Building Family Relationships Through Travel - Castaway Bay Sandusky Ohio

A Trip to Castaway Bay

One of the greatest things about homeschooling is that we can take advantage of the off-season and visit waterparks, museums, and other vacation spots when they’re not busy. Travel – whether locally or to new cities – is one of the best things we can do as parents to build relationships with our kids and foster a lifelong love of learning.

You may be thinking the same thing I once did – that a museum visit can naturally encourage a love of learning, but a waterpark? Really?

Well… you could throw some lessons in there if you want. Water volume, duct work, capacity, etc. But, relationships and family dynamics, even though they don’t come readily to mind when we think about learning, can be some of the most powerful lessons for kids.


Building Family Relationships Through Travel - Castaway Bay Sandusky Ohio


Take our recent trip to Castaway Bay in Sandusky, Ohio, for example… We were invited to visit the waterpark as part of a blogger event from Friday to Saturday. Our room was ready when we got there, but since my husband had to work on Friday, I was on my own with four kids and all the luggage that an overnight entails with a crew this large.

With intense kids like mine, crowded places and big events can often be difficult. Since I know that, we took some time to plan out what it would look like when we got there. Role playing activities, parties, events, and scenarios can help special needs kids work through potential pitfalls before they’re derailed.


Building Family Relationships Through Travel - Castaway Bay Sandusky Ohio


By the time we got there, we were a well-oiled machine. The kids and I checked in, my 12 year old hung out with the toddler {strapped into a stroller} and his 5 year old sister in the lobby by the singing animatronic parrots, and my 7 year old and I loaded the luggage cart, then I parked the car and we headed towards the elevator.

The other three followed us to the room, the tween pushing the toddler’s stroller, and we made it into our gorgeous family suite in one piece, with no tears, and all of our stuff.

Families stick together and help one another out.

Lessons like this are important. Kids learn to be compassionate travelers. They learn to look for ways to help others, and they realize how crucial family is. Because they were so focused on working together to get us all into our room unscathed, and down to the waterslides as quickly as possible, the bigger two planned out what they wanted to do in the waterpark together, and had a wonderful time playing – as a team – for the two days.


Building Family Relationships Through Travel - Castaway Bay Sandusky Ohio


And the fact that I could let my 12 and 7 year olds play together for two days while I hung out in the kiddie pool with the 5 and 2 year olds is my favorite thing about Castaway Bay. It’s big enough that kids of varying ages have a blast, but small enough that if I position myself strategically, I can play with the littles while knowing that my big ones aren’t leaving the waterpark.

There are several million {it seems} lifeguards walking around, so even when my toddler escaped the kiddie area, I wasn’t worried I’d find him in a dangerous situation. In fact, within the 1.5 minutes it took to find him, he’d charmed three of those lifeguards. One was sitting on the floor with him, chatting, while the other two watched for the most frantic looking mom in the place {me} so they could reassure me he was alive and well.

He said goodbye to his new friends, grabbed my hand, and dragged me back to his favorite slide.

We can’t wait to go back.


Building Family Relationships Through Travel - Castaway Bay Sandusky Ohio


If you want to schedule your own overnight getaway, and work on your family relationships, learn about the capacity of a hot tub, or escape the snow for a warm, tropical getaway in Ohio, book your trip by calling 419.627.2106 or by booking at

Good luck! We’ll catch you on the slides…