My husband had some time off of work a few weeks ago and since the temperatures have been in the 80’s or 90’s for weeks now, we thought it would be a great time to visit a water park. Now, living in Florida, there are several water parks to choose from. Some have themes, some don’t. Some are expensive, think the Disney ones, and some are priced more affordable, such as Adventure Landing at Jacksonville Beach.
We wanted to get away from the hustle and bustle of the busier more prominent water parks in our area and my husband thought about Summer Waves in Jekyll Island, Ga.
We left Friday afternoon to get there at 3. They have amazing deals after 3 p.m. Every ticket for their twilight hours are $10.95, which is way cheaper than the bigger water parks that we had been looking at.
Upon getting there, you have to wait in a long car line to pay the required $5 fee to get onto the island itself. When i was looking at the Summer Waves website, I had the impression of paying the $5 parking fee for the water park itself, but I was mistaken, it is actually to get onto the island. It’s not that big of a deal, so after waiting 10 minutes or so, we were off to explore as we had about 15 minutes until 3 o’clock.
The island is not very big and you can drive around it in about 20 minutes or less, depending on traffic and if there are any side roads you’d like to explore. We drove around half the island and to the historic district which had nice plantation style building and a beautiful hotel that you can stay in. There was also a sea turtle type exhibit at a rescue center and we could see a few places to eat and shop. There are also lots of places to play golf and even a mini-golf area near the beach. With so many things, one could easily stay for the weekend and be entertained the entire time.
We arrived at our destination ready to go to the park, so we didn’t spend too much time wandering around the rest of the island. There was no lines and very few people there as the peak hours were over and some people were leaving with their small children.
You can rent lockers, but we felt no need to as we didn’t bring much cash, and mainly our beach bag with towels. We headed straight to the kiddie area where our 5 year old played for most of the afternoon. When we decided to go to the other parts of the park, we just left our bag and sandals on the beach chairs in the children’s area under a nice shady umbrella.
We floated down the lazy river for about 45 minutes, braved it out in the wave pool for another 15 minutes or so and then headed to the splash zone to get pummeled with a huge bucket of water that poured out every 2 minutes or so.
Daddy and I had enough excitement so we headed back to the kiddie area where are bag had been untouched and there were plenty of seats to lounge in as we watched our son slide down the slide and splash under the giant mushrooms sprinkling our water for the rest of the afternoon.
We even enjoyed a nice sweet tea from Larry’s Giant subs where they give you half price refills.
Soon they were closing and it was time to head out to get something to eat. We stopped at the Whataburger on the way back to the interstate, about 5 minutes from the island. Kids eat free from 4-9 so we saved another few bucks by eating there instead of the McDonald’s next door, which was packed. We ate in a nice booth with great service and were basically the one ones there, except for 2 other families.
On the drive back home, with the kid sleeping in the back seat, tired from a day of fun, we looked through brochures we gathered at the small visitor center at the front of Jekyll Island. We hope to go back soon, as we spent under $100 on gas. tickets to the park, and dinner.
I would recommend this simple, lazy day vacation for any family not wanting to stand in line and deal with the more high traffic summer water park attractions this summer.