Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Storyland in Glen, NH

I swear from the time my older son (OS) was about 6 weeks old, I began to hear about Storyland. Particularly as summer approached, it seemed like many of our friends' summer plans included a trip to Storyland. One woman in my playgroup went so far as to say that she didn't understand why people spent the money to go to Disney World when Storyland was not only closer and cheaper, but better.

Last summer I had just given birth to my younger son (YS) via a c-section so Storyland was out of the picture for us. Originally it was going to be out of the picture for us this summer too due to sheer laziness our busy schedules. However, we have a family reunion at Disney World in the fall, and, since my older son had sort of freaked out at the amusement park at the Jersey Shore Boardwalk this summer, I thought it would be good try a smaller amusement park. We went up for the day. Definitely doable and still enjoyable, but two days would have been better.
Overall, I was really happy with the experience. Basically, it's an amusement park for little kids. Every thing is downscaled so that if you're 3 you can go on anything. Most importantly, parents can accompany the kids on all the rides as well. The other nice thing for spinning ride newbies is that if the children need to get off mid-ride (or presumably adults), all they have to do is point their thumb down and the ride is stopped. The ride operators announced this before starting every spinning ride. Fortunately we didn't have to take advantage of this feature. The park is relatively clean (we did encounter one stinky bathroom), the gift shops are set back so you don't ever have to walk through them, and the food is very reasonable. We paid a $1.50 for a hot dog. You don't feel like they're trying to rip you off.

I am glad that paramedics have a fast response time to Storyland in an emergency, but I am sorry that I got to witness it when a toddler fell off of a bench about 10 feet away from me and landed on his face. Thankfully, other than a giant goose egg, the paramedic said he was alright.

My only real complaint was that I had been told by friends that my younger son could go on the majority of the rides. He's 14 months old. However, he's not walking and the rule is that the kids need to be able to walk for most of the rides. It seemed ironic that a 9 month old who was both younger and smaller than my son was able to go on the spinning whale ride, while my son could not. There were still other things for him to see, including the shows (which we didn't get to see), storybook houses, and a few lower key rides, like driving antique cars. Another consequence of his current lack of mobility is that he was pretty much stroller-bound. The park is cement city, and it was pretty crowded when we went. There was nowhere for him to really crawl around.

I have to admit, I was expecting to feel a Disney-like magic, and I didn't. It is perfect for kids who are old enough to walk but otherwise still pretty young. It's not somewhere I can imagine going with older kids. They would be bored.

Here are a couple of tips to make the trip a little cheaper:
  • You are welcome to bring food into the park

  • If you buy your ticket after 3 pm the day before, you get admission for the rest of that day as well as free admission for the whole next day

  • The American Lung Cancer Association of New Hampshire sells a kids Fun Pass that lets in one kid per paying adult. They have lots of other coupons for NH, MA and other parts of New England. If you're going to go to Storyland and one other place in their extensive list, it's worth it. (My kids were free this year because OS has not yet turned 4, but next year we'll get this.)

  • There are guest appreciation days in May and June where tickets are $19 instead of $23 per person.


Fairly Odd Mother said...

Somehow we missed this place while my oldest was young, and now Miss Daredevil (who is constantly measuring herself to see if she is big enough for 'adult' coasters) would probably shoot me if I took her to Storyland. It is probably really, really cute for the little guys though.

We went to Canobie Lake Park in NH last summer and had a blast. It's really good if you have to 'bridge' the interests of a toddler/young child with an older one.

Mrs Big Dubya said...

Thanks for the review.... we were toying with going this weekend, but I think we are going to hit Sesame Place in PA instead -- but this will be a "for sure" next year.

Mrs. Chicky said...

I have great memories of Storyland from when I was kid... Of course that was thirty years ago so they're a bit fuzzy. Thanks for the review, I think we might bring Chicky up there soon.

pinks & Blues Girls said...

My sister and brothers (and their collective seven children) are going up there in September. I'll have them read this review before they go! Thanks!

Jane, Pinks & Blues Girls

sandy shoes said...

Thanks for this post... I've been curious about that place.

Miguelina. said...

Great timing! We're going soon. Where did you stay?

Pinks & Blues said...

Oh thank you so much for this!! We are heading there the weekend of the 22nd of Sept. And like you, I have been told by everyone "to go"... last year I was pregnant and we didn't get a chance. So now with 3 boys... 3, 2 and 5 months, we figure it's time! I am going to take your advice about the buying after 3pm the day before and then having the admission for the whole next day! Awesome!
Thanks again, I will let you know how our trip went!!
- Audrey
Pinks & Blues

Sarah said...

Great review. We haven't been there yet with the boyz (ages 5, 3 and 2), but we are definitely doing it next year with 2 other families. We have friends who say they WILL NOT be going to Disney until their kids outgrow Storyland!

Alex Elliot said...

We ended up going up and back in the same day. It was fine, but next time I would like to do it in two days. It was completely spur of the moment.