5 Reasons to add Aqua-Adventures to your Summer Bucket List

This post is presented in partnership with Aqua-Adventures at Land of Illusion. We love how fun and unique this experience is for families and are thrilled to be able to tell you more about it.

As a born and raised Cincinnatian, who has lived in other places, I will be the first to tell you that we are pretty darn lucky. We have no shortage of things to keep us busy in this city and it’s an amazing place to raise a family. In fact, sometimes, it can be hard to pick WHICH amazing local offering to take advantage of because we have so much. It’s a great problem to have. Several years ago, I started a tradition where I ask my children to each pick 5 things – big and small – to put on our “summer bucket list” and we make it a point to try to do all of those things. It’s led to some great memories and even some ongoing summer traditions that make the list each year. Aqua Adventures is one of those experiences and I am here to tell you why YOUR family should try it out this year.

Reason #1 | It’s a One of A Kind Experience

I will fully admit, I didn’t quite know what to expect last year when my family decided to make the trip to Middletown to check out the inflatables on water for the first time. If I am completely honest, I actually had pretty low expectations. I am delighted to admit that I was wrong. Our day at Aqua Adventures, part of the Land of Illusion park, ended up being one of the highlights of our summer and was the first to be added back to the list for this year when I asked the family (yes, even the husband), what they wanted to make sure we fit into our schedule.

It’s a little hard to explain until you experience it (which is why you have to just go yourself), but the Aqua Adventures Wibit Adventure Zone is, in essence, a floating maze of inflatable slides, climbing structures, platforms to jump off of, walkways to try to cross without falling into the water, monkey bars, and more. Put simply, it’s a veritable playground on the water and it’s beyond fun.

Mom Tip: If you have small children, let them try out the kids Wibit!

Reason #2 | Be a Kid Again

My husband and I are generally the type of parents who try to enjoy the experience with our kids, but I was initially a little hesitant on this one. You have to quickly get over feeling self-conscious and realize that literally, everyone out there is being silly, launching themselves over air-filled hurdles, and slipping off into the water. You have no choice, but to let go of your reservations and just be a kid again. It was liberating and the camaraderie between our family and the other guests was palpable because everyone is in the same silly boat. There is nothing like it in Cincinnati that I have experienced before or since.

Reason #3 | It’s Great Exercise

We were not expecting this to be as much of a workout as it was, but this turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Summer can be challenging from a parental standpoint as you work to keep your kids entertained and off screens for a least a portion of the time. This was the perfect family outing that combined fitness with fun and it’s one of the main reasons we want to go back!

Reason #4 | Laughter

I am pretty sure we didn’t stop laughing the entire time we were there. My kids had much better balance and success than my husband and I did on the inflatables, which I suppose was to be expected. Let’s be honest though… it’s funny watching people fall (when they don’t get hurt) and seeing fellow adults looking ridiculous is a great time. My muscles were sore the next day, both because this is a legit workout, but also from belly laughing from beginning to end.

Reason #5 | The Facility & the Staff

One of the most common questions I get asked about our experience is about the facility and its cleanliness. This is a man-made lagoon, but I was pleasantly surprised by how clean the water was as well as the sandy beach around it. The lounge chairs and equipment were well cared for and in great shape. The restrooms are portable, but the kind that are more permanent enclosures with stalls – not port-a-potties. Life jackets are provided and required for all participants in the Wibit Adventure Zone. I gave this idea an annoyed shrug at first because we have a family of strong swimmers, but after just a couple minutes of action on the floats, you will be glad you have it – trust me. 

The staff was simply delightful. Many of the young lifeguards I spoke to are year-round staff and have been part of this small business for years… including helping out with the Halloween Haunt in the Fall. They were polite and engaging, encouraging the participants on the harder obstacles and laughing alongside the rest of us. It really helped create a laid-back, relaxing atmosphere.

Humoring Mom for a picture when all they really wanted was to get into the water.

Mom Tips

As always, the first time a mom experiences something she makes some notes about what to consider/do differently the next time. I thought I would take a moment to share my learnings with you to help make your first Aqua-Adventures experience the best it can be.

  • Know Your Kid
    • To go on the obstacle course, your child must be a minimum of 43″ tall and while I would say most kids are going to do just fine with this, there may be a handful for whom this just isn’t the right fit. This isn’t a lazy river kind of experience.
  • Know Yourself
    • My kids are strong swimmers, but honestly, I wouldn’t have been comfortable not being out in the water with them. Even if I was just taking some time to swim around the perimeter of the course and watch them play (because this mama needed a climbing break!), I still felt better being able to keep an eye on them. If this describes you… you will need to be willing to get wet.
  • Rent a Cabana
    • There are a few cabanas around the beach area and I highly recommend reserving one. Land of Illusion’s Aqua Adventures is located on a pretty wide expanse of land and there is no shade. My kiddos are prone to headaches when out in direct sunlight for too long, so we plan to use this feature the next time we go so we can get a break with some shade. (Note: They do have the Sandy Cove/Aqua Lounge where you can go sit to get some shade as well.)
  • Rent a Locker or Bring Your Own Valuables Safe
    • Because you will be out on the water much of the time, it’s nice to have someplace safe to put your keys and cash so you can go have fun without worrying.
  • Plan to Spend the Whole Day
    • When we went the first time, we only allotted 3 hours of play time and the kids were not ready to go home.
  • Go Early or go on a Week Day
    • It can get crowded on water, so I recommend going during the week and going right when they open.



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