Did you know that Wild River Country is the largest water park in Arkansas?
With twenty-six acres including thirteen slides, three pools (including a great wave pool)
and plans for an amazing kiddie pool improvement in the next few years
Wild River Country offers something for everyone.
Wild River Country from top of Slide
We were treated to a cabana, which is so worth it to have a place to meet that’s in the shade.
You have access to a private cabana right on the wave pool, a nice footlocker to lock up
any valuables, beach chairs, bottled water and some packages even include meals which
makes things easy!
I think the next time we go we will choose the cabana party, which is admission for six plus
the cabana, meals, and more for a great price!
Homebase at Wild River Country
My youngest is four and she loved the “tad pool” and the lazy river.
She especially liked that there was a special slide just for her age called the “Sidewinder.”
Tad Pool at WRC
The older kids loved everything! (The “Thrilling Three” were especially scary and on the top of their list for best rides.) They also really enjoyed the “Pipeline” and the lazy river. In this age of technology, it’s great to see kids loving time outdoors!
The staff at Wild River Country is amazing. They employ over three hundred local people for the summer. The management prides themselves on the training they provide and it really shows. I noticed the lifeguards were extremely attentive and asked the management about it. They explained that their 62 lifeguards were among the top 3% in the nation with perfect audit scores for the past three years. All lifeguards are trained in-house with special intensive training and daily drills.
Makes a mom very happy to know her kids are so safe! I am seriously considering season passes for the older kids because it’s so close to home.
Lifeguards Ready to Train at Closing Time
The final verdict?
My entire family had fun and asked when we’d be going back again!
Last weekend we took off for my eldest to audition at a college ballet program in Indianapolis. We were expecting COLD weather and snow, but somehow luck was on our side and the weather was about the same as it was here when we left – about 37 to 34 or so. (Didn’t even have to break out the new long underwear we’d bought!)
The younger ones and I toured the Indianapolis Museum of Art while she did her audition. It was free! We even got free parking because our art museum here has reciprocal membership. Fantastic museum and we only got to see two floors before we had to meet back with dad and Emily at Butler. It was a beautiful campus and the people are so incredibly nice. Now to wait and see if she gets in!
After Indy we drove to Chicago for a fantastic welcome weekend for prospective students at SAIC (the art institute.) She was accepted there with a pretty good scholarship, and being one of the best art schools in America we decided it was worth the time. I’m so in awe of the school! I wish they had dance also, BUT Jeoffry Ballet and Chicago Ballet are within walking distance so I think she’d be able to take some classes if she decides to go there.
Chicago was not bad as far as weather goes either and we got to walk around a bit and hit some of the top kid spots (Science Museum, Millenium Park, Lego store…)
We stayed at another Historic Hotel, the Palmer House Hilton. We try to stay in Historic Hotels (if they have rooms large enough for the six of us) wherever we can. The prices are usually not any more than a “box” hotel and you get a totally different experience.
Visited the World War 2 museum (we could have spent two days there- amazing)
Walked through the Farmer’s Market *
Toured the Old U.S. Mint(*Neat museum of money, history, and musical history. We also happened on a swing dance/band festival! All the real NOLA jazz is in that area of the city now, the FQ is mainly a tourist attraction. Lots of great places to eat or listen if you park close to the Mint at the end of the Market.)
Toured the old cemeteries *(we didn’t do an official tour, just parked down by Cemetery #2
*All the starred things are FREE!!!
Trip wasn’t too expensive, except for food. If you get out of the tourist areas you’ll get better deals. For attractions look for coupons/deals online before you go. There were some really cool places to eat and hang out down in the warehouse district that I’d like to try next time. With a baby that was tired by the time we stopped to eat we didn’t try any of the fancier places.
On the way home we drove down to the ocean and stopped at a beach in Pass Christian, Mississippi. Beautiful little town and they happened to have a church shrimp festival going on that was fun to walk around. The kids had a great time playing in the sand at the beach before the long trip home.
This summer we wanted to take a road trip that consisted of touring colleges that my daughter is considering next year, with some fun thrown in.
The plan was to make a giant loop and hit every school from here (central Arkansas) to DC and back with good dance programs- BUT of course with only one week to do it, we ended up with a MUCH smaller loop… (only 1300 miles… so glad we opted for the small trip!)
We made it to Memphis by lunchtime and stopped by the Memphis Zoo.
Goofing off with the Panda bears at the zoo
Boys +5 years at the zoo
Next we headed a few blocks over for a quick tour of the beautiful
We pushed on and got to Nashville for the night. (I’d made reservations as we drove in the car on hotels.com. We stayed across the street from Vanderbilt.
Vandy @ night
We’d made arrangements to tour Vanderbilt after lunch, so we visited the Parthenon in nearby Centennial Park. My kids are huge Rick Riordan fans (author of the Percy Jackson series) and we like to make “Percy Jackson” stops when we travel. In Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief, Percy and the gang stop by the Parthenon to obtain a magical pearl. The museum inside the Parthenon even has some notes from the movie and props, which the boys loved.
After a quick lunch at a quaint old diner(place was cuter than the food was) then headed to Vanderbilt for the tour.
What a gorgeous campus. No wonder it’s so expensive!
The tour was fantastic in itself.
This is a DORM @ Vanderbilt
After the tour we hit the road. Emily’s Butler tour was Thursday morning and we had to make it to Indianapolis!
My kids go to a “year round” school, which means we get a lovely break in the fall.
So, the last week in September/first in Oct. we took a trip to Orlando.
Our first outing was to Legoland-so much fun!
This new one in Florida
is located in the old Cypress Gardens park
so it’s not only fun, but
There were NO lines at all so the kids rode everything they wanted over and over.
Our next adventure was to Universal Studios
and then Universal Islands of Adventure
I wish we’d had more time to stop and pick oranges when we drove out to Legoland. There are beautiful U-Pick orchards and it looked like it would have been fun.
We ate in Mythos in Islands of Adventure which I’d heard good things about on Universal fan websites. It was better than anything else we ate in any of the parks, but the service was not the best. (Pretty much everywhere in Orlando the service was slack though.) The frozen butterbeer was a hit in Harry Potter World. My eleven year old was chosen at Olivander’s for the wand selection, which he’d been hoping for before we left. Made his vacation I think! (Hint, if you’re in line try to not get next to other eleven/twelve year olds as they pick those kids for the “chosen.”)
I didn’t get to ride much of anything being pregnant, but the kids rode everything they wanted at all of the parks multiple times because the lines were non-existent. The only time it took was the time it took them to walk to the front of the ride! Perfect time to go to Orlando!
Next time I’ll tell you about
the Magic Kingdom
Deals in Orlando:
*I found a smoking hot deal online on the Legoland website before we left- kids were free plus they got a free Chima Lego set which was over a $20 value.
*Plane fare from LR to Orlando? Try Allegiant Airlines, direct flight. Cheap- but we aware that they charge you to sit together and also for each carry on and checked bag. They are 1/2 price if you check bags at home online. Pack light! *Universal Studios tickets were cheaper when bought online ahead of time. I printed them before we left and walked right in. *Disney doesn’t give a discount for buying tickets ahead of time so we didn’t, and didn’t have any trouble buying them at the park. Their sales people are very helpful in figuring out which pass is best for you.
*Coupon in tourist book for Wonderworks which equaled over $10 off I believe. The kids loved that place.
*Be ready to spend lots of money for subpar food. Nothing besides chains really and service is horrific in Orlando. If we had driven I’d probably had taken a cooler and snacks/lunch to the parks. It’s easy to shell out over $100 just for fast lunch there. Next time…
*I found a great hotel deal on Groupon at the Embassy Suites Lake Buena Vista. Fantastic
price, cheaper than anything else I’d found and free breakfast, happy
hour, snacks, and movies in the pool! With a family of 5 the Embassy
Suites is a usually a nice choice. The location was fantastic too-
right by Lake Buena Vista so we were close to the Disney and Universal