When your family is craving the action and adventure of a theme park but you don’t want to drive 3 hours or pay an arm and a leg to enter and park, think Adventureland! Located right off the LIE in Farmingdale, Long island, this 51 year old park is chock full of a day’s fun for the family. Once the ferris wheel comes into site from Route 110, you’ll hear yelling from the back seat I’m sure.The park is small enough that you won’t get blisters if you wear flip flops yet large enough that you can spend an entire day there ( however, if going on the rides, wear sneakers).
I recently took my 3 kids and we spent a full 8 hours (and they STILL didn’t want to leave!).
Pay-one-price bracelets are $24.99. I LOVE deals like that because if Mom, or Dad, or Grandma don’t want to go on rides but want to be there for the obligatory wave as the kids ride, they don’t pay. However there are some very cool rides that people of any age will like or will need to take the kids who don’t reach the height requirement on, so I recommend at least 1 adult in the party getting a wristband. Trust me, it’s worth it. You can also buy tickets for the rides.
As soon as we got in, my kids made a mad dash for the lady bug coaster, one of 2 roller coasters. It’s the right size for the 48 inchers and is one of the most popular rides in the park. Right next to it, though, is the larger Hurricane that is a step up from the ladybug. Boy, I remember going on this when I was about 21. It’s THAT old, ha! And as popular as ever. I only had one child brave enough and she absolutely LOVES the Hurricane! No loops or dramatic drops as in the larger theme park chains, but just a classic roller coaster with some nice twists and drops and enough speed to elicit those wonderful roller coaster screams that resonate through the park. Who doesn’t love the sounds of the screams, mixed with the bells and chimes of classic amusement park games and upbeat music? Brings back childhood memories to us and makes them for our children. There’s nothing more fun!
After the roller coasters my kids were thrilled to learn that both my older ones were tall enough for the Adventure Falls, the super popular flume ride with 2 drops and the soaking wet finish that everyone wants, especially on a hot day. We happened to be in the park on an extremely crowded day- one attendant told me he had worked there 3 years and this was the most crowded he had ever seen( luck me!) however, what’s GREAT is , even with that crowd, the longest wait we had was about 20 minutes! Seriously, that is not bad at all right? I’m sure you remember those hour waits with whining kids at larger parks for 90 second rides! So 20 is fine with me, and many were 10-15 minutes or less. IF the line is ling, just walk around and find another ride with a shorter line and come back later.
After Adventure Falls, the little guy(6) wanted to head to “kiddieland” where even the older 2 kids ( 10 and 12) found a few rides to go on. The giant swings are a big hit with kids of all ages( and I mean plenty of Dads and Moms were on that one). Personally they scare the heck out of me, but my wild days are over and I’ll stick to the tamer sort. The 2013 season brings a few NEW attractions, one being Surf’s Up , a DRY ride that riders swing up and down in a circular fashion 27 times( yes, my 6 year old counted!). My kids LOVED this new attraction and went on 3 or 4 times, laughing every second of it.
The younger kids have quite a few choices including the new mini train ride, the classic car and truck rides, mini swings, and Pirate Island, a fun climbing and slide adventure for them to run through. Kiddieland also has the ferris wheel,kiddie helicopters, a carousel( of course) and a few other fun rides for the 2-8 set.Though like I said, even older kids can find a few they’d go on.
My 12 year old loved the bumper cars( what kid doesn’t?). Though Adventureland is geared for kids and families, I noticed quite a few teens there-heading for the coasters, the frisbee ( this one is CRAZY!),the pirate ship, the bumper cars and of course, all the carnival games with those giant stuffed animals, big bats, angry birds and other fun prizes. There’s an indoor arcade too , to take a break from the sun and try your skills.
What I liked, was the many small and large umbrellas to sit under and the strategically placed trees to offer some respite on sunny days, though much of the day will be in the sun so wear a hat or visor and shades in the hot months. There were also quite a few benches and tables to sit at, a welcome spot when your child wants to ride a ride 5 times in a row like mine do!
So, my son dared me to go on the haunted Mansion which I lived to tell. I remember this ride from my youth and it’s still a super popular attraction. If your child doesn’t mind darkness with glowing lights( think monster mini golf but a drop darker), then they will LOVE this ride! I also went on the lovely train ride around the park with the kids. We never miss a good train ride and love to sit back and talk about our rides. there’s some cute fake animals and pirates to see along the way and you’ll pass by most of the rides to see them in action.
Another ride we went on several times was the little dipper, a mini version of Adventure Falls and I do mean mini. But you still manage to get splashed and enjoy that little drop. It’s just big enough for a splash and small enough that you won’t need to change your entire outfit!
I didn’t even mention a few other rides that warrant it. My 6 year old couldn’t get enough of the antique cars. While there’s no gas pedal , there’s the steeering wheel and what kid doesn’t like to feel like he or she is actually in charge of the road? I sit in the backseat and my son narrates and we have a blast. We went on the cars 4 times while waiting for the older 2 who wanted to grab one last ride on lady bug coaster on our way out. It’s a nice way to finish out the day, as we did.
Crocodile Run had quite a line this trip so we skipped it , but last summer , it was the hit of the day, with my kids going on this spinning ride over water where you can get splashed, over and over and over. It’s definitely a highlight on a hot day so don’t miss it.
Also there’s nothing like the fast spinning of the Musik Express-a classic amusement park ride with loud music and that slip- sliding in your seat, hair whipping feel as the ride alternates between fast and fastER! What fun!
There’s a few fun extras around the park too. Bungee bouncing is $5 and ladder climbing is $2 and I saw lines for these attractions all day. Last time we went my son did the bungee and loved flipping and jumping. The staff is very helpful and make it fun for kids. There’s at least 9 carnival games like balloon darts and vertical water race plus Face painting too! We didn’t win when we played but will try again next time. ( there’s a giant angry bird a certain boy is eyeing)
A restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating is in the same building with the arcade and bathrooms, right near all the kiddie rides. We enjoyed the pizza and a little break from the action. Choices include wraps, salads, hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken. Throughout the park there are small food stands with churros, pretzels and ice cream plus there’s another food court area with outdoor tables and a variety of foods and snacks, so you won’t go hungry, that’s for sure!
Parking is free, along the main road, or in their parking lots which extend behind the park. Spots are close enough that if you need to run to the car for a forgotten item, you certainly can.
There’s a gift shop,home made fudge and there was even a band playing when we entered. A bubble machine was spitting out bubbles kids were running through and park mascot Alfie, was high-fiving and posing for pics. Adventureland advised me that they will be adding a new stage and more shows in the future.
All in all, we had a fantastic day. I wasn’t exhausted as I can get at the large parks where I lug a heavy shoulder bag packed with waters , towels and change of clothes for 3 kids. It was exciting and action packed and everything you can want in an amusement park without large entrance fees. The park was clean and I saw plenty of staff walking around to help if needed.
Adventureland offers season passes which really pay for themselves if you go a few times. They also do birthday parties!
Bring sunscreen and maybe a change of clothes or bathing suit if kids plan on going on the water rides. And have a fantastic and fun day!
Adventureland was kind enough to provide us with bracelets for our day at the park free of charge. All opinions expressed are my own and we appreciated the opportunity to provide feedback to TodaysMama readers.