I love living in Northern Virginia, because we live close to so many wonderful locations like Washington D.C., historical sites, and theme parks! Kings Dominion with preschoolers and tweens proved to be easier than I though. My family and I used to visit Kings Dominion every Memorial Day when I was growing up. Thank you, Kings Dominion, for providing my family park tickets so we could enjoy the day together and so my kids could tell their classmates that they actually did something cool for Spring Break.
Kings Dominion with Preschoolers and Tweens
Kings Dominion is in the Richmond, Virginia area. It’s a quick 90 minute drive from our house. I have 5 children of my own, ages 4 to 12. It’s difficult to find places that offer things of interest to all of their age ranges, but I was pleasantly surprised that every single one of them was happy when we visited during Spring Break.
Here are my tips for keeping tweens/teens and preschoolers happy at Kings Dominion.
It’s always best to arrive at least 30 minutes before the park opens. We were running behind schedule and probably hit the parking lot 15 minutes before the park was scheduled to open. We opted for preferred parking at $20 while regular parking is $15. If you arrive early, then I don’t think preferred is necessary. We could have parked almost as close, though it did feel good at night when we only had a few steps to walk to our car.
Also when you’re the first crowd in the gate, then you are that much ahead of the crowds and can ride all your favorites first!
Make a Plan to Include Everyone
We looked online before traveling to Kings Dominion and let the kids choose their one must-do ride. This way we knew what was important to them and everything else we did was bonus! We accomplished so much more, but this way everyone was involved in the planning, and they were excited about the trip. Also it set up expectations just in case we had to bail early.
When crowds were lowest in the morning and the evening, we split up. The little ones and I hung out in Planet Snoopy, while my husband took the older girls to ride the thrill rides, roller coasters and things that make your tummy drop! Then we met up to eat together (at off-peak times to reduce wait times for food) and to ride different things as a family. We still had family time while allowing everyone to ride the things that interested them.
Can I just make a special mention of how incredible Planet Snoopy is? There are so many rides for little ones that my kids were never bored and could continue riding all day long. Some theme parks only account for a small area for preschoolers and toddlers, but Planet Snoopy is gigantic! My kids felt like they owned the place.
If you can afford it, splurge for the Fast Lane. It allows you to bypass the lines on many rides and you get a wristband to use all day. They limit the purchase of the Fast Lane, so you really are getting on all the rides without waiting. I did not purchase Fast Lane for my family, but man was I envious of the people who had.
Ride the Classics
One of the things I love most about Kings Dominion is the classic rides they offer like the Wave Swinger, Dodgem, Carousel, Shenandoah Lumber Company, and more! These are the rides I remember from my childhood and are great family rides to create new memories.
Now that I know how much my kids love it, we’ll be back in the summer to check out Soak City! Check back later, too, for my Kings Dominion budget tips.
Starting this weekend is the Taste of Virginia at Kings Dominion! It runs May 6 – May 21st, so go check it out!