Holiday World & Multigenerational Travel Are A Perfect Match

After my first granddaughter was born, we had to re-think our family vacation plans. I now had to find activities suitable for adults, teens, and a toddler. As many of you already know, this is often far easier said than done.

Over the years, I’ve learned a few tricks to help ensure our multi-generational travel itinerary is a success.

Plan Your Location with Purpose

The first, and most important step in planning multi-generational travel is envisioning the intent of your vacation and selecting a location that is jam-packed with interests for all ages.

Think about what you really want from your vacation. Likely, it’s spending quality time together as a family. With this in mind, ask yourself if the location you’ve chosen will offer you the opportunity to have plenty of shared experiences.

This is the main reason why we turn to Santa Claus, Indiana, and Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari repeatedly for family gatherings. Both town and theme park specialize in entertaining multi-generational travelers with a variety of family-oriented resorts, activities, shops, and scenic stops. There’s a wealth of non-stop fun festivities and the opportunity to have many restful moments, such as picnic stops and campfire gatherings.

Consider Mobility Needs

Cities and attractions that are easy to get around in, or better yet have activity locations in close proximately keep “are we there yet?” syndrome to a minimum. They prevent tired traveler meltdowns which is a true blessing, especially when traveling with children.

Two of Santa Claus, Indiana’s major attractions – Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari and Sun Outdoors Lake Rudolph – are a skip away from each other. In fact, you can walk or take a shuttle from one to the other.

Everything else in the town from dining to grocery stores to museums are easily accessible with a short car ride.

Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari also offer accommodation for guests young and old who have special needs. Most of the rides are accessible to those with disabilities, all restaurants and gift shops in Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari are wheelchair accessible, and there’s even a calming room available on site. Learn more about their thoughtful accessibility options at https://www.holidayworld.com/help-information/accessibility/

Review the Attractions

Once you’ve identified a potential vacation spot for your multi-generational travel, start investigating each attraction in the area. Will there be a range of activities for kids of all ages in your group? Does the attraction have something of interest for everyone in your travel party?

Can you envision your family enjoying the area and the attractions? If you can picture your family immediately having fun, it’s likely you found a winning vacation spot.

 

Before I ever visited Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, I could easily picture my family enjoying fun in the sun at the water park, celebrating the festivities in each holiday area, and even venturing to take on some of the more extreme activities like Thunderbird, the rollercoaster that launches riders from zero to 60 miles per hour in just 3.5 seconds (perfect for teens and thrill seekers)!

Younger kids love dedicated areas like Holidog’s FunTown filled with rides and attractions just for them. Everyone enjoys the daily shows (including the special nighttime Holidays In The Sky drone show,) family rides like Gobbler Getaway, arcade areas, wave pools, and the wide variety of dining options.

Set Your Expectations

It’s clear you’ve found the ideal vacation spot, the dates are set, and everyone is on board with the plan. Now is the time to discuss a few key points such as who is responsible for booking travel plans, lodging and attraction tickets and what is most important for your family to experience during the trip.

If you set too intense of a schedule and go in with an expectation that everyone will experience every moment of the trip as a multi-generational family, your trip will be less-than-ideal. Intense schedules are often too much for anyone to handle, let alone the youngest in your crowd. Lack of sleep and drains on energy will quickly fizzle the vacation out.

Instead, have everyone agree on a few key moments that you will all share, such as a family photo with the Santa Claus statue in the Christmas section of Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari or family meal at the Plymouth Rock Café in the Thanksgiving section.

In fact, mealtimes are the best item to set in your itinerary, leaving everyone free to explore as they wish throughout the day. That way, you are still coming together as a group daily, but allowing everyone time to play or rest as they see fit throughout the day.

Mealtime also offers time to sit and chat, to share the excitement of the day with each other, and to create wonderful memories and new family traditions on your trip.

Bottom line, whatever your travel style, you’ll find plenty of joy and have a great start to a successful multi-generational vacation when you put a little thought in upfront and select an amazing family-friendly destination like Santa Claus, Indiana!


Enter to Win A Pair of Tickets to Visit in 2023!

Be sure to follow the adventures of all the HoliBloggers. Each blog post will have a sweepstakes where you can enter to win two tickets to Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari.

Entries accepted through Friday, December 23 at 9pm CDT.


HoliBlogger Barb WThis blog post was written by HoliBlogger Barb W.

Barb Webb is a sustainable living expert nesting just outside of Louisville, Kentucky. When she’s not chasing chickens around the farm or engaging in mock Jedi battles, she’s writing about country living, artisan culture, and exploring the roads less traveled.

An award-winning author, Barb is also the Owner/Editor of the popular blog RuralMom.com where she shares her love of all things green and empowers others to live country life to the fullest. Her newest books “GETTING BAKED” and “GETTING LAID” are cheeky guides offering a fun, in-depth journey into sustainable living topics including traditional and medicinal gardening.

Holiday World: Then & Now

Even though there were five of us kids in a very middle class family, my parents did everything they could to take us on new adventures and let us have the best childhood we possibly could. The theme parks we would go to growing up were mostly in Indiana and Kentucky and some of my favorite memories were staying at Lake Rudolph and then going to Holiday World back in those days!

Having my own little family now and trying to give my daughter all the fun and memories I had, I was super excited to bring our tween/now teen to Holiday World this past season to explore it all for herself. Stepping back in the places I hadn’t been since I was a teen made me start to reflect on Holiday World then and now.

It was just as amazing as we remembered.

When I last went, we were living in Indianapolis, and it was an easy road trip down to Southern Indiana, being greeted by a town where it’s Christmas all year-round.

We have lived in Cincinnati, Ohio most of my daughter’s life, and that was just as easy a road trip to Santa Claus, Indiana.

One of their wooden roller coasters, The Raven, is similar to The Beast at Kings Island in Cincinnati. They both go out into the woods and hug close to the ground. The Beast had been my daughter’s favorite wooden roller coaster, so she couldn’t wait to ride its counterpart at Holiday World. It was the first thing she did when we got in the park. She had a blast!

Besides all the nostalgic memories that flooded me when we checked into our cottage at Lake Rudolph, I was flooded by the memories in Holiday World as well. We never got to stay in a holiday cottage at the campground and RV resort when I was a kid, so it felt super fancy this time around. If we hadn’t been so excited to take Adilyn to Holiday World for her first time, I might have slowed down and shared some old camping stories with her.

Even though Lake Rudolph is owned by Sun Outdoors now, they’ve still kept all the same delightful charm that was always there. We took the shuttle and got dropped off right at the front entrance to Holiday World (saved our walking legs for the park instead of the parking lot!).

When I had been younger and going to Holiday World, I had been way too scared to try roller coasters.

I think I was 16 by the time my mom finally coerced me onto one at another theme park, and she still has the picture of me crying and terrified while everyone else had their arms up, having the time of their lives. She has been in the process of moving across the country this past year, so I haven’t been able to track down the photos from back in those days. I wish I had been able to, so I could share with all of you, but the vivid imagery is still firmly planted in my mind.

 

My two favorite rides at Holiday World had been the Mayflower ship that swings you high into the air as the ship rocks back and forth, and the HallowSwings. I had tried a smaller version of the ride when my daughter was a little younger and we’d gone to a carnival. It took everything within me to not puke all over those poor kids as we swung round and round! My former thrill-ride loving self is not what it once was, much to my dismay.

Knowing this, I didn’t even attempt the swings at Holiday World this year. I DID get on the Mayflower, so proud of myself and saying how it looked so much smaller now as an adult. Whew! I got in the last row on the outside, which my daughter insisted on, and I have not screamed that much in years. Other moms were looking at me while I held on for dear life, and I didn’t care one bit. My hubby captured the whole ride on film, and we laughed so hard rewatching ourselves over and over. Even my daughter, with her young and able body, had held on for dear life right next to me.

I loved creating those memories with her.

As we walked all over the park and went to Splashin’ Safari, I realized that there was so much more there than I could even remember.

Being back as the parent now and being the one footing the bill, I was surprised by how affordable the food and the souvenirs were. It’s no wonder it had been one of my parents’ favorite places to take us and make us feel like we had the world at our fingertips.

Holiday World is a first-class act and the perfect place for families. Now that I’ve rediscovered it, and my family loves it just as much as I remember loving it then, we can’t wait to go back again and again now.


Enter to Win A Pair of Tickets to Visit in 2023!

Be sure to follow the adventures of all the HoliBloggers. Each blog post will have a sweepstakes where you can enter to win two tickets to Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari.

Entries accepted through Thursday, December 15 at 2pm CDT.


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. 

7 Things to Know About the Games at Holiday World

We know the rides and slides at Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari are out of this world, but let’s not forget about the fun family games throughout the park. There are games perfect for everyone in the family.

To say my family is competitive is an understatement. When we took our extended family on our last visit to the park, the gameplay got very serious. Not just to win the biggest prizes but for bragging rights that we knew would last the rest of the family functions this year.

There are some almost secret (but not really) things you should know when it comes to the games at Holiday World to get the most out of them.

1. Purchase A Games Playbook for Savings & Perks

For $20, the Games Playbook comes with $25 in Games Bucks (redeemed on any of the games with the exception of Skeeball) plus $15 in additional coupons. Use the gaming coupons paired with the Games Bucks to maximize the benefits.

PLAYBOOK BONUS: The book also comes with one single-person, single-use Quick Access Pass! What is a Quick Access Pass, you ask? It is presented at the ride exit to skip the line! The pass is valid on any Holiday World ride or one of Splashin’ Safari’s water coasters.

Holiday World Games Playbook | 7 Things to Know About Games at Holiday World

2. Win A Quick Access Pass at Pumpkin Planko

Speaking of the Quick Access Pass, did you know you can win this pass in one of the games? Head to Halloween to play Pumpkin Planko for your chance to win up to four Quick Access Passes!

Pumpkin Planko | 7 Things to Know About Games at Holiday World

3. You May Not Have to Carry Your Big Wins All Day

If you are lucky enough to win one of those big prizes, ask the attendant if there is availability at the front of the park to store your prize for later pickup. There is no extra cost, and if you still have rides to go on, it is very convenient to store the big items at the front gate to grab when you are on the way out. Please note availability is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

4. Most Popular Game – The Raven’s Ring Toss

Right in the middle of Halloween, you will find the home of the most popular game in the park. Not only is it the most popular game, but it is also the toughest of them all. When you walk by, you will immediately know why. The huge stuffed prizes hanging above the hundreds of glass jars sure do draw in a crowd.

My kids were determined to win a huge snake. This meant each time we played, we got a Fedora filled with rings (bonus: you get to keep the hat). I am pretty sure we played at least fifteen times this season and still haven’t won. Hopefully, 2023 will be our year to take home the big prize.

Raven's Ring Toss | 7 Things to Know About Holiday World's Games

5. Basketball Games Are A Slam Dunk with Guests

Do you ever notice how many kids are walking around the park dribbling a basketball? Well, that’s because they are a desired prize to the other popular game. There are several different basketball shooting games around the park to win a basketball of your own in various sizes. Fun fact: The most popular basketballs that often go out-of-stock are designs that include Holiday World, money, and an eight ball.

Basketball Game | 7 Things to Know About Games at Holiday World

6. Automatic Win Games for Younger Children

If you have younger kids, you know how it can be when they don’t win a prize. Luckily, Holiday World has amazing games for younger children so they can be a winner every time. You can find them in 4th Of July (Duck Pond at Boston Tea Party and Holidog’s HammerTime) and in Halloween (Fried Frogs at Merlin’s Castle and Pumpkin Planko). The Duck Pond is one of the most popular games for the younger crowd, so be sure to give it a go with your little ones.

7. Game Perks for Season Passholders

Check to see if there are any perks with your Season Pass. In 2022, Passholders received three game deals: 10 Balls for $5 at Milk Cans, $5 “Fedora Full o’ Rings” at The Raven’s Ring Toss, and 5 Balls for $3 at Wacky Cats. To claim each deal, just mention it to the cashier and present your Season Pass to be scanned. Each deal was available once for each Passholder this year. *Item subject to change based on availability.

The game locations can be found on the park map. They are a great way for the family to take a break from the rides and win some souvenirs to take home from each visit to the park.

Do you have a favorite game or prize?

 


Enter to Win A Pair of Tickets to Visit in 2023!

Be sure to follow the adventures of all the HoliBloggers. Each blog post will have a sweepstakes where you can enter to win two tickets to Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari.

Entries accepted through Saturday, December 10 at 5pm CDT.


HoliBlogger Samantha KThis blog post was written by HoliBlogger Samantha K.

Samantha is a self-proclaimed chaos coordinator from St. Louis, MO and runs NiftyMom.com. In her family of five, she is outnumbered by all boys (plus two male huskies).  She and her family love finding new places to explore, adventuring outdoors, and taking road trips throughout the Midwest. Fun fact: Year-round Samantha watches Christmas movies and sports her Christmas pajamas with no shame.