Happy weekend!! I am so glad the weekend is here and I bet you are too. Now that the NCLEX is behind us officially, we are finally starting to relax and enjoy the summer. This means LOTS of free time on our hands- no complaints here 😉 This means mom has to find fun stuff to do and places to go so that we all stay sane and entertained.
We feel so lucky to live smack dab in the midst of a popular travel destination. As you may know by now if you have followed me for awhile, we live in the Golden Isles which is an area off the coast of Georgia that is comprised of several small barrier islands a few of which include Jekyll Island and Saint Simons Island. We are also not too far from Cumberland Island (where JFK Jr. was famously married), Amelia Island (just over Florida line), Tybee Island, Sapelo Island and so many more little islands off the Georgia Coast. It is a fabulous area with so much to do.
Maybe you are a local or semi-local. Maybe you are a tourist in for a weekend or a week-long vacation ( lucky you). Either way there is so many fun summer activities to explore in this area for you and your family.
I wanted to highlight one of them today that happens to be one of our family’s personal favorites- Summer Waves. Summer Waves is a water park located on Jekyll Island, a Georgia State Park. If you have read any of my other posts then you know I am exceptionally partial to Jekyll Island. If I had to name a favorite part of this area it would probably be Jekyll hands down. I still love St. Simons and have spent a lot of time there through the years as we have family with a place there. However- there is just something about Jekyll that really stirs the soul. I could talk about it for an entire post but I digress.
So Summer Waves has been in this area at least since I was in the fourth grade because I vividly remember a 4H trip there. And now some 20+ years later I am taking my little one. Life moves fast ya’ll. Anyways last summer and this summer we have been seriously loving some SW. One thing worth noting at this point- it will cost you $6 dollars for a one day pass onto the island or you can buy a pass for a week or if you plan to visit a lot an annual pass may make sense. More pass information for Jekyll Island can be found HERE.
Recently SW added a brand new kid area, Shark Tooth Cove, which has been insanely popular with everyone, especially the smallest visitors. I know on most of our visits we tend to set up camp there. There are TONS of lounge chairs, shade, and a concession area within this area which is wonderful for families and especially us moms. Also there are tons of lifeguards!! Love it ! Shark tooth cove is perfect for babies and enjoyed by kids as old as 10+ from what I observed on my visit last week. This entire area rests in about 1 foot of water and so it is perfect for those who aren’t swimming yet. There are also TONS of water features that the little ones go crazy for. Also worth noting- across the park there is a large water pad area with every kind of water spraying apparatus one can imagine including an enormous buckets that dumps tons of water every few minutes. My 3 year old niece thought this was the best part of the day! The kids can just run around here and don’t even need swimmies or anything as there is not standing water.
For all of the big kids in your fam there are quite a few slides with a larger thrill factor. One of the most popular is the pirates passage which is the tallest slide in the park. The older kids and teenagers especially seem to like this one and there is a fantastic view of Jekyll at the top. Besides pirates passage and the previously mentioned areas there are an additional 5 slides with varying thrill levels sure to satisfy your thrill seekers. Another fan favorite is the wave pool with waves that are activated every 15 minutes or so. This is a big hit with my P and we usually hang out there for awhile. The lazy river is a fun attraction where you can kick back on an intertube and enjoy a nice long float around the park for as long as you like. I am a huge fan! So as you can see there is a ton to do here for everyone. If all of this is too much and you need a quick afternoon nap then you can check out this summer’s newest addition which is several huge private cabanas for rent next to the wave pool. When you rent these you get all sorts of extras you can read more about HERE.
You may get hungry while you are having so much fun and if so there is a Larry’s giant subs on site which is one of my personal favorite sandwich shops. There are also several concession stands that carry ice cream, dipping dots, chips, sodas, nachos, pretzels and more. In my opinion the prices are much more reasonable that what you typically see at theme parks. No matter what kind of snack you want there is something there sure to hit the spot.
Finally I would like to touch on one of the things I like most about Summer Waves and why we have been such devoted fans over the years- the price ! Kids three and under are totally free with a swim diaper! Hallelujah!
There are currently a few groupons for Summer Waves from $16 up HERE.
You can buy a full day adult ticket for $22, a child’s ticket is $19 for those under 48 inches, senior ticket is $11, and there is even a night swim option for $13-15 which allows you to enter the park at 3pm or 4pm( depending on the day) and stay until closing. A two day ticket can be purchased for $29.
If you are local or semi local then a great option is to get the annual pass. The annual pass runs around $79.99 per person for the season. This allows you to come and go as much as you would like as well as discounts at other Jekyll Island activities. I did the math last year and I only need to go four times to break even. In the first two weeks we went three times. As much as I love Disney, and please believe that I REALLY mean that, you can buy a one day ticket to one of Disney’s water parks for $65 if this helps you see what a great value the annual pass at SW really is.
- Try to visit on week days as they seem less crowded
- Freeze bottles of water to stay hydrated and save some $$$$ ( allowed)
- Bring TONS of sunscreen, water shoes, and a rashguard, and a floatation device if needed.
- If you are on a really strict budget pack a lunch and go out to the car for lunch ( again allowed)
- Consider a night swim ticket to save some bucks! Especially if you have to buy a lot of tickets.
If you are staying on Jekyll for several days make sure to check out my other posts HERE AND HERE for more suggestions. Please drop me a line a let me know what you are loving this summer with your family!! I can’t wait to hear about all of your adventures:)
Sending summer vibes your way,