If you’re not a Midwesterner, you may not be familiar with Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari, but I am, and this is one place I have been dying to take the Adventure Kids. This summer, we packed up the minivan and rolled down to southern Indiana. Our experience was just as amazing as I thought it would be. The Adventure Kids had a blast!
Growing up, Holiday World is the only amusement park we could count on going to with my parents every year. Through the years, the park has grown by leaps and bounds. However, it still feels like a down-home place that I am comfortable taking my toddlers.
The park is located in southern Indiana in a town called Santa Claus (for real!). It is called Holiday World because each area of the park has theming based upon one of these holidays: Christmas (of course!), Thanksgiving, 4th of July, and Halloween. They also have added a huge water park called Splashin’ Safari. Admission to both of the parks is included in your ticket price. The two parks are connected and share the same parking lots.
We highly recommend this park for families! Here are some of the highlights from our day there:
This park truly has something for everyone who wants to ride. When I was younger, the wooden roller coasters were where I wanted to spend my time. These award-winning coasters still draw the crowds. Of course, with two toddlers in tow this time around, we spent most of our ride-time in the kiddie areas. There are two main kiddie areas in the park. Both of the areas have a variety of rides to spin, lift, and thrill the kids. The Adventure Kids really could not contain their excitement.
One of the rides that I clearly remember from my childhood and that my kids adored just as much as I did is the Lewis and Clark Trail. This ride consists of two and four-passenger antique cars called “Tin Lizzies.” The kids can drive the cars since the adult can sit up front and help steer. Both boys wanted to ride these over and over. It was so funny to see their faces beaming with pride once they’d driven us around the course.
The other fan favorite was Gobbler Getaway. If you’ve been to Disney World, this is very similar to the Buzz Lightyear rides where you have a “gun” and shoot at targets on the wall. In this one, you use your “turkey caller” to shoot at turkeys that are trying to hide and escape. Your car shows your point total as your progress through the ride. The points add a competitive element to the ride that makes it even more fun. Everyone in our group enjoyed this ride. It was definitely nice to stand in line in an air-conditioned building for this one.
We had not been to the Splashin’ Safari water park in several years. I was amazed by the size of this sucker. There are multiple lazy rivers, wave pools, slides, and splash areas. Again, I think they had every age group in mind when they were planning this place. The kids had a great time splashing around and sliding down multiple kiddie slides in the Tembo Falls area. There are plenty of chairs, restrooms, changing rooms, and lockers throughout the park. I would suggest water shoes for everyone in your party.
Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari have free drinks and free sunscreen available throughout the park. This is sooooo awesome! There is no line for the drinks, either. You just walk up and make yourself whatever you want (Pepsi products and water available). Parking is also free.
My parents have always enjoyed the entertainment at Holiday World. As a teenager and young adult, I was bored to tears by these because I just wanted to be on the rides. However, as an adult, I really see the value and need in sitting down and relaxing for a bit while watching some live entertainment. My toddlers really enjoyed these shows as well. We saw three shows when we were there.
The first show we enjoyed was Holidog (park mascot) and friends dancing around and getting the kids to dance along. This took place in the common area in the front of the park. The boys thought this was lots of fun. They hugged Holidog and had their pictures taken with him afterwards.
The second show we watched is one I remember from childhood: the high-dive show. In this one, you watch world-class high-divers from around the world performing amazing dives. The show includes some audience participation, a splash zone, lots of comedy, a human fireball, and music. We all loved it! There is bench seating here, and it is not covered, but it was still nice to take a break from walking and standing.
The last show we watched was the new LOL Comedy and Magic Show. Guess what? It was awesome! We were all totally blown away by the magic. The constant costume changes, singing, and dancing really kept the Adventure Kids entertained. I highly recommend that everyone take the time to watch this when at the park. There is bench seating here as well, but it is covered, so it’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy a show.
Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari has been voted “Cleanest Park in the World” by an amusement park magazine for almost 20 years in a row. Compared to other smaller amusement parks that we’ve gone to throughout the years, this park is BY FAR the cleanest and friendliest.
We spent the entire day at Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari. I think there would have been more than enough for us to do on a second day. Heck, I would be down for spending an entire day just at the water park. There are also several cabin/resort options in Santa Claus, and I’ve heard only good things about them. Next time we go (probably next summer), we’ll definitely be checking out one of those.
Have you been to Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari? If so, what was your favorite part of the park? If not, what’s stopping you from going?