By HoliBlogger Courtney S.

Want to go visit Santa Claus? You can – anytime of year!

Just head to Southern Indiana where you’ll find holiday – and Santa Claus-themed fun – everywhere. The best part? Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari  is there at the heart of the town for all your family fun this year. We have been already this Summer – and LOVED it, so I wanted to share some tips for road tripping from Cincinnati to Santa Claus, IN.

Road Tripping from Cincinnati to Santa Claus: Posing at the Front Gate

You’ve got to head down Kentucky and around Louisville to get over to Santa Claus. It can be a quick two-and-a-half hour road trip from Cincy, but all of us from the area know that 71/75 can throw you some curveballs, whether it be construction or accidents. On our way down, the highway was closed about a half hour from Louisville. We had to all be diverted through a small town and then reconnected to the highway a bit farther down. It took us an hour and a half to go 7 miles. Here’s where tip #1 comes into play – DON’T WAIT UNTIL EVERYONE HAS TO PEE TO ACTUALLY STOP! 

I was so glad we took a quick break while traffic had still been moving nicely, even though the family didn’t think they had to go to the bathroom. We were able to empty our bladders and fill our tummies with that pit stop. We would have been in trouble if we had waited even ten more minutes on that part of the road trip! (The trip home was a breeze with traffic, though.) Bonus tip: When you stop, let the little ones RUN and get some energy out before you’re cooped back up in the car again. 

Tip #2: Bring a spare potty if you have small ones out of diapers. The portable potties for potty training work well, and don’t forget toilet paper and disinfectant wipes!

Tip #3: Always have an insulated water bottle for everyone. Keeping water (or whatever drinks) cool, especially in the hot parts of the year, will keep everyone happy and hydrated. Plus, Cincinnati Mom Collective has awesome insulated water bottles that fit great in car cup holders on their Swag Shop!

You may be tempted to overpack, but tip #4: Less can often be more. We always think we need more than we actually do.

Road Tripping from Cincinnati to Santa Claus: Photo with the Water Tower

Tip #5: Give each person their own backpack for a spare change of clothes, toiletries, snacks, and activities. It will make life so much easier than trying to hand out or divvy things up while in movement on the road. While it’s a short road trip to Holiday World, you never know when you might get stuck in traffic or need things on hand quickly without the irritation of rummaging through packed suitcases en route.

Tip #6: Screen time is okay! Yes, it’s a good idea to play all the fun car and I-spy games, but at some point, you’re just going to want some peace. Maybe your vehicle has built-in DVD players, maybe the kids are using tablets… make sure you have a couple options, headphones, headphone splitters, and charging cables and cords just in case.

To go with screen time, remember tip #7: Pack lots of snacks! Now, don’t bring the whole kitchen pantry, but make sure there’s a little bit of variety and there’s enough for everyone to make it in between the main meals while you’re on the road for 2-3 hours at a time.

On the line of snacks… tip #8: Bring trash bags! These can even be plastic grocery bags you want to reuse. You can either give a bigger bag to each row of the car, or each person can get their own small bag to be responsible for throwing their own garbage away. You’ll definitely want these if there are diaper changes. Also, you can use some of these in case someone gets carsick on the way. Keeping the car as clean as possible will save you a lot of irritation/stress after the road trip is over.

There are many road trip mom personalities. Cincinnati Mom Collective contributing writer and local comedian, Kate Mock Elliott, coined a few: The Oprah, The Norma Desmond, The Simon & Garfunkel, and the Rihanna. I think I fall somewhere between the latter two. You can read her article here to see which you are.

Whatever your personality and however you survive your road tripping with your crew, when you finally make it past a stretch of farmland and all of a sudden see roller coasters in the sky, signs for Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, and their own water tower, the road trip will all be worth it!

Plus, if you stop in the Halloween part of the park and pick up a silly hat, like my daughter’s squid hat, the road trip home will be that much more entertaining.

Road Tripping from Cincinnati to Santa Claus: Fun Hat

This blog post was written by HoliBlogger Courtney S.

A Cincinnati mom that spent my teen years in Indianapolis, I remember Summers at Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari fondly. My family and I love travel and theme parks. I own the Cincinnati, Dayton, and Louisville Mom Collectives where we provide the best in trusted recommendations, tips, tricks, and resources to families in our communities. In my rare free moments, I like to write, read, draw, paint, game, go to the park, go to art museums, and try new foods. 


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78 Responses to “8 Tips for Road Tripping from Cincinnati to Santa Claus, Indiana”

    • Christy Redford

      From my youngest to my teens, they all love Holiday World. Our favorite thing to do on road trips is play “Name That Tune” we pass a phone around taking turns picking out songs and see who can guess the quickest.

  1. Victoria carter

    Can’t wait to spend the weekend at holiday world! Just a few more weeks

  2. Holly Sivley

    We’re about to hit the road to Holiday World this weekend ????? Road trips are always fun because we crank the radio up loud, and perform for all the other drivers on the road ?? good thing they can’t actually hear us, lol!!

  3. Nicole Cissell

    My favorite tip is “less can often be more” I always bring way more than I actually need to a lot of places an I never really needed to do this helps.

  4. Shawn Boswell

    The Best Ride from Louisville for Us is to Stop by Corydon Indiana for some food and then Stop by the Santa Claus Museum near the Park.

  5. Erin Tate

    Holiday world has all the glits and glam of Hollywood…that light show dazzles. Holiday World Splash and Safari help us rock out this summer.

  6. A Alexander

    Thanks for the fantastic tips! We’re looking forward to our group trip at the end of July!

  7. Mark Garvin

    We love the town and park so much we moved here. Our trip is just about 2 minutes now, but a drink in the car is still essential. For those who can, Santa Claus is a great place to raise a family. If you find a house available in Christmas Lake Village.