Many ski resorts have looked for ways to make their facilities a year round attraction. Many of them use their slopes as a backdrop for outdoor adventures and many are building indoor water parks that make their resorts a destination every day of the year. Going to one of these resorts with your kids can be extremely fun, but our good time can be ruined by lack of planning. Here are a few tips to keep the good times flowing (like a lazy river).

EARLY CHECK-IN: Many place will allow guests to check into the resort several hours before their room is ready so you can use the facilities for longer. Each resort has different policies, but three to four hours of bonus time at the beginning of your trip is a great trip after a potentially long car ride. Also check out about the policy for usage on your last day. During a recent trip we checked out of our room at 11am but had access to the water park and all the attractions at the resort until 10pm that night.

LEAVE FOR FOOD: Like an airport a resort will kill you with their exorbitant pricing on dining.  Basically they think that people will be too lazy to leave the place to search out cheaper alternatives. But with the free parking available at most of these facilities, it is very convenient to dry off jump in your car and bring back any number of choices of food. While you may have to eat in your room, since outside for and drinks are not allowed inside the park. It helps break up the day and give parents a few minutes of rest time when they are not ankle deep in water.

ARCADES ARE NOT CHEAP: It is a fact that arcades are expensive and your kids can blow through a huge chunk of change (usually loaded on a card) in the pursuit of prize tickets. They will see someone who just won a jackpot holding an obscenely large pile of tickets and want in on the action. Put some money into your trip budget for playing in the arcade and stick to it. And remember that that off brand slinky and finger skateboard was well worth the $30 you kid used to earn them.

DON’T CHANGE SWIMSUITS: Even if you are staying for a new days, I recommend keeping your whole party in the same swimsuits. It makes it easier to keep track of your kids, especially for those of us who aren’t wearing our glasses into the water. If you get separated it’s better to describe your kid as a six year old boy with sandy hair wearing a white, yellow and orange bathing suit rather than he is a six year old boy with wet hair.  Most resorts have laundry facilities but if they don’t a quick rinse in the shower and hanging to dry will make them good as new.

TOWELS: If the resort doesn't have water park only towels, bring your towels from home. You will not want to use your room towels for drying off. Because all of a sudden you have no towels to dry off with after showering.

IT’S A MARATHON NOT A SPRINT: With all day access you don’t need to be in the water all day long. 10am till 10pm is an awful long time and eventually everyone will get bored. Take a break for a few hours, go find some local sites. Hang out in your room and take a nap. On our last trip, we went for three hours. Broke for lunch. Another two hour or so. Dinner. And finally I took one of the kids for another two hours until they closed up, while my other one hung out in our room and watched Nickelodeon.

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