Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari

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452 E. Christmas Blvd., Santa Claus, IN
Admission: $44.95, under 54” $36.95, free ages 2 and younger
Parking: Free

Holiday World was founded in 1946 and has since grown into an exciting place to ride coasters of all sorts and sizes — you might want to spend two days here. The park won a Certificate of Excellence award from TripAdvisor this year and it’s no wonder. Holiday World offers many options for thrill seekers young and old. With kids, you’ll end up spending most of your time in the family areas, but be to make your way over to The Voyage, voted the the number one Wooden Coaster on the planet five years in a row by Amusement Today magazine. It provides a ride at 24.2 seconds of zero-G! It will not disappoint!

Thirsty? Walk up to any Pepsi Oasis station for a free drink … all day … every day! The food is good, there’s a huge variety and it’s affordable, too. There’s even an allergen-friendly menu. Full menus and prices are all available online, which helps you plan your budget.

“HoliCash” wristbands can be purchased in the gift shop. This is an awesome feature for those wanting to go hands-free. Put whatever amount of money you want on the band and use it for purchasing souvenirs, food or lockers. Locker wristbands are also great because you don’t have to worry about losing your key or forgetting your number; simply scan the band to open your locker — plus you get up to five bands per locker for your crew.  Stash your stuff and head out to explore Splashin’ Safari — the number one water park in the nation for 2011, according to TripAdvisor.

New in Splashin’ Safari is Hyena Falls, which features four in-the-dark water slides, each ranging from four to five stories tall. Or, if you dare, take a ride on the new Mammoth, the World’s Longest Water Coaster, which features seven drops giving you lots of air time! Or, try out the Wildebeest, which is the second longest water coaster in the world. Both are thrilling and sure to leave you soaked! For the little ones, there’s Safari Sam’s Splash Land, featuring eight water slides sized just for them, spray features and more.

Forgot sunscreen? Don’t worry, it’s free and stations all around the park.

Be sure to change clothes before heading back to the Holiday World side (by the way, it won the cleanest park award from the “Golden Ticket Awards” for the last 12 years) as there are restrictions on clothing and swimwear.

Be sure to buy your tickets online to save $2 – $5 per ticket. There are even more discounts if you bring an empty Pepsi can or Bunny Bread wrapper, which can save you anywhere from $2 – $11 on a single-day ticket (certain rules apply) and more info can be found on the website. Before you leave the park, you can also buy a next-day ticket for just $27! Watch the park’s Facebook page for random giveaways, too.

Kiera Ashford is associate editor of Nashville Parent and mother of three.

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