in the cooler:
- Pre made sandwiches
- Carrot sticks and hummus
- Apple slices, grapes, oranges, watermelon
- Snap peas, sliced cucumbers, sweet peppers
- Individual chip bags (Individual is key to avoid wet hands in the big chip bag.)
We did a mix of bringing healthy snacks I know my kids love and buying a few fun treats!
It’s hot! Bring all the drinking water. Also fair to note, do not bring glass or alcohol to the park. Schlitterbahn is serious about this rule and all bags get a thorough check. We brought a glass container filled with carrot sticks and weren’t allowed to bring it inside. The security guard was kind enough to give us a styrofoam cup with a lid to hold all of our carrot sticks.
I’d recommend brining an umbrella stroller to Schlitterbahn. If your preschooler does not want to ride, the stroller is still useful to carry the bags and towels in and around the parks. I have an inkling by 4pm, the preschooler will gladly sit in his or her stroller and let you push them around!
10. Life jackets/ puddle jumpers
Schlitterbahn provides life jackets and inner tubes free of charge. Life jackets are readily available on stands in every section of the park. You are allowed to bring your own puddle jumpers or life jackets too, so if your kiddo is used to wearing a puddle jumper consider brining that.
Where can I get Schlitterbahn New Braunfels discount tickets?
From now until June 17, 2019 use this digital coupon to get a $10 H-E-B gift card with any $50 Schlitterbahn gift card purchase! The H-E-B tickets are already discounted $1 off the adult ticket price and $2 off of the child/ senior price. These gift cards are good at all Schlitterbahn locations. Use the H-E-B gift card to buy Schlitterbahn essentials like picnic supplies, sunscreen and adorable beach towels! There is a limit of 2 digital coupons per costumer.
Have you ever been to Schlitterbahn? I’d love to hear your best tips and favorite rides!