Is it just me or is there a ton of pressure these days to take your children to Disneyworld. I feel like it is the new status quo in family vacations. Don't get me wrong, I'm a super fan of Disneyworld; its the magical place I chose to ring in the new year of 2000. (If the world is going to come crashing down, I want to be at Disneyworld). But man, it's expensive. Like really really expensive. And most families I know, are on a tight budget. Am I right? We certainly do not have the money for family airfare, hotels, food and park tickets. It's nuts. I don't want families feeling less than because they can foot the bill for a Disney vacation.
Here in New England we have a hidden gem that will give your kids a magical day on the cheap. I say cheap like it's not as good but this is not second rate by any means. Storyland in Glen, NH has been in business for 60 years. That's awesome. In fact, If you grew up in New England you probably went yourself as a child. I did and I still remember all the awesome times I had there.
We took the girls to Storyland for a day trip. It's a 3 hour drive from Boston. This was kind of pushing the limits. An hour and a half into our trip, I instantly knew I might have made the wrong decision. I looked back at a very quiet 4 year old (not her norm) and she looked utterly green. A few minutes later she was throwing up and I was searching for a place to pull over. Of all days for a kid to get sick, it had to be the day we go to Storyland. 2 extra stops, a few bags of sick and 5 hours later we arrived at our fun destination.
Despite being sick, Coraline and Arya both had a great day and so did the parents. It's an beautiful park that is fun for the entire family, all ages. They had added tons of great things since I was a kid but the old things are still there. It was fun for me to remember riding the Swan Boats with my mom. Here are the things I learned about a trip to Storyland, put this on your family bucket list as a must.
1. Don't do it in one day. Next time this will be a weekend trip for us.
2. If you go to the park after 3pm they give you full day park tickets for the next day. Take advantage.
3. Storyland lets you bring your own food in. There are picnic tables all around the park.
4. Bring swimsuits and a change of clothes. There are a few water rides that will get you soaked and there's a new splash pad.
5. Bring Cash. It's helpful for extras like face painting and shaved ice.
6. Use a stroller. Bring your own or rent from the park.
7. Storyland has lockers that cost a quarter. And they have some near the water rides so you can store your things without getting them wet.
8. Ride the Antique Cars first. Your kids are going to want to do it and since it's near the exit the line is super long at the end of the day.
9. Be aware that the exit is through the gift shop.
10. If you hate sitting in traffic, you might want to leave early. Exiting took a long time.
11. Don't plan to eat out anywhere near the park when you leave at closing.
12. Have a great time.
*Storyland provided us with free tickets for the purpose of review. All opinions on the awesomness of the park are my own.