My children had been bugging me for far too long to take them to Magic Waters Waterpark. So, when we told our son Owen that he could pick a family activity for his birthday, he quickly seized the opportunity to pick his coveted water park. So, with sunscreen in hand, we headed to one of Rockford’s most popular summertime traditions and had a fun-filled day at the water park.

 Also, a huge thank you to the Rockford Park District for keeping a very clean and safe atmosphere throughout the park. The lifeguards were very attentive and engaged the entire day. Check their website for weekday specials and other discounts and events throughout the summer. And don’t worry, the park isn’t just for kids and families; the park caters to all ages and thrill levels. So, don’t delay and be a #Rockfordexplorer and take the plunge at Magic Waters.

  1. Pack a Snack – You can definitely tell the Magic Waters seasoned veterans based on the elaborate spreads their group has laid out on the picnic tables. The Rockford Park District allows you to bring in your own food and drink so many of the guests take this option to a whole different level. We were smart enough to do snack bags of fish crackers and pretzels, along with a handful of granola bars. But, as I walked around the park I couldn’t help but notice the well thought out lunches being gobbled up – sandwiches, salads, (saw one family with two coolers and a two boxes of goods!). Very impressed by the pre-planning. No worries if you don’t want to pack a lunch as there is plenty of tasty treats to be had throughout the park from ice cream to pizza to hot dogs.
  2. The Wave Pool is always a crowd-pleaser – While my 11-year-old son and his friend were busy hitting up all the big slides, my 4 and 7-year-old could not get enough of the Wave Pool. And they weren’t alone. Throughout the day, the crowd erupted in giddy anticipation each time the siren went off letting everyone know that the waves were about to begin. The perfect thing for a tired dad? Sit at the back of the wave pool and let your kids splash in the waves around you.
  3. Get there early – It’s the obvious advice for any amusement park and it holds true here as well. Doors open at 10 a.m. and we were there around 10:30. Lines were short which made it easy to get several slides on the coveted tube slides in before the crowds started to take over.  Longest wait of the day was for the Typhoon Terror which took about 15 minutes in line ... not too bad as it was well worth the wait! Magic Waters does offer the option to purchase a Fast Pass to cut down the wait times if you are the impatient type.
  4. Cabanas and Private Parties – When we arrived we thought, “Hey, a cabana sounds nice?” But guess what, they were all reserved already. So, definitely plan ahead if you want a cabana or other private party space. They offer lots of options and from the looks of things; it is a popular option for kids’ birthday parties.
  5. I’m a big chicken and I am good with that – Leading up to our trip to Magic Waters, there was a lot of talk in my house as to which one of us was going to brave the Double Dare Drop, which is a 75 foot drop and the tallest slide in northern Illinois/southern Wisconsin. After a few weeks of speculation, you will be happy to hear that we all chickened out. But let me tell you, the Lazy River was fantastic – nice, calm and relaxing.