Buy Tickets

8 Tips for Road Tripping from Cincinnati to Santa Claus, Indiana

By HoliBlogger Courtney S.

Want to go visit Santa Claus? You can – anytime of year!

Just head to Southern Indiana where you’ll find holiday – and Santa Claus-themed fun – everywhere. The best part? Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari  is there at the heart of the town for all your family fun this year. We have been already this Summer – and LOVED it, so I wanted to share some tips for road tripping from Cincinnati to Santa Claus, IN.

Road Tripping from Cincinnati to Santa Claus: Posing at the Front Gate

You’ve got to head down Kentucky and around Louisville to get over to Santa Claus. It can be a quick two-and-a-half hour road trip from Cincy, but all of us from the area know that 71/75 can throw you some curveballs, whether it be construction or accidents. On our way down, the highway was closed about a half hour from Louisville. We had to all be diverted through a small town and then reconnected to the highway a bit farther down. It took us an hour and a half to go 7 miles. Here’s where tip #1 comes into play – DON’T WAIT UNTIL EVERYONE HAS TO PEE TO ACTUALLY STOP! 

I was so glad we took a quick break while traffic had still been moving nicely, even though the family didn’t think they had to go to the bathroom. We were able to empty our bladders and fill our tummies with that pit stop. We would have been in trouble if we had waited even ten more minutes on that part of the road trip! (The trip home was a breeze with traffic, though.) Bonus tip: When you stop, let the little ones RUN and get some energy out before you’re cooped back up in the car again. 

Tip #2: Bring a spare potty if you have small ones out of diapers. The portable potties for potty training work well, and don’t forget toilet paper and disinfectant wipes!

Tip #3: Always have an insulated water bottle for everyone. Keeping water (or whatever drinks) cool, especially in the hot parts of the year, will keep everyone happy and hydrated. Plus, Cincinnati Mom Collective has awesome insulated water bottles that fit great in car cup holders on their Swag Shop!

You may be tempted to overpack, but tip #4: Less can often be more. We always think we need more than we actually do.

Road Tripping from Cincinnati to Santa Claus: Photo with the Water Tower

Tip #5: Give each person their own backpack for a spare change of clothes, toiletries, snacks, and activities. It will make life so much easier than trying to hand out or divvy things up while in movement on the road. While it’s a short road trip to Holiday World, you never know when you might get stuck in traffic or need things on hand quickly without the irritation of rummaging through packed suitcases en route.

Tip #6: Screen time is okay! Yes, it’s a good idea to play all the fun car and I-spy games, but at some point, you’re just going to want some peace. Maybe your vehicle has built-in DVD players, maybe the kids are using tablets… make sure you have a couple options, headphones, headphone splitters, and charging cables and cords just in case.

To go with screen time, remember tip #7: Pack lots of snacks! Now, don’t bring the whole kitchen pantry, but make sure there’s a little bit of variety and there’s enough for everyone to make it in between the main meals while you’re on the road for 2-3 hours at a time.

On the line of snacks… tip #8: Bring trash bags! These can even be plastic grocery bags you want to reuse. You can either give a bigger bag to each row of the car, or each person can get their own small bag to be responsible for throwing their own garbage away. You’ll definitely want these if there are diaper changes. Also, you can use some of these in case someone gets carsick on the way. Keeping the car as clean as possible will save you a lot of irritation/stress after the road trip is over.

There are many road trip mom personalities. Cincinnati Mom Collective contributing writer and local comedian, Kate Mock Elliott, coined a few: The Oprah, The Norma Desmond, The Simon & Garfunkel, and the Rihanna. I think I fall somewhere between the latter two. You can read her article here to see which you are.

Whatever your personality and however you survive your road tripping with your crew, when you finally make it past a stretch of farmland and all of a sudden see roller coasters in the sky, signs for Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, and their own water tower, the road trip will all be worth it!

Plus, if you stop in the Halloween part of the park and pick up a silly hat, like my daughter’s squid hat, the road trip home will be that much more entertaining.

Road Tripping from Cincinnati to Santa Claus: Fun Hat