8 Tips to a successful day at Cultus Lake Water Park. Chilliwack, BC.
Waterpark memories stick with you forever!
That is very true in my case because I don’t remember a lot from those early on years of being 4 and 5 years old… but one very happy memory that still sticks with me to this day is being at the water park with my family. I have this joyous memory looking back up the water slide at my dad smiling back at me as I careened down a gushing half pipe filled with the bluest water I had ever seen before. There are so many memories from that day… from holding my dad’s tube as we made our way dropping through a maze of water slides and pools, to my dad holding his arms wide open as the exit of the water slide quickly approached. As a young boy of 4 or 5, I remember wishing I could live at the water park forever.
Flash forward 30 years and now it is my turn to be the dad and make life long memories with my family. Gretta and I love to surprise our kids when another family adventure is right around the corner. So the night before I gathered the kids around the computer and introduced them to a land they had never seen before… a land called Cultus Lake Water Park. The website was full of interactive videos and cartoon designs of all the rides that awaited our family in just a couple days’ time. The kids must have spent hours giggling, watching and imaging what it was going to be like.
The day had finally arrived and there we were driving down the road getting ever-so closer to Cultus Lake Water Park. The anticipation had been building with every second that passed. The kids were peering over their seats trying to be the first ones to see the park, the chatter started getting louder and louder. On the last corner the whole car was now at a deafening roar… mostly because I kept saying “here it comes… almost there… who’s going to be the first to go down the slides??”.
Finally, there it was in all it’s waterpark glory, the day we had all been looking forward to was here. The kids were wound up so tight they were going to explode. As soon as we were in the parking lot they shot out the doors like cannons!
The water park is a little pricey, but worth every last penny. My philosophy is not to shy away from spending your money on those events that will create lifelong happy family experiences, those are truly the best dollars spent. The way I look at it is that you can’t go back in time and buy memories later on… of course take that with a grain of salt, as you need a place to eat and sleep. The water park had a price for those over 48″ and under 48″, so be sure to measure your kids carefully. It has to do with what slides they can go on and ones they can’t. Titus(5) was just at 48″, so all day long I reminded the lifeguards to bend down to measure his height so he could go on the larger rides.
With the waterpark costing a good amount, we recommend bringing food and beverages in with you to save money. We packed a lunch and then at dinner time we went out to the car to cook a hot meal on our camp stove and bring it inside to our picnic table. Some people call me cheap, but I’d like to say I am cost sensitive. I saw many people eating at the canteens inside, it seemed to be good food with some variety offered. There were several places to buy lunch and dinner, from fish & chips to pizza and subs.
We also noticed places to buy cold drinks, ice-cream and espresso drinks. If none of that interests you and you don’t have a camp stove, no problem, just rent a water park BBQ, bring some meat and you are all set.
We were the first ones in the door at 10am and once we found our choice spot for the day, we were off to the slides and didn’t stop until lunch! The picnic tables are first come, first serve, so we grabbed one closer to the water slide action and placed our stuff on it. They had lockers to rent nearby, but with our stuff out in the open we didn’t run into any issues.
We were advised by the water park website to hit all the tube/raft rides first as those are the most popular. It proved to be very true, so that’s some good advice. However, for us we couldn’t resist the first water slides we came to… and oh it was good! Jay was the first down, he said it was because he wanted to be first at the bottom to welcome every one… but I wonder whether sub consciously he really couldn’t help himself relive some childhood memories.
Next down was Gretta, Titus(5) and Kaia(7), who could all swim quite well. That turned out to be a good thing considering they couldn’t touch when they exited the slide (Note: lifejackets are available for free).
Then it was Koen’s turn (4) and as I (Jay) was heading down the same slide he would follow me in, I did wonder to myself whether he was going to be able to handle it okay. I mean, it was fast! So there I was standing at the bottom of the slide and my boy Koen shoots around the corner with an expression of sheer terror, and before I could get to him, SWOOSH, down under the water he went. I lost him for a second, but I quickly stuck both arms down under the water to fish him out as fast I could. As soon as I had hold of him I launched him out of the water into the air like a rocket. I looked at his face for some indication of how it went, and I’ll never forget how his face turned from utter shock to the biggest smile I had ever seen on his face as he exclaimed “that was FUN!!! Again!” I wonder, did Koen(4) just create a forever memory? I hope so.
And that pretty much summed up our day at Cultus Lake Water Park from 10am until they closed at 7:30pm. We basically stopped to eat and that was it. Every family is different, so be sure to have a game plan if you are that type, or you might be the type to just go for it and jump in with both feet, literally or figuratively.
However you go about your day, you won’t be able to stop yourself from having a blast.
8 Tips to a successful day at Cultus Lake Water Park with your family
1. Stop and take it all in. Don’t let the day pass you by without pausing and taking some good mental pictures of all that is happening around you. Find the Colossal Canyon and do it as many times as you can! It can hold a lot of people, so load up the raft and look at your friends and families faces when high siding around the corners.
2. If you have kids, make a point to not only do rides all together, but be sure to split up and make 1 on 1 memories too.
3. Get to the water park as soon as it opens and be the first ones in and last ones to leave. Be sure to go straight to the rides with tubes/rafts, as the lines do get longer as the afternoon goes along.
4. Have your lunch and dinner early or late, but don’t stop and eat the same time everyone else does. You’ll be sure to get more rides that way.
5. Check the weather before you go. If you can plan your trip around a nice day, I suggest you do it. However, know everyone else is doing the same thing… so it will be much busier on weekends and on sunny days. Pluses and minus on that one.
6. Mix up your day between slides, swimming, lazy river, and the pirate water splash park. Our kids had way more energy than Gretta and I, so we enjoyed sitting on a bench nearby and watching the kids tear it up on a kid’s dream splash park.
7. Bring lunch and dinner with lots of snacks and liquids, that way you can have everything you need to enjoy the whole day.
8. If it is a colder day, no worries… there are plenty of hot tubs around, so be sure to have a soak between rides or when waiting for others and remember to take some pleasure in the fact that the lines are nice and short.
What’s your favourite water park tip? Do share.