Try to Say Adventureland without a Smile. Day 24 of My Favorite Things: Adventureland

Day 24 of My Favorite Things: Adventureland

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I dare you to say Adventureland to any person who grew up on Long Island and not get a huge smile and ten stories ranging from begging your parents to go on a weekend to a first date in middle school to an outing with camp/school/college friends during break. Adventureland was pretty much the coolest place on the entire island, well on Earth – in a kids opinion.

I can vividly remember begging my mom to take me to Adventureland. Maybe once a season I would wear her down to comply. It would be the biggest deal. Sometimes you would even bump into your friends from school – with equally worn down looking parents – and you would have someone to ride the rides with you. Either way – once you walked through those gates you were in heaven.  I remember staring at the “big” rides with fear – the Pirate Ship, Gravitron, etc. Then, that first time I tried them I felt so grown up. I remember how the wind felt on my face as I went around and around on the Musik Express as 80s or 90s music blared. It was like a coming of age rite of passage for every suburban kid. But the swings were always my favorite.

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Now, as a parent, living back in the same town where I grew up, I get to share Adventureland with my daughter. As a friend of mine mentioned to me today – it is still fun for us to go – but in a different way. Not so much to go on the rides – which luckily my daughter can ride herself, but the fact that any day you go it is like a mini reunion. Without fail there is always a friend of mine at Adventureland who I get to catch up with as our kids play. I tell you – we all seem to move back here and we all want to take our kids where we wanted to go as kids. I believe they call that nostalgia.

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My daughter’s first experience at Adventureland was exactly a year ago. We had found our house and came out for the inspection. She was such a trooper I wanted to reward her. Buying that unlimited ride bracelet for her was exhilarating! I may have shed tears of joy. I was seven months pregnant so I could not join her on rides but I watched her smile get bigger and bigger as she went round and round.

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Once my daughter’s birthday rolled around I knew the best present anyone could get her was a season pass to Adventureland. To say we have gotten our money’s worth is an understatement. Considering we have been there two days this week alone – and were invited for today and tomorrow as well. It is close, fun, my daughter loves it and it costs me nothing to go. Win, Win, Win, Win! Why have a play date at your house?

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If you travel with a cuddly sidekick – like I roll these days – you will be happy to know there are multiple shady places to sit near each ride. I usually go with my daughter (even for an hour after school – season pass!) let her go on a ride and sit with my son in the shade. But we are talking enough shade that I don’t even have to put suntan lotion on him or me. It’s the small things I value these days…

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Admission to the park is free so I don’t have to pay to just sit there like other parks (yay!). You have the option of buying tickets for the rides – each ride taking 3+ tickets, the POP bracelet (Pay One Price – I don’t know if they still call it POP but I will forever call it POP) – which is unlimited riding for the day, or the season pass – which covers you from March through November. Adventureland also offers a large indoor arcade (skeeball!) as well as a large air conditioned area to eat and for birthday parties. They both sell food and allow you to eat your own food –which many other parks do not allow.

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I love that Adventureland is a place that is not only fun for both me and my daughter but it also brings a smile to my face every time I go. We have our routine – rides from opening until lunch time (about an hour and a half), lunch break in the air conditioning, a grand finale ride, and a graceful exit.

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I like watching my daughter’s eyes widen looking at the Pirate Ship as we leave. She says “Whoa Mama, that ride looks scary. I’m never going on that.” But I know before I know it, I will be holding her hand as we ride it together for her first time.

Thank you Adventureland for being the coolest place in the world for kids (and moms). You have have always been and always will be one of my favorite things!

*GIVEAWAY* Adventureland has offered to give away a family four pack of POP bracelets to one lucky reader!

To win – please post in the comment section below:

You favorite amusement park memory – extra points if it was at Adventureland!

Winner will be chosen Wednesday, September 3rd.

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Here is a little more on Adventureland because as you know – I LOVE learning about the heritage of brands:

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Published by The Mint Chip Mama

Stacey Gish Wallenstein created The Mint Chip Mama blog in 2013 to share her love and passion for giving children meaningful life experiences and helping moms like her navigate the challenges and benefits of raising children in the New York metropolitan area. Before becoming a full-time mom in 2010, Stacey spent the better part of the preceding decade as a high-end customer relationship management (CRM) professional for some of the most well-known brands in the hotel, luxury, fashion, and beauty industries, such as Harrah’s Entertainment, Chanel and Christian Dior, Inc. She managed customer loyalty programs for thousands of clients around the country and created social media strategies for a span of industries including healthcare services, restaurants, consumer packaged goods, specialty foods, local attractions and retail locations. After 13 wonderful years in Manhattan (the last three of which spent as a city mom), Stacey and her husband moved to Long Island in 2014, where they now reside with their three children (10, 6, and 4). There, she is a founding member of her local Parenting Center, which provides classes and coordinates events designed to educate and inform parents while fostering an environment of support and friendship within the community. Stacey is also an active PTA member (and former president) as well as a Girl Scout troop leader. Her musings on motherhood, Manhattan, the suburbs, and more can be found here and on Facebook at The Mint Chip Mama. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Stacey has been active in the New York area alumni organization for nearly twenty years, serving as a board member on the school’s University of Michigan Alumni Club of New York City. She also holds a Masters in Psychology from The New School in New York City. For more updates, follow her on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

8 thoughts on “Try to Say Adventureland without a Smile. Day 24 of My Favorite Things: Adventureland

  1. My fave amusement park memory: the first time I went to 6 flags great adventure by myself in high school! Sadly, I’ve never been to adventureland. But would love to take my kids there!!!

  2. My favorite amusement park memory was a few weeks ago at Adventureland when my 2 year old was finally tall enough to join her big sister on the kiddie carousel, helicopters and NYC race. The excitement and smile on her face brought so much joy for me and my husband.

  3. I don’t have a favorite amusement park because I love them all but my favorite adventureland memory is going there on my senior cut day.We had the most incredible day of celebrating our upcoming graduation. It was pretty empty that day so we basically owned the park. It feels like yesterday, I love that I’ve been able to share my childhood memories with my son at adventureland.

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