Thursday, June 7, 2012

What's the Story with Story Land?

Some say the most magical place on Earth is Disney World... I beg to differ. After a weekend at Story Land, Disney's scrawnier and only slightly more homely cousin, I submit the Glen, New Hampshire amusement park for that coveted title.

Catering to the younger set, like my 2 and 1/2-year-old daughter, S, Story Land is a park built on nursery rhymes and fairy tales. Humpty Dumpty greets you at the front gate, an old woman welcomes you into her shoe, and a pumpkin coach carries you to a castle where you can meet Cinderella herself. (The only catch with all of this is facing the woeful reminder that you haven't exposed your children to enough of these classic tales... I think S was hoping Dora was waiting in that castle.)

The rides are perfect for toddlers and preschoolers, and parents can join on almost all of them. And really, isn't getting to relive one's childhood by riding the antique cars one of the best parts about being a parent? (Or maybe I'm just swayed by the giant goofy grin my husband wore all day.)

Anyway, if you're in the New England area and considering a trip to Story Land, I have a few tips to share:

Doubtful expression aside, S loved Story Land in the rain.
1) Make a weekend of it. Story Land offers a deal where you can enter the park in the last 3 hours of the day and return the next day (or any other day of the season) for free. This is especially ideal for the nappers in the group, who can enjoy a couple hours post-nap one day and a few hours pre-nap the next.

2) Bring a stroller or pack. Story Land is surprisingly spread out, and we covered some ground. Since S still often demands requests to be carried by her pregnant mama, a stroller would have been helpful.

3) Hope for rain. Yes, you heard me. We hit Story Land on a cold, rainy weekend and while that sometimes made for a shivering toddler, it wasn't anything a little hot chocolate couldn't fix. The rain meant we practically had the park to ourselves, and I'd take a little drizzle over standing in line with my fidgety daughter any day. S has even less patience than I do.

As we drove away from Story Land, bidding a final farewell to Humpty, S settled into her carseat and promptly passed out for her afternoon nap, which lasted the entire, blissfully quiet drive home--another benefit of visiting a park just one state over.

Take that, Disney.