We took the boys to Idlewild at the beginning of the month; it was their first trip there and it was definitely a hit for both of them! When we got there, the only thing open was Storybook Forest; this might be mean of me to say, because I know Idlewild is one of those treasures of the Pittsburgh area, but I kind of thought Storybook Forest was lame. Don't get me wrong...some cute stuff, but everything just looked run down, Jake was complaining that it smelled (even though I was shushing him to stop saying this in his extra-loud voice, I was thinking the same thing...it smelled musty. I wouldn't be surprised if there were animals living in some of those structures) Anyway, here are a few obligatory pics of that section:
Moving on! Next, we went to the Jumpin' Jungle section, which ended up being a hit. The next day, I asked the boys what their favorite part of the trip was, and they both responded "the ball pit!" So, there you have it. We drove an hour and a half, and paid admission for my kids to enjoy a large pit of germs.
Once we drug them out of that
So, not Jake's favorite ride, but he survived. Brian, on the other hand, walked off the ride and looked green. Literally, green. He then requested that we avoid spinny rides the rest of the day. Getting old is hard. We rode a few more rides with the kids, then headed over to the kiddie area where they could go by themselves so that Brian's stomach could recover. (Confession-I also got a little icky after the spinny ride, but did not turn green....we are getting so old)
|looking a little fearful on the hot air balloons|
See that boat in the last picture? Let me tell you, that might have the been slowest-loading ride EVER. And of course, the line was directly in the sun...this was around 2pm, so it was brutal. We were in line, and I said to Brian that we would let the kids ride that one, then go find a table in the shade and buy them a snack, then assess what we were going to do. Liam normally naps around 2-2.5 hours per day, starting around 1pm. He had napped for about 45 minutes in the car at 9am, so he was probably getting tired...we knew this would most likely happen and figured we'd stay as long as we could, then call it a day. Like I said, it was very hot out that day and it takes a lot out of you standing in the heat!
So we let them ride the boats, bought everyone some ice cream, and found some shade. It was like a miraculous recovery after that ice cream! I asked Liam if he wanted to take a nap in his stroller or go to the car and go to sleep; he immediately stood up and started to run away, yelling behind him "NO! No nap! I ride more rides! Let's go!" Well, that answers that question. Sugar 'em up, and let's go!
So, these little ones forged ahead...we ended up not leaving there until after 6pm. Very impressive. At one point, Liam wanted to ride the kiddie Ferris Wheel and Jake didn't want to....so Liam just marched right on in it all by himself & rode it 3 times while Brian took Jake to the bumper cars. No fear, that little one!
Aside from the ball pit, their favorite ride was definitely the turtle...it was about as close to a roller coaster that Liam could get since it kind of goes up and down little slopes (Liam was begging to ride a real roller coaster, as well as the log flume, but he wasn't tall enough for either of those)
|Look at his little hands up in the air|
And what's a trip to an amusement park without face painting? Introducing....Spider-Jake!!
|Stand back! I will web you!|
We had a great time, it's definitely somewhere I'd recommend to other families. Liam was free admission, and I purchased discounted tickets at Giant Eagle on our way there that morning for the rest of us.
It also served as a little tiny preview of what Disney might be like for us in a few months, and gave me some good lessons:
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Pretty much any time we were standing in line, I was forcing everyone to take a sip of water. I'm hopeful that maybe it won't be quite as hot in Disney, or at least not that humid (it was terribly humid that day, and about 92 degrees)...but still. We'll need to bring lots of water. And sunscreen.
- Liam has no fear of any rides. If anything, we will need someone to act as a bouncer at Disney to keep him from marching right onto the Tower of Terror.
- If people get cranky at Disney, stop and feed them ice cream.
- I've already ordered a double stroller to rent while we're in Disney, but I was still kind of going back and forth with myself about whether or not we'd actually need it (for Jake). Our experience at Idlewild ended that debate with myself; Jake and Liam were fighting over the stroller by mid-afternoon. I'm definitely keeping the reservation, I think we'll need it!
- Brian will not be riding the Tea Cups after his poor performance on the Spider ride. Dumbo is questionable.