How to have summer fun without a mouse, Matterhorn or mountain of cash.
One of the many challenges of having 8-year-old triplets is their youthful need for constant activity. Thus, my dread of the impending summer breaks from school! A lovely time of the year, I know, but it means I have three kids full of energy—every day, all day—looking for me to entertain them.
When school ends in June, I will receive a list from my kids’ second grade teacher of schoolwork for them to study. Beyond our morning study sessions, I’ll be seeking low-cost ways to entertain my kiddos. We recently went to one of our favorite spots when my friend Deanna came into town for the weekend. Adventure City is a terrific, low-cost amusement park in Anaheim. General admission is $16.95 (infants 12 months and younger are admitted for free), and the senior admission is $11.95 (ages 55 years and up). I didn’t quite make it.
When you pull into the driveway, you’ll find parking right in front of the park, with restrooms and lockers for your convenience. You really can’t beat the price for a full day of fun. All of the activities are included except for the climbing wall and arcade. As you walk into the park, you’ll see a misting tent designed to cool you off on one of Southern California’s many sweltering summer days. My kids couldn’t resist that thing in the middle of a hailstorm. They stay in there until they come out looking like three wet rags.
The park is full of rides that are, in my opinion, perfect for kids 12 and under. They can race off to save the day in various emergency vehicles, ride a rollercoaster that’s not much bigger than my backyard, or hop in an airplane for a circular adventure.
We happened to go just before Easter and had an opportunity to take a picture with the Easter Bunny. My son, Noah, always looks like I’m torturing him when I ask him to smile for family photos. Adventure City recently tore down their larger rollercoaster and I look forward to bringing the kids back to see the new one that will replace it. I hear it will go backwards and loop around, which I hope is true because I love rollercoasters! One of the kids’ favorite rides is the Drop Zone. The name describes the ride perfectly. You raise up high enough to see the whole park and then you are dropped back down to the ground—but not before you are faked out by some partial drops a quarter of the way down, only to be pulled back up till you feel like you are about to kiss the sky. My kids usually ride that thing eight times before I pull them away.
After shaking up my stomach with the Drop Zone, I like to take a calm ride on the miniature train that loops around the park. We wave to the other families as we take in the activities going on around us.
I’m not crazy about the bus that loops up around and around for what seems like a thousand times, but my kids dig it so there ya go!
My kids inevitably sucker me into buying them toys while we are at the park. I don’t mind since I spent so little money on entrance fees. My kids were in Nirvana once they got their hands on those puppets. Hours of entertainment using their imagination without a computer screen—love it!
The concession stand has reasonably priced food. It’s the typical amusement park faire: burgers, fries, pizza, etc. If you have small children, their petting zoo is always a winner. Why does petting farm animals make me want to break out in song? OK, I never said I was cool.
By Karen Fuller Beck