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Tips for amusement parks - what to pack in your bag

Tips for Amusement Parks – What to Pack in Your Bag

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As soon as my kids got out of diapers, I downsized my amusement park bag. As often as I am tempted to bring everything, it is much easier to navigate crowds and get on and off rides in amusement parks when I have a small bag. Here are the eight must-have items in my theme park bag.


It doesn’t matter what age your children are; wipes are always handy. I use them for cleaning hands, getting a stain off a shirt or for scraping off the ice cream that just dripped on my shoe. A napkin from the food stand sometimes just doesn’t do the trick.

First Aid Kit

My first aid kit is very basic. There is no need to carry extra items that most first aid stations at amusement parks have. I bring band aids and Tylenol for both kids and adults so we don’t have to go out of our way to find the first aid station for minor issues.


My kids apply sunscreen before going inside amusement parks, but I also bring a travel size so my family can reapply in the afternoon.

Ziplock Bags

Ziplock bags are a lifesaver at amusement parks. I have used them to keep a cell phone dry, store a cookie from lunch, hold wet clothes after a water ride, make an ice pack when it was really hot outside, and to keep all the pieces of a Lego set from the gift shop together.

Inexpensive Ponchos

Dollar stores and Walmart sell basic ponchos for $1.00. I keep a supply on hand and take them every time we go to a theme park. I bring them for water rides and in case of a storm. They are lightweight and can be thrown away after use.


There is never a shortage of food at theme parks, but I still carry a small bag of trail mix. My son is always hungry and trail mix can hold him off until the next meal. Granola bars and fruit like apples and oranges are also good portable snacks that can be eaten if hunger strikes in between meals or while waiting in line.

Refillable Water Bottle

Unless it is very hot outside, I only bring one water bottle that can be refilled. Throw in a couple of collapsible cups and your entire family will stay hydrated without weighing you down. Also note that most amusement park food stands will happily give you a cup of water if you ask for it.


I carry a small size travel wallet to amusement parks. My library card is not going to do me any good at a theme park, so I leave the bulk at home.

All of the items above plus my camera and cell phone fit in a small bag. Just take the necessities and enjoy the freedom!

What are your must-have items for amusement parks? Is there anything we should add to our list?

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Tricia lives in Phoenix with her husband, 14 year-old daughter and 12 year-old son. She is a special education teacher for elementary students. Her family’s favorite memories…

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