5 Reasons Not to Feel Bad about Skipping the Amusement Park this Summer

Social media can be wonderful for parents. It lets you share pictures of your little one’s with friends and family members who don’t live close, it can help you connect with other parents like you, and it can be a valuable resource when you have a question you need answered. Despite all the good, it can also make you feel a little bit guilty about how you parent or what you’re able to afford for your kids. Summertime, and all the wonderful, sunny pictures it seems like everyone else is posting of their family, can be a particularly envy-inducing time.

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My husband and I aren’t usually amusement park types but earlier this summer, when pictures of other families began to pop up on my newsfeed, I started to wonder what my kiddo was missing out on and I felt guilty that we hadn’t planned a trip. My guilt led me to look into heading to a local amusement park and I was all set to go … until I realized that instead of looking forward to the trip, I was dreading it. So I simply decided not to go.

Deciding not to hit the amusement park, even though it seemed like every other family in town was, helped me take a step back and recommit to only doing things because they make sense for our family, not because everyone else seems to be doing them.

If you’re anything like us and won’t be hitting the rollercoasters this summer, either because you don’t want to or you’re not able to, don’t feel guilty. Instead, think about what an amusement park with little kids is really like and don’t feel bad. Below are five reasons I’m happy to be skipping the amusement parks this summer. 

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  1. The cost

Amusement parks are notoriously expensive. Even after you shell out the big bucks for a day pass, you’ll probably find yourself paying way more than you should for snacks, drinks, and souvenirs once you’re inside.

  1. Lines

Lines are never fun but when you have little ones they can be nearly unbearable. No matter how un-crowded an amusement park seems to be most have at least a 20-minute wait for the good rides. Toddlers and young kids might be able to handle the first line but once they realize there’s going to be a wait involved every time, their (and your) patience may become much thinner.

  1. Missed naps

Nothing spells trouble for a toddler like a missed nap. Most parents I know are very strict about making sure their little one is able to rest during their nap times but when you’re at an amusement park, especially one you paid big money to get into, finding time and space for your little one to rest is basically impossible.

  1. Tantrums

What do you get when you mix heat, exhaustion, long lines, and a mom or dad who won’t purchase every souvenir in sight? Tantrums. Lots and lots of tantrums. As parents, we all know the importance of setting kids up for success when it comes to good behavior and an amusement park, with all the challenges listed above, simply doesn’t do it.

  1. There’re tons of other great ways to have fun!

Sometimes parents feel guilty about not taking their kid to the latest and greatest attraction. The truth is, most kids have much more fun at a local park or museum (where they can soak up attention from their parents) than they do at a busy amusement park. There’s no reason to feel bad about what you’re not doing with your little ones as long as you’re making an effort to spend quality time playing with and loving them! 

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Do you skip the amusement parks?

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5 Reasons Not to Feel Bad about Skipping the Amusement Park this Summer

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. She is writing a memoir on pregnancy, motherhood, and sisterhood and lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. ... More

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