As part of a recent weekend getaway to south Jersey with the kids, we went to Storybook Land, an amusement park in Egg Harbor Township geared towards small children, ages 1-8. I had never been there and at $22 per person, the tickets seemed a bit expensive. I discovered it in my Kidstuff coupon book and was game to try something new. I’m so glad we went!
After getting over the looming statue of Mother Goose at the entrance, the first thing that struck me was how clean it was. Winding paved pathways made for great wandering and discovery and the entire place is wooded with trees.
The park is full of easy-going rides for little kids, who can go on alone if tall enough, or accompanied by an adult otherwise. My husband and I switched off accompanying each of the girls on the rides, and it was great that there was not a single ride that we couldn’t go on in pairs, or all four of us together. It was the perfect introduction to amusement parks for our kids (ages 3.5 and 2). It was a Monday, not crowded at all, with just enough people to make it enjoyable.
For less intense entertainment, there are stations with storybook vignettes—the house of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, where kids can press a button to hear the dwarves introduce themselves; the Hickory Dickory dock clock, where the kids wait in anticipation for the mouse to go up or down the clock, a tunnel with scenes from Alice in Wonderland painted in glowing paint under blacklights; a climb up a hill where we pretended to fetch a pail of water and “tumble” down the slide. I have to admit some of the older ones are creepy due to their age, but the kids enjoyed them nonetheless.
Since I didn’t think we would be there that long, I hadn’t packed a lunch. There was a nice picnic area with lots of tables, a pleasant contrast to other places that do not allow you to bring in your own food. We bought hotdogs for lunch (and went back for seconds as my husband realized they were the yummy pork variety he loves) and ate in the dining area, which was impeccably clean.
Another nice thing was that almost every ride was operated by a very pleasant older gentleman. It was a park fun of smiling grandpas!
And the utter lack of commercialism was a real plus. Minus one small Walmart sign reminding you to take lots of pictures to preserve your memories, there were no glaring corporate sponsors, no games or arcade to drain your wallet. Nothing to distract from the task at hand—good old fashioned family fun and exploring the thrill of the ride!
Three hours was the suggested time for a visit, and I thought, well if we manage 1 or 2 hours, that will be enough, but we stayed for 4 hours! Needless to say, after walking those 4 hours on their own, both girls passed out before we hit the highway and stayed asleep for the entire ride home (including our frantic search for gas at around Parkway Exit 50). We will definitely go back again!
This is an original post for Jersey Moms Blog by Darla, a New Jersey Mom.
Photo credit given to The Day Trip Site.