On, what felt like, the hottest day of the year, we decided to invite our friends to join us for a last hurrah at Knott's Berry Farm, in Buena Park, CA. A last hurrah before the first day of school. In Princeton's case, the first day of TK (no preschool for Skyler just yet, we are enjoying having him all to ourselves, just a little longer).
It was hot, it was sweaty, and it was so much fun!
We started our day around 10:30 a.m., and headed straight to Camp Snoopy. If you are unfamiliar with Knott's Berry Farm, Camp Snoopy is a recently remodeled land which features over a dozen kids’ attractions, beautiful scenery, kids’ activities, an interactive show starring Snoopy, and a Peanuts character meet and greet. The best part is, the rides are fun for kids of all ages.
In our group of three boys (and two mommies), we had a 2 year-old, a 4 year-old and a 9 year-old, who all had an amazing time riding the kid rides at Camp Snoopy.
But, first thing first... Snoopy, Charlie Brown and Lucy!
You may be wondering where Skyler went? He had fallen asleep on the drive there, and was in no mood to rub elbows with the likes of the Peanuts crew.
What I really enjoyed about Camp Snoopy at Knott's Berry Farm, is that several rides are KID ONLY rides! My kids, have never been on a ride without at least one parent, and while Skyler is still a bit young for that, Princeton's joy at his newly found sense of independence was written all over his face. Our child swelled with pride as he, a little reluctantly, got on his first ride without me.
He had his buddy Isiah to help calm his nerves, as they boarded the Flying Ace. I eagerly watched our brave little boy from the sidelines.
They loved this airplane ride so much, they rode it twice.
Did I mention that we were there on a Saturday, the weekend before the first day of school, and the lines at Camp Snoopy were never longer than about 8 minutes? The short wait time alone will keep me coming back, that's for sure!
We then boarded the Grand Sierra Railroad train, where the boys got to talk to the train's Engineer and even got special stickers for being inquisitive about the functions of an Engineer vs a Conductor. Added bonus, mommies got to ride this train with the kiddos. The cool breeze on this ride was a a welcome relief from the summer heat.
Next, all three boys and I rode the Balloon Race. Isiah and Princeton rode together again, while I rode with Skyler.
After the fun hot air balloon ride, we walked over to Rocky Mountain Trucking Company, where the boys got to be truck drivers, and I got to join. I'll let their faces do the talking on this one...
Now this next ride was a bit concerning to me because Princeton does NOT like drops. While Pig Pen's Mud Buggies is a ride that does not have drops, the little cars do bounce up and down while they go around like a merry-go-round. But once again, I was witness to our little brave boy growing up. Without fear or hesitation, Princeton and Isiah hopped on the ride sans mommies, and proceeded to giggle, laugh and wave their way through the entire experience.
After hanging out at Camp Snoopy for a while longer, we decided to stop for lunch, before heading to Bigfoot Rapids to cool off. To my amazement, there was plenty of seating and again, virtually no lines at the air-conditioned Grizzly Creek Lodge. Everyone sat and ate their Mac & Cheese, Pizza, Chicken Tenders, Burgers and even Salads. There was even enough room for the boys to play while mommies finished up.
As planned, after lunch, we gathered our squad and made our way to Bigfoot Rapids, with plenty of fun stops along the way.
One of the boy's favorite stops was Old Betsy, a lovely old mining train. We came back to climb here several times throughout the day. Each of the boys got their turn to be the train's Engineer, and us mama's got the photo ops we were hoping for all day.
The kids actually asked us to take pictures of them! Granted, they were in jail, but beggars can't be choosers.
One of my favorite parts of the day was watching the kids petting the resident horses. There was a time when Princeton and Skyler would not come near a large animal, yet here they were, sweetly and calmly petting two different horses. Princeton even did a "sneak pet" of the donkey. To be fair, we did not know that the donkey was not to be touched, and Princeton left with all 10 digits in tact.
I do attribute this new found courage to their friend Isiah, who didn't seem to think twice about it.
When we got to Bigfoot Rapids, we waited in a mostly shaded line. This was probably the longest line of our day, at only 30 minutes. But we made the best of it and had fun while we waited.
I want to bring your attention to something I greatly appreciated. Skyler, was too small to ride Bigfoot Rapids. He didn't meet the hight requirement. So, when it was our turn to ride, Andrea (Isiah's mom), stayed back with Skyler since this was Princeton's first time on a wild water ride, and he needed his mommy because he was a bit nervous.
We all loved the ride and were soaked, as planned. And the best part? When the ride was over, the boys were allowed to stay on the ride, while Andrea and I simply traded places. So they rode Bigfoot Rapids a second time with Andrea!
That's unheard of at amusement parks! I have to say, I completely and truly appreciated the kind and understanding gesture by the Knott's Berry Farm staff.
After Bigfoot Rapids, we rode a few more rides, played in a jail cell, went back to play with Old Betsy, sat with some statues, and even got sent to run an errand for the local shop keeper and inn keeper... you know, since there were no phones back in the old mining days. The kiddos were paid for their errand running services with tiny gold nuggets! Very proud moment for the boys!
Did I mention it was hot?
We made a few more random stops, and made our way out of the park by 5pm.
We rode so many rides, saw and played with so many attractions, met characters without line and even got personal attention from the "locals". All this, and we were done with our day in time for dinner and a bath.
I am beyond impressed with Knott's Berry Farm. I do believe see annual passes in our future!