Schlitterbahn: South Padre Island, Texas (Review)

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Dad taking the youngest into the sand castle!

While visiting South Padre Island for a quick vacation we were able to spend some time at the Schlitterbahn Outdoor Waterpark

Schlitterbahn is a resort that includes unique lodging and activities that are fun for both kids and adults. Not only do they have an outdoor waterpark but an indoor waterpark if you are traveling to the area off season. We were planning on visiting both parks but halfway through the day there was thunder and lightening which continued for the remainder of the day and they do not issue rain checks. We were content with the four hours we spent at the outdoor park and felt we had a full and exciting experience but it is something to keep in mind when planning a visit to Schlitterbahn. If you want to make the most of it, be sure to check the weather forecast before you go. If you check their website, it also has a link to the upcoming weather conditions.   

Our youngest trying to brave the torrents of water he faces at the sand castle!

South Padre Island is one of the best kept secret of Texas. If you haven't visited yet, you need to add it to your bucket list. Of all of the beaches that our family has visited this is my favorite. It isn't too touristy but there are still fun activities that kids can enjoy on the island, such as Schlitterbahn. If you are not planning on heading to the island any time soon, there are still plenty of other Schlitterbahn resorts to choose from:

Galveston, Texas, 
Corpus Christi, Texas, 
Kansas City, Kansas,  
New Braunfels, Texas

Even the older ones like to take a break from the slides and enjoy the sand castle attraction!
 After this, we tried to find the entrance to the water slides and could not find them anywhere. After looking for a bit we asked a few of the lifeguards. Some of them said they didn't know and then we realized why. It is because the setup here is different than most waterparks. Instead of grabbing an inner tube and standing in line to use the slides, you enter a lazy river that leads you to the different slides. There are both pros and cons to this set up. More pros than cons, for sure. I like it because you don't have to wait in long lines most of the time and if you do, you are seated in a raft in the water the whole time! What I do not like about the set up is it is hard to tell by the sign at the entrance of each slide which slide you will be going to until you have been on it. By the end of the four hours though we were able to figure it out!

All slides take you back to the lazy river.
 I was amazed by how many of the routes along the lazy river I was allowed to take my one-year-old son on with me. I simply had a double raft and he sat in the front while I held him with my legs. He had on a life vest provided by the waterpark as did my three-year-old. Neither of them ever fell out of the tube but it was nice to know they had that extra safety precaution. My three-old-old stuck with dad for the lazy river and he loved going through the pirate's tunnel and through the rapids. The rapids were awesome! Certainly not like any lazy river I have ever been on in the past!

Relax for a bit on the sand watching the tubers float by!

Choose from several slides to ride on as you float along the lazy river!

Tropical. Peaceful. Heavenly. 
While we were there, we witnessed some lifeguard training occurring. It was encouraging to know that the lifeguards here are trained, watchful and vigilant. At one point, I ran to the van to get our lunch and when I came back my husband told me that he turned his head for two seconds and our three-year-old started running away from him towards the sand castle. Before my son could make it there, the lifeguards started directing him away from it until my husband got there. I was impressed.

Trained lifeguards are constantly monitoring the slides and lazy river. 

I love the fact that even though they sell amazing food there and even have a seafood restaurant on site, you are still allowed to bring in our own food. There are plenty of picnic areas to choose from. We choose set up right at the entrance of the lazy river but you can bring in your cooler and choose from several different shaded picnic areas throughout the park.
Nets over the slides ensure a safe ride!
One attraction that my kids (and husband) tried out was the Boogie Bahn. Basically it is a small wave pool set-up for boogie boarding! You wait in line and one-at-a-time, each person has a chance to boogie board. When they fall off, it's over. We had to make sure not to get in line behind this one girl who was clearly a pro! She knew all the moves and was able to ride not only on her stomach but knees as well. She did all sorts of spins and twists and turns. It took forever for her to fall off but she was fun to watch and learn from! Overall, our family had an amazing time at Schlitterbahn. I highly recommend taking your family there if you find yourself in the area!

Disclaimer: Our family received admission to the above location in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions stated here are my own.

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