The highlight of our Spring Break so far was a trip to Schlitterbahn New Braunfels, just 30 minutes north of San Antonio. This was the first year that a section of Schlitterbahn (Blastenhoff Beach) was open for Spring Break and we lucked out with gorgeous 80-degree weather and perfectly blue skies.
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, my goal while visiting the water park was to discover which pools and rides would be best for entertaining my elementary-age kids (Delaney is almost nine and Waylon is six). The kids invited a few friends of theirs, ranging in age from 6-9, to join us and, to help manage the fun and frenzy, I invited a mom friend of my own. We drove up to nearby New Braunfels for a day of fun in the sun.
The kids were so excited when we arrived that they charged into the water at Blastenhoff Beach, eager to grab a tube. I followed right behind them and noticed a sign warning that the Torrent River, which you enter from the beach and which circles that section of the park, has a strong current and no other exits besides the one on the beach.
Before I could yell a warning to the kids, Delaney got too far out into the current and was swept away. I’ll mention here that Delaney is a good swimmer (probably the strongest child swimmer we had in our group) and I didn’t expect her to panic but she did, a little, so I swam out to her. The current was indeed robust and, without a tube for either of us to hold on to, we had a precarious trip around the river, clinging to each other and working to stay above the waves until we were able to exit onto the beach on the other side. With lifeguards watching over us, I never felt we were in real danger, but that episode set the tone for the rest of our day: we needed to find rides and attractions that were well-suited to the ages and swim levels of the kids in our group.
We grabbed our towels and headed for Hans Hideout, a five-story water fun house which also has four smaller, gentler slides in back.
Not too steep or too fast, these slides were perfect for our kids. We hung out here, sliding for a while, before discovering Bamboozle Bay.
Talk about a perfect place to set up camp. Bamboozle Bay’s zero-entry pool is heated and it’s only 3.5 feet deep. Surrounding it are cozy cabanas for rent. And, my favorite part? There’s a swim-up bar! Sadly, I did not order any frosty adult beverages during our visit (I was the designated driver, after all.). But just beyond the cabanas are the River Bend Cabins, where groups of 4-10 can stay overnight (and receive exclusive access to the park before it opens). Maybe on our next visit we can stay there and I can enjoy a pina colada or two at Bamboozle Bay without worries. The River Bend Cabins are great for families because they also have full kitchens. Bring your own food and make lunch or dinner in the privacy of your cabin while enjoying doorstep access to Blastenhoff Beach.
If you don’t stay overnight but still want to enjoy your own food (especially important when traveling with sometimes-picky elementary-age eaters), Schlitterbahn allows you to bring in your cooler with lunch, snacks, and drinks (just no glass or alcohol). And, if you’re in the mood for park fare, there are several options around Blastenhoff Beach to get hot dogs, burgers, funnel cakes, ICEEs, and more. Whether you bring in food or buy it there, you can enjoy dining under huge umbrellas at picnic tables with plentiful shade.
Blastenhoff Beach is just one part of Schlitterbahn New Braunfels, which extends over 70 acres and offers 40 attractions. I’m sure there are lots more rides and pools throughout the park suited to kids ages 6-10. This summer when Schlitterbahn opens the full park we’ll be there to check them out!