Parent Tips

How do you ensure your kids have FUN during your visit to Busch Gardens ® Williamsburg & Water Country USA ®? We asked our Parent Panel to share some insights for making it the BEST DAY EVER. This panel consists of real-life, honest-to-goodness parents just like you, including our own team member parents and bloggers. Read these tips before you pack your bags for the day. You’ll find important information about what to bring, where to eat, how to save a little money and which KIDsiderate rides and attractions you won’t want to miss.

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See Busch Gardens Williamsburg from a kid's perspective.




Parent tips on what to bring to the park with kids

We know that a successful day out of the house with little ones always requires some planning ahead. A trip to the park is no exception. From cost-effective snacks to tools for keeping hands clean, we asked our parent panel for tips on what to bring to the park to keep kids happy.


  • Plan your day ahead of time of your trip, building in shows and other activities to keep your family warm.
  • Buy your tickets early and online to save you time and money.
  • Bundle up for colder weather – winter is chilly in Virginia, especially when riding.
  • Sesame Street ® Forest of Fun  is open during Christmas Town  with over 105,000 Christmas lights in the children’s play area.
  • Try one of the character dining options for a fun holiday experience.
  • Purchase a souvenir mug for affordable hot chocolate refills throughout all of Christmas Town.
  • Take the train or Skyride to rest your family’s feet and see the Christmas lights.
  • Warm up at heating stations throughout the park or see one of the indoor performances.
  • Reserve your seats online for the holiday shows and for the best views in the house.
  • Keep your kids entertained with a show at dinner at Das Festhaus ®. Deck the Halls has performances throughout the day.
  • A PhotoKey membership is great for Christmas pictures and gives priority access to Santa’s Workshop and Rudolph’s Winter Wonderland.
  • Play holiday-themed games in Oktoberfest and Rudolph’s Winter Wonderland. You will want to bring cash since game locations do not take credit cards.
  • Warm up at Cookies & Cocoa ™ and make memories decorating Christmas cookies.





  • A change of clothes for the kids (for after splashing in the water play areas and in case of any 'oopsies')
  • Waterproof phone/card holder
  • Hats and/or sunscreen
  • Baby wipes (to clean off sticky ice cream faces)
  • A Ziploc bag to put wet clothes in so everything else stays dry
  • Beach towel
  • Driver's license (so mommy or daddy can get a grown-up drink)
  • Phone and camera to take pictures and get around (Check out the Busch Gardens app for a map of the park, daily show times, offers and more)
  • Pass Membership card for in-park discounts
  • Waterproof diapers for Water Country USA (if needed)
  • Cash for games or a card game
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Portable charger
  • Souvenir drink cup (for affordable fountain refills)
  • Refillable popcorn bucket


  • Exit the park at 5 p.m. - England gets scary for kids
  • Bring a jacket for your kids - the fall weather can be chilly in Virginia (especially riding)
  • Join us for The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular, a Halloween event just for kids, every Saturday & Sunday from October 7 - 29.
  • Kids nine and younger are invited to wear their favorite Halloween costume while visiting for The Count's Spooktacular (Saturdays & Sundays, October 7 - 29). Masks are not allowed in the park.
  • As always, one (plastic) bottle of water is permitted in the park
  • Our children's play areas, Sesame Street® Forest of Fun™ & Land of the Dragons®, close at 5 p.m. to allow you plenty of time to exit the park before the scares begin.
  • Get a locker closer to the front of the park so you can leave before scare squad comes out at 6 p.m.
  • Prizes for the games changeover each season - your kids might be begging you to play, bring cash
  • See the fall décor from a little further away when you ride the train

NOTE: Some of our spooky decorations are visible during the day, but our scare actors, dim lighting and fog will not start until 6 p.m.

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