Note: This post was originally published on August 8, 2013.
Like most kids who grew up in New England, my family and I went to Story Land in Glen, N.H. It’s like a childhood rite of passage in our area. My little sister and I rode on tea cups and got our photo taken with Humpty Dumpty and raced around this storybook-themed amusement park.
Yes, an amusement park dedicated to stories. Fairy tales. Nursery rhymes. Mother Goose. You get the idea.
Now before you roll your eyes, let me say this: I’ve taken my kids there 3 out of the last 4 summers, and not only did they have a blast, but most importantly, it wasn’t a stressful experience and neither my husband nor I wanted to dive headfirst into a bottle of vodka by lunchtime like we often do at other kid-geared attractions. We all had fun.
And that, my friends, is a win-win.
Want to know more? Here are my top 10 reasons why we love Story Land:
- It’s clean. That’s the first thing that always strikes me. There’s no litter. The bathrooms are spotless. And there are even special rooms set aside for nursing moms or those with babies that comes complete with a whole wall of changing tables, rocking chair, etc. It made changing Mimi’s diaper a much more pleasant experience.
- It’s geared towards little kids (under the age 8), which means none of the rides are too wild, too scary and you don’t have to worry about your toddler getting bowled over by a group of rowdy teenagers racing over to the roller coaster (and yes, there is a roller coaster that is the perfect amount of wild and crazy for younger kids).
- It’s not overwhelming: you can cover the entire park in a day without feeling you were rushing around or worried that you missed some of the attractions. But I do recommend getting there right for when they open. The lines are nonexistent, and we got to ride the roller coaster three times in a row.
- The food (standard amusement park fare) is reasonably priced (although an additional vegetarian option or two would be lovely).
- There aren’t annoying characters wandering around, peddling merchandise or frightening your shy children. Although poor Mimi was terrified of the iconic (and slightly creepy) Humpty Dumpty statue near the park entrance, a place where tens of thousands of kids have had their photos taken over the years (including yours truly).
- There are plenty of shady spots and areas to sit and relax – perfect in the summer. Plus, you can’t beat the views.
- In addition to the rides, there’s the Storybook animals area, where you can find some of your favorite nursery rhyme friends (lambs, pigs, chickens, ducks, sheep), and the Nursery Rhymes Little Dreamer interactive play area, which is perfect for little ones Mimi’s age who may not be tall enough for most of the rides. And lest we forget Buddy’s favorite attraction: the Loopy Lab, where you can shoot foam balls at each other. He and his friend would have gladly spent the whole day in there. Ahhh, boys.
- Although we’ve never done this, if you buy your ticket during the last three hours of the day, you’ll receive a free pass to come back any other operating day in the current season (it doesn’t have to be the next day). I love that this is an option, since we all know traveling with little kids can be unpredictable.
- There are rarely long, crazy lines (a la Disney), and we’ve been there both on the weekend and during the week.
- Free parking! Plus it’s super easy to get to.
Okay, I’ll admit it, it is a bit hokey. But as my friend J correctly points out, you know as a parent that you only have a limited window of time to visit these types of places with your kids, so now’s the time to take advantage of it.
To that point, I don’t know how much longer Buddy (who turns 7 next month) will be entertained by Story Land. I admit I was a little worried going into this year’s visit, since we spent a week in Disney World this spring, where he went on some pretty intense rides. I thought maybe Story Land wouldn’t hold muster, but thankfully, I was wrong, and he still had a great time. But like my friend said: the clock is ticking. That makes me a little sad.
Planning a trip to Story Land? Here’s something that may help: click here for a coupon and save some serious bucks off regular admission!
I was provided a four-pack of tickets in exchange for a review, but all thoughts and opinions are – as always – my own. I have been coming to Story Land since I was 8 years old, after all …