Archive for June 1st, 2011

01 Jun 2011


13 Comments Family, Toddler

Yesterday was our first family trip to an amusement park. Yes, I know. G-man will be four in September and he should have been to Disneyland three times already. But we don’t necessarily feel that way. We are more of the mindset that spending an exorbitant amount of money to take G somewhere before he’s old enough to appreciate it is just plain silly. So yesterday was our first foray into the amusement medium. We chose Knott’s Berry Farm and we went with our very good friends and their fantastic kids.

We bought the tickets on-line a few months ago and they just happened to expire today. Translation: We had to use them by yesterday! It was $99.00 for the three of us and it was well worth it. It was a great day to go. No ride was more than a 5 minute wait and it was a perfect 75 degrees.

I stressed the night before, looking up sites where I could get info on taking a toddler to an amusement park. I like to over-prepare. So in the morning, I packed up G’s Ironman backpack with a full change of clothes (warmer than what he had on), including socks and underwear, a long-sleeved shirt and sweater for me and a jacket for Russ. Oh, and a first aid kit. And three kinds of sunblock. And a hat for G. And tons of hand wipes. And clorox wipes in case anything needed a wipe-down. And tissues. I used about 5% of what I brought. But I COULD HAVE needed all of that stuff. You never know. G did don his sweatshirt for about an hour of the day, much to our dismay. It was quite warm and the train we were on made it even warmer. But he insisted on his sweatshirt on, hood up, and sunglasses. It was very unibomber-ish. Odd, no?

Camp Snoopy has every toddler ride you can think of: planes, race cars, hot air balloons and trains. It took G a little while to warm up. His friends have already been to these types of places and they were ready to go. G chose to watch them on the first couple rides. Then we decided to just go for it and get on the log ride. I was a little nervous because I wasn’t sure how he would react but, as we tend to do as parents, I pretended I was nothing but excited about getting in one of the logs.

Our little guy was NOT happy in the pitch-black tunnel part of the ride, but he loved the rest of it and was clearly full of adrenaline when we got to the bottom of the water slide. And just like that, he was no longer an amusement park newbie. After that came the race cars, the giant merry-go-round, the pricey lunch, lots of walking around, snacks, Icees, lollipops, the hot-air balloon ride, the coal mine ride (this did not go over well. It was mostly pitch black with a loud announcer you couldn’t understand and creepy mannequin-like coal miners. not good. not good at all.), a train around the park that bandits jump on to (G liked this only after one of the bandits gave him several high-fives.), a stagecoach ride, more race cars and hot air balloons, and finally, after eight hours in the park… A fried chicken dinner.

Right around 1:30, smack-dab in the middle of Garrett’s normal nap time, he was ready to pack it in and come home. He could’ve curled into a ball in the middle of the park and gone to sleep. But we knew we had to rally on, and we encouraged him to do so. For the next half hour he kept asking if we could go home but with a little sugar and a lot more rides, he got his second, third, and fourth winds.

G fell asleep about twenty minutes from home, but still insisted on a shower before going to bed. The first thing he said to me this morning, when he woke up at 6:15 even though he partied for 12 hours yesterday and had no nap, was, “I had a really fun time at Knott’s Berry Farm, Mom.” I think that might have been one of the best parts of the whole thing. And we had a damn good time, too.