I’ve always been a big fan of driving trips. My family and I never went on any huge vacations when I was a kid but we did go on different driving trips. When we lived in Chicago, we drove up to Wisconsin on a few different occasions, plus Indianapolis and Detroit. My parents made a vacation out of our move to New York, stopping at various landmarks along the way, and we made a number of trips after we had moved, as well, including a tour of battlefields from the Revolutionary War in Pennsylvania and a longer trip through Virginia to see Civil War sites. We drove up to Maine to see family friends and then to Ohio, after they moved, plus shorter trips to Connecticut, Boston and countless trips to Philadelphia to see my grandparents.
Trudy had gone on a number of trips with her parents through her childhood, as well, and we’ve continued the tradition with our family. When Eitan was three months old, we drove to Mystic, Connecticut, and we’ve explored a few different tourist sites in New Jersey and eastern Long Island. Last summer, we made our first longer driving excursion with Eitan out to Amish Country in western Pennsylvania. We took a horse and buggy ride and ate some “authentic” Amish food, but the highlight of the trip was a stop at Dutch Wonderland.
The thing I loved most about Dutch Wonderland is that the park did a fantastic job of bridging the gap between older and younger kids. A lot of other parks I’ve seen include a section of rides designed for younger kids, but there are usually no more than a few rides and they all follow the same generic formula of a small train going in a circle or a carousel. At Dutch Wonderland, the entire park is designed for families with young kids, which means that all but two or three of the rides – the ones he deemed “too fast” – were perfect for him.
Eitan had a blast. He was a little hesitant about getting on rides by himself, at first, but he warmed up quickly and enjoyed himself immensely. It wasn’t even so bad for me; the rides that had space for adults didn’t commit murder on my knees or my back, although the frog ride (pictured above) made me want to throw up a bit. The bottom line, though, was that Eitan loved all of the rides and other attractions at the park. He even got in his skeeball fix and “milked” a cow, which was particularly funny for us, since Trudy’s parents have a picture of her “milking” the same cow when she was little.1
We’ve already told Eitan that we’re planning on returning to Dutch Wonderland this summer and he can’t wait. He remembered the gems in the mine on the train, the monorail ride and the gigantic slide that he and I rode down on a potato sack. We’re also all looking forward to getting back to Duke’s Lagoon, the sprinkler park and playground where Eitan enjoyed every minute of getting soaked head to toe.2
There’s more for you in this blog post, though, than just seeing how much we loved our visit to the park and looking at the pictures of a smiling Eitan. Since you’re reading this blog, you get access to a discount code for tickets for you and your family to visit Dutch Wonderland, as well! All you have to do is click the link below to be forwarded to the Dutch Wonderland site to get the discounted rate.
Here’s the link:
You can also just type in the promo code SleepingOnTheEdgeBlog16 at checkout.
I hope you’ll be able to make it out to the park because I know you’ll have just as much fun as we did. The code is valid for visits anytime between today and September 2, 2016. Enjoy!
I was not compensated financially for this post, but I did receive free admission to Dutch Wonderland for my family later this summer. The opinions included here are fully my own.
1. For the record, the cow doesn’t look that old. They’ve clearly updated it since she was a kid.↩
2. My apologies for the lack of pictures; I’d been too worried about my phone getting wet. I’ll try to do better during the next trip.↩