M turned ten years old last month and even through all the craziness of December, we wanted to do something extra special. So, we surprised her with an overnight getaway to Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, Ohio. We had never been there before, and I quickly learned that this was a place you could spend many nights and not do everything. There is just so much there for kids and families of all ages. We really enjoyed it and hope to go back again when the twins are a bit older.
If you are considering a one-night getaway, Kalahari was super fun, and I definitely recommend it. Here is what we did to make the most out of our two days/ one-night getaway.
Plan your reservation on a WEEKDAY
One of the very best things we did was to plan our stay on a weekday while other kids were in school and there were no holiday breaks. We went on December 12 & 13 which happened to be a Tuesday and Wednesday. I realize we have the opportunity to do this because we can be flexible with our homeschool schedule. If you have a way to make this work too, it really made a huge difference. We saved a bunch of money going during the week on the room rate which is always important. I also really felt we had the place to ourselves. M had a blast in the waterpark and was able to do slide after slide with no lines. The pools and restaurants were not busy at all which made everything so much nicer. M was able to play in the arcade without having to wait for specific games. I really believe she was able to do significantly more in the short time we were there because of it being a weekday.
Encourage your kids to try NEW or CHALLENGING things
Part of making our time memorable was that M tried new stuff she had never done before. The surfing ride was intimidating for her. The lifeguard did a great job teaching her how to get off the surfboard, and so she had a lot of fun with it. The challenges and conquers she undertook were satisfying for her and made the trip even more fun. When I am looking for a fun place to go, I am often looking for places to challenge us or teach us something new. It makes it memorable and exciting.
Eat there (You do NOT need to leave)
We ate all of our meals there since we were just there for two days and I was pleasantly surprised at the number of food choices and the quality. The restaurants we ate at were fantastic. There were also lots of convenient foods to grab and go. We were able to even take sandwiches and salads to go when we headed out at dinner time. Eating there saved us time so we didn't have to leave to find restaurants and it also all0wed us to experience more of Kalahari.
Bring EXTRA SUPPORT with you (Someone who loves waterslides!)
I'm so thankful that my sister was able to join us. In fact, I am pretty sure we couldn't have done it without her. With two 16-month-old babies, doing nonstop waterslides just wouldn't have been possible. She came along and did all of the fun waterpark stuff with M. And since Kalahari is African themed and my sister has spent some time there, the learning continued even though we weren't officially doing school while we were there. Love that!
Remember- You don't have to do EVERYTHING in one visit
There was seriously so much more to do that we didn't explore but we were all really okay with that. We had a lot of fun with the things we did do and felt satisfied with doing a bunch of new stuff and yet excited to try other new things next time we go. Some of the things we didn't get to was Mini golf, laser tag, bowling, arts & crafts, and the huge outdoor waterpark and animal encounter they have outside (which isn't available in the winter). We are excited to go back in warmer months just to check out the outdoor area.
Say YES to a few treats while you are there
The Candy Shop which also is an ice cream and fudge shop is located right when you walk in the front door, and it is simply beautiful. Next to the Candy Shop is another shop with all of these amazing bakery treats along with coffee and smoothies. It is hard to resist just staring at the stunning treats. We were all a little taken aback by the number of goodies to choose from, and if you are only staying one night, it is worth it to say YES to a few of these. I had that fantastic Magic Cupcake pictured and it was so delicious.
Have you had a chance to visit a Kalahari Resort? What are the best things to make sure we don't miss next time we visit? Feel free to join the conversation. I'd love to hear others thoughts before planning another trip like this again.
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