As parents of young kids, Thomas and I haven’t really had to address the spring break issue. And since neither one of us can remember doing anything particularly spectacular for spring break during our school years, we’re not necessarily the best at making plans for the annual fun-fest.
But this year, we were privileged enough to get to visit #Schlitterbahn Waterpark and Resort in New Braunfels, Texas, and, as my sister described it, “This was our Disneyland.”
Schlitterbahn (slippery road, in German), opened in the Texas Hill Country in 1979 with four water slides and one year later, the 50,000-square-foot Lagoon swimming pool was added, along with the park’s first inner tube ride called the Hillside Tube Chute.
Over the years, the park has added more rides and attractions, bought neighboring property and built expansions to the original park, and built lodging right on the property, so guests can walk out their front door in the morning and take a dip to get the day started.
Because it is March in Texas, and all of us seem to be having one of the strangest winters in recent history, the weather was a little tricky during our visit. On Saturday morning, we were led on a tour of the park as it was lightly drizzling and temperatures were in the low 60s. Not too bad, but it does make swimming a little chilly.
Good news! The water was heated! Only the Blastenhoff section of the park was open for spring break, but with three huge slides, Han’s Hideout, heated pool, heated Torrent River and lovely cabanas, there was no lacking for something to do. We got in the heated pool that afternoon for about an hour and had a great time.
Schlitterbahn really is a family friendly destination. There are the kiddie parks scattered around the property with small person sized slides, water jets from the ground, splash zones, spray cannons, cascading mushrooms and so much more. Even the littlest water baby will have a great time.
And the adventures just climb up from there, for tweens, teens, and adults. With so many slides, ranging from single-person to the Wolf Pack, which is life raft size and big enough for the family, to the thrill seeking style of the Black Knight, and the world’s first uphill water slide, the Master Blaster. There’s inland surfing on the Boogie Bahn, and tons of long, lingering tube rides to float the day away.
But it’s expensive to go to a waterpark, right? No worries, Schlitterbahn’s got you covered on the frugal side. There’s free parking, free life jackets and free tubes for you to use. And one of the most unique parts of the Schlitterbahn experience: you can bring in your own ice chest filled with food and drinks for your family. We’ve done this almost every trip. You find yourself a table or cabana and put down your things and just go have fun. No glass or alcohol, but that’s a tradeoff I can handle for saving some money. And of course, there are concessions in the park (funnel cake!).
We were fortunate enough to stay in the Riverbend Cabins, right on the Blastenhoff site. In fact, we could walk out our door, walk across a small bridge, and we were in line for the slides. That’s pretty hard to beat for a vacation. Our cabin had a full kitchen, which also meant we saved money on eating out by making a few meals on our own.
The Resort at Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels offers a wide variety of resort accommodations – from hotel rooms to vacation homes and condos, Riverbend Cabins, Wasser Haus & Lodge, luxury Treehaus Suites and the new SchlitterStein Lofts. You can find one that fits your family budget. And with shuttles to and from all sections of the park, you don’t have to worry about transportation.
Due to the crazy weather, we weren’t able to get in the water again while we were there, as the park even closed on Sunday due to the low temperatures and rain. But I have a feeling we’ll be back in the warmer months. Our water babies deserve a sunny day for sliding!
Ever been to one of the Schlitterbahn parks? What was your favorite ride? If you haven’t been, which park would you like to try? Share it with me in comments!