PLEASE NOTE: This post was written in 2014, and while it should still give you a good overview of the experience, it is also possible that it may contain some outdated information. Please check their website for the most current information, especially about things like schedules and pricing.
Thank you to Lake Compounce for providing me and my family with complimentary access to the park. All opinions are 100% my own.
Nestled in the heart of Bristol, Connecticut is the beautiful property of Lake Compounce. This site is home to an actual lake and its surrounding amusement and water park. We had a chance to visit Lake Compounce earlier this week and document our full-day adventure.
The park is large but my family and I had visited before, so we had an idea of what it had to offer.
If you haven’t been, though, let me start off with the high-level tour.
The amusement park has a whole section of kiddie rides which are perfect for the younger crowd, there are tons of regular rides (including quite a few that my little ones could do with an adult), a lake for swimming, a full water park, over 15 eating venue options, carnival games and more.
There is so much to see and do here, that you really need a plan before visiting. You need to think about park opening times, tickets, clothing for the amusement park, clothing for the water park, life vests (if applicable), towels, suntan lotion, and more.
Maybe it would help if I gave you a quick run-down of the places we visited at the park and the items we brought with us.
Here is the park map, with our stops highlighted.
- A full morning adventure in the Kiddie ride section
- Testing the kids’ driving skills at Zoomer’s Gas N’ Go
- Lunch at the Croc Pot (organic and gluten-free food options)
- A visit to the water park
- A train ride around the water park and part of the lake
And here are the things that (I can remember) we brought with us:
- A stroller (rentals of single and double strollers are also available in the park)
- Beach towels
- Bathing suits
- Swim diapers
- Puddle Jumpers for all the kids
- Regular clothing for the amusement park
- Suntan lotion
- Bug spray (though we didn’t use it)
- Nalgene water bottles (soda and water fountains are located throughout the park and are included with park admission)
- Diapers and wipes for Sweetheart
- Extra clothes for the twins
We parked in the large lot located right outside the park entrance. There was a fee to park ($9 per vehicle for regular parking and $15 per vehicle for premium parking which consisted of spots in the first few rows).
Parking passes could also be pre-purchased online for a $1 discount and season ticket holders could purchase a season parking pass for $34.
We paid cash for parking but credit cards were also accepted. Once we paid, attendants directed us to our space.
The park opened at 11:00 am that day and we arrived early (around 10:45 am) so we parked fairly close to the front. But, as the day went on, the parking options moved further and further back. Be prepared to walk.
After we parked and got our things together, we made our way down the path that runs along the parking area and to the park’s main entrance.
As we entered the park, our first stop was the security table to get our bags checked before entry. One of the park rules was that no outside food or beverages were allowed inside, so this was one of many things included in the check. Of course there were exceptions to this rule for things such as baby items.
Tickets for the park can be purchased online for a discount or at the park entrance. All the pricing information can be found below, but I wanted to point out a few items.
- Admission for kids ages 3 and under is FREE
- There is a new season pass option this year for the park. For $50, you can receive unlimited summer admission from May through September. The full season pass (called the Platinum Pass) is still available for $74.99.
- You can use a daily ticket to visit the park and, if you love it, trade in your daily ticket that day for a Summer or Platinum Pass.
After we entered the park, we immediately noticed the stroller rental location at Chuckles right near the park entrance.
We didn’t need an additional stroller, so we hung a right at the entrance and made our way to the Kiddie Ride section. My little daredevils were ready to hit up the most treacherous of preschool level ride options. They went on pretty much everything and it was nice that there were several rides they could do on their own. A few rides only the twins were tall enough to handle on their own (Sweetheart was not happy having to sit those rides out 🙂
Bumper cars was pretty popular with those two. I mean who doesn’t want the chance to smash into their sister without getting in trouble!
And the Kiddie Coaster was probably the most popular ride with the twins. I think they went on it three times and Bruiser even sat in the front by himself for one of the rides. We finally had to drag them to the next destination.
There was a stage located in the kiddie area with performances scheduled for 11:30, 12:30, 3:30, and 4:30. There were, however, no performances held on Tuesdays which was the day we were visiting, so we didn’t see one this time around.
As the kids made their way through the various rides, we started to get the hang of it in terms of identifying the ones they could ride alone or would need an adult. Each ride had a sign out front with height requirements. [You can also find a full listing of height requirements on the park’s website.]
Restrooms were also located in the kiddie ride area. Not only did they have regular restrooms, but they had a family restroom and a nursing station.
Right next door to the Kiddie Ride section was the beginning of the regular rides. We found one that was just right for our little crew, Zoomer’s Gas N’ Go. Any kid could ride and drive, but under a certain height they needed an adult in the car with them.
I took a spin around the car track with my little man. He could barely see over the steering wheel, but he took his driving role VERY seriously.
Lunch at the CrocPot Cafeteria
Before we knew it, it was lunchtime and we needed to get some food in our kids’ tummies right away. The CrocPot Cafeteria was the spot recommended for a family friendly destination. The location offered both indoor and outdoor seating and the outdoor seating area overlooked the water park (which entertained the kids while they waited on their food).
The CrocPot cafeteria offered a variety of menu options including organic and gluten free items. Lake Compounce had asked me to try a few of the organic products, so we included a couple of items with our lunch that day. A large refrigerator case in the cafeteria offered organic yogurts, fruits, juices, and milk. I was also able to order organic chicken tenders for the kids in the hot food line. Currently, there is no signage in the hot food area for the organic or gluten free menu items, but I just asked a member of the staff if they could tell me the organic options available that day. One note of caution, though. The organic (and I’m assuming the gluten free items) are made to order so you may have to wait an extra few minutes for your meal to be ready.
I placed my chicken tender order, got the kids started with eating the other food I purchased, and then picked up my order about 10 minutes later.
Crocodile Cove Water Park
Located right next to the CrocPot Cafeteria was the Crocodile Cove Water Park. My kids were so excited to check this place out!
First stop was the changing facility to get the kids (and ourselves) covered in suntan lotion and bathing suit attire. We also rented a locker for our visit to store our valuables while we swam.
The water park area included lots of swimming options. There was a beach and lifeguards for lake swimming, a wave pool, water-themed playground, water slides, lazy river and more. For kids under 48″, some of the activities required that they wear a coast guard approved flotation device. We brought the kids’ puddle jumpers with us, but life vests are also available (at no additional charge) in bins throughout the water park area.
My kids are little fish in the water, so they absolutely loved playing in this area. I don’t have a ton of pictures of their adventures because I was in the water with them for most of the time (it was a pretty hot day and I was ready to cool off!) But the pictures below should give you a general idea of the fun activities offered. The park also has a ton of water slides in the area and a huge new wave pool nearby. There was a lot to do here and the kids can’t wait to grow a few more inches so they can participate in even more of the attractions!
After the kids were thoroughly worn out from playing in the water (and skipping out on their afternoon naps), we decided to end our outing with a ride on the train. It is located right next to the water park area and takes you on a ride through the water park and around part of the lake. For my little train enthusiasts, it was a must-do activity.
When we finally decided to leave the park, it was almost 5 o’clock. We had been there about 6 hours! Wow. Time flew that day and we didn’t even get to try all that the park had to offer. We are already planning our return trip!
Take exit 31 off I-84 and follow the signs to the park
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- Hours of operation vary by day and all the details can be found here.
- Most days the park opens at 11:00 am and the water park opens at noon.
Pricing (2016 Rates)
- Pricing information can be found here.
- Children ages 3 and under are FREE
- Adult, one-day tickets are $42.99, but you can purchase tickets in advance at a reduced price
- Junior admission (for those under 52″ tall), tickets are $31.49
- Season passes and other deals are also available on their website
- General information can be found here
- $9 per car for a regular space
- $35 for unlimited season pass
- Parking discounts available online
- Locker Rental
- Rental building is located directly across from the locker area and the pricing details can be found here.
- $9 + $4 key deposit for regular lockers
- $13 + $4 key deposit for large lockers
- Stroller Rental
- Rental information can be found here and strollers can be picked up from the Chuckles store right inside the park entrance.
- $9 per day for a single stroller
- $14 per day for a double stroller
- Stroller Friendly: YES. Bring your own stroller or rent one from the Chuckles store located right inside the park entrance.
- Coffee Mug Friendly: YES.
- Baby Changing Station: YES. We visited a few restrooms on our trip and there was a baby changing station in each one. A family restroom is also located in the Kiddie Ride section of the park.
- Parking: Parking is available near the entrance and a fee is charged.
- Food for Sale: YES. There are over 15 venues available at the park.
- Outside Food Allowed: NO. But you can bring in food and beverage items for babies and any person that has a food allergy or other medical need.
- Cash Required: NO. Credit cards are accepted.
- Dress Code: YES. Shirt and shoes are required everywhere except Crocodile Cove water park. Bathing suits are required for the water park area.
- Evening/Weekend Hours: YES!
- Discounts: If you purchase your tickets by June 1, 2015 an $8 discount is available through this link.
Tips and Things to Bring
- Outside food or drink is not allowed in the park (with exception of baby items or food allergies)
- Soda fountains are located throughout the park and unlimited drinks are included with the price of admission
- There are over 15 food venues located in the park. Croc Pot is recommended as the most family-friendly food destination. The venue has indoor and outdoor seating, high chairs, and a variety of food options including organic and gluten free (just ask for the daily menu options for those items).
- Several items are needed for the water park including towels, bathing suits and possibly swim diapers
- Coast Guard Approved flotation devices are required in the wave pool for anyone under 48″ tall. Life jackets are available in bins located near the wave pool area or you can bring your own approved flotation device (we used the Puddle Jumpers)
- You will be outside so bring suntan lotion, hats and sunglasses for protection.
- A nursing station is located near the restrooms in the Kiddie Ride section of the park.
- Each ride at the park has height requirements. Signs are located in front of each ride with all the details and you can find even more information online.
- 4D Vision Gym – A vision training center located in Cromwell, CT where Dr. Juanita Collier, MS, OD and her staff show members how to utilize Vision Therapy to correct visual issues and make learning and playing easier and more fun.
- The Independent Day School – Located on a rural campus in Middlefield, CT this private pre-school, elementary and middle school serves families from over 20 communities.
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