This post has been sponsored by Epic Waters in Grand Prairie. All opinions are 100% our own!
As a mom of four, I’ve found that finding a DFW destination that can entertain the WHOLE family is usually challenging! There’s a number of go-to spots that I know will be safe for my 8 month old but also engage my 8 year old; however, when you are forced indoors during the cooler months (until recently) we had about two local choices — and spoiler alert: It’s expensive!
Just over a year ago, Epic Waters opened it’s 80,000 sq. ft. waterpark to the public in Grand Prairie with over 350,000 people visiting within the first year. I was very excited to add another option to our list of indoor entertainment, but not thinking creatively, I just settled for the fact that it would be extremely crowded all the time which made me a little less enthusiastic to try and plan a trip over there.
This past Wednesday, my eyes were opened to a whole new world of ways to AVOID the crowds without spending our entire month’s entertainment budget! All you have to do is think outside the box!
I’ve put together a list of ways you can feel like you have the whole park to yourself and take advantage of all that the entire EpicCentral complex has to offer.
Think Beyond Weekends!
It can be hard to retrain your brain to think this way as most entertainment parks have very strange hours in the “off season” or during the school year. They may be only open on weekends or even shut down entirely for parts of the year they don’t expect a crowd. Not Epic Waters!
Epic Waters is open all year round; open daily Monday – Sunday. And what’s even crazier, they’re open holidays!
As you can imagine, weekends can get fairly busy — especially as the weather starts to get a little warmer, but when school is in session, Monday-Friday it’s a whole different world.
If you have children that aren’t elementary age yet, you homeschool, or have special school hours, Epic Waters is the perfect place to head to wear your kiddos out before naptime. Come play in Rascal’s Round-Up or float the Lazy River. There are hardly any lines for the concessions and finding a spot close by is a breeze.
Tiny Tot Time (Ages 5 & Under)
Throughout the year, Epic Waters hosts specially designated times for children ages 5 and under. The park knows it can be difficult to keep watch over your little ones when big kids are running everywhere. And since the slides require a height of at least 48″, they know you’re only going to be able to take advantage of a few of the park’s attractions.
For that reason, they host Tiny Tot Time each Monday before the park opens (8:30 AM-10:30 AM) and they offer a heavily discounted rate for admission with exclusive access to Rascal’s Round-Up. The first child is $10, Second child is $5, and parents…FREE!
** Tiny Tot Time begins again on April 1, 2019. Be sure to check their calendar as they may temporarily stop this special event during heavily trafficked times like Spring Break.
Alright, those of you with big kids, Epic Waters has special times just for you too! Every day – except for Fridays – Epic Waters invites families to come out for a Twilight Swim after 4:00 PM. (The park stays open until 9:00 PM)
If you can swing it, while everyone else is sitting in traffic on President George Bush Turnpike or Central Expressway, you can be lounging in the Lazy River with your family for a discounted admission of only $14 per person (3 & under are free)!
All concessions are open until close, so it’s the perfect way to enjoy a meal together as a family; screen-free!
** Again, be sure to check their calendar as they may temporarily stop this special promotion during heavily trafficked times like Spring Break.
Make it a Special Treat for your Schoolers
Alright, so I know what you’re thinking. . . you live in an area where it’s impossible to make it for Twilight Times and you don’t have little ones that can participate in Tiny Tot Time. So how can you take advantage of avoiding the crowds? Be spontaneous and make some memories with your kids!
The stress of the school year is reaching its height right now. Testing is in progress or on the way and summer-itis is starting to creep in. I’m not advocating you teach your kids how to “skip” school…but maybe at the right time, surprise them with a little weekday outside of the classroom. (wink wink)
Of course, you’ll want to make sure there’s nothing major on the school calendar – check to be sure that report was turned in or a field trip wasn’t scheduled — and then be the fun parent! It’s a memory they will be sure not to forget.
If you really can’t avoid the crowded times, then one way you can give your family a little more space is by renting one of Epic Waters cabanas. A cabana is a private tent area next to “key” spaces in the park such as Rascal’s Round-Up, the activity pool, and water slides. The cabanas give up to 8 family members a place to keep all their things, charge phones, and provide seating you won’t have to fight for. But the best part is, each cabana comes with a server to help make your Epic Waters experience that much more amazing.
I’ll be honest, the concession line during heavily trafficked times can be a little crazy. Not only can the wait be long, but you’re going to have to find a way to carry all those items back to your picky-eaters wherever you managed to secure a spot to sit.
The cabana servers are there to grab your food, desserts, and any beverages (or Longboard bar items!) you may need. You can place your order while in the cabana and have it sitting on your table when you return from riding the Aquanaut. I did this. and it was amazing!
My family has learned along the way that cabanas are the way to go for our family of 6, but it’s usually something we have to weigh the cost verse reward for. Often cabana rentals at other waterparks or hotels are limited to specific hours and can run you upwards of $500 for a full day. Cabanas at Epic Waters start at $150 for the ENTIRE DAY!
*Note: Cabanas do not include park admission and require a reservation during busy times. Less crowded days you can make the decision to rent one at the park the day of. Prices are subject to change.
Birthday Parties on a Weekday
In addition to avoiding the crowds during regular visits, make sure to think outside the box when it comes to party-planning too!
Epic Waters is open daily – all year long – which means they are also open to helping you plan your child’s birthday party or corporate event outside of weekend hours too! If your schedule can accommodate, why not host a birthday party with 10 of their closest preschool friends during the week?
You can save $$ and avoid the crowds of the weekend!
At the very least, Purchase Advance Tickets!
As an indoor facility, Epic Waters does manage park capacity to maintain the right guest experience. On very busy days, this can mean asking people to wait a bit, until guests leave allowing new ones to enter. You can guarantee a spot the day you want to go by simply purchasing your tickets online in advance at epicwatersgp.com. And Epic Waters cannot stress this enough!
Purchasing tickets online in advance guarantees you won’t drive to Grand Prairie only to have to wait. It holds a spot for you to enter when you’re ready and allows you a full day of fun.
If you do happen to decide to go last minute and find a line waiting to be admitted, make the most of your day and head next door to EpicCentral’s newest 120,000 sq. ft. facility, The Epic. The Epic isn’t a recreation center; it’s a fitness, art, and entertainment destination for families with a children’s area, interactive teen center, art classrooms, exercise studio, and more!
The Epic Combo Pass is available for $40 for adults & children over 48″ and $35 for children under 48″. The pass includes admission into Epic Waters and The Epic’s standard amenities for a day.