August 30, 2010

A Weekend of Amusement

Ok, here's the post about this past weekend that I've been alluding to for a few days.

I was convinced by K.C. to take Friday off from work so we (with Lilly of course) could get in some end of summer amusement park fun. Sounded good to me, so that's what we did.

First stop was to be Hersheypark, in (of course) Hershey, PA. Well...actually the first stop was to the post office, so K.C. could mail some of her orders, to Giant Supermarket to pick up discounted park tickets, and then to the Wawa to get gas. Okay, errands done, off to Hersheypark!
"Dad, stop pumping gas - I want to go!"

We arrived in Hershey around 11AM, parked the car, and did a quick tour of the park just to get our bearings. K.C. & I had visited Hersheypark a few years ago, but we really didn't remember it all that well.

I think Lilly was a little overwhelmed at first (which is odd, because she's been to amusement parks before - even Disney World) but settled in after a ride on the carousel.

After a few more rides, we stopped for lunch over at the Hatfield Grill in Pioneer Frontier. The only reason why I specifically mention this is that it's kinda hidden in a corner of the park that didn't seem to get much traffic. It was a nice find.

The rest of the afternoon was kind of a blur, watching Lilly go on ride after ride after ride. We did make a quick stop in ZooAmerica, but Lilly got bored by the animals pretty quickly, and wanted to go on more rides!

Monorail, Trailblazer, Convoy, you name it...she even went on her first "grown-up" roller coaster, The Comet, but (and she won't admit it) I think it scared her. She kept saying her tummy felt funny, but at least she didn't cry. What a trooper, give her a year or two and she'll be on the SooperDooperLooper!

Exhausted, we packed it in around 7PM, checked into the Days Inn on Chocolate Avenue (which in terms of location couldn't have been better - would recommend it), for a quick rest before we went out to dinner. We went to this retro diner in nearby Hummelsville called the Soda Jerk Diner.

For what it was, it was great - clean - good service - good diner food. After that, it was back to the hotel and time for bed!

The next day, we woke up, grabbed some breakfast in the lobby of the hotel, hopped back in the car and headed over to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire. This one might have been a stretch for a 4-year old, but we decided to give it a shot anyway. Lilly is in a "princess phase" and said she wanted to go.

When we got there, we found out it was also "Pyrate Weekend," so not only were we transported back in time to the time of knights and castles, but evidently pirates were invading "the Shire" as well. I was personally shocked by how many visitors (non-employees) showed up wearing extremely authentic looking medieval costumes; where do folks buy this stuff?
God Save the Queen
Well...Lilly wasn't really feeling the Faire. She's got this phobia of "characters" coming up and trying to talk to her. Even somewhere as mild as Chuck E. Cheese, Lilly runs the other way when she sees that mouse mascot coming her way. Needless to say, she wasn't too thrilled when peasants or gypsies came over to say 'hi' with odd sounding accents. To their credit, they were all great and extremely friendly.

Lilly did seem to enjoy the shows. We watched a trained dog show as well as a joust. She was really into both of them; laughing at the dogs and cheering on her knight.

The Hippogriff ride might have been the highlight of her day.

In the end, I think we were all a little tired from the previous day, so we packed it in a little early and left around 4PM.  It may have been tiring, but it was definitely a fun weekend. Lilly has already said she wants to go back to Hersheypark...the Renaissance Faire...well, maybe when she's a bit older.

Here are some other random pictures from the trip:
The Chocolate Factory
Some BIG carp in the Hersheypark waters!
(As seen from above riding the ski-lift)
Lilly petting Blockhead - yes, that was the dog's name


  1. Outstanding writeup...we've been talking about taking the kids down there, my wife and I were there years ago (when they opened the wood coaster) but not in our "with kids" time together...looks like it was a great time!!

  2. What a fun weekend for Lilly & the adults. I've been to several Renaissance Faire's in the past and they are fun, fun, fun. Hersheypark, what fun. We lost the Hershey Chocolate Factory in Oakdale a couple of years ago. Good thing we can still get chocolate at the store. Would be major withdrawls for some of us.


  3. Sure looks like it was an awesome weekend. We all need those once in awhile.

    Whitetail Woods Blog / Muzzleloader Shooting

  4. Great pics and write up. My old stomping grounds. I worked at Hersheypark, making pizzas in Minetown as a 2nd job over the summers in my college years, circa 1980-82.

    BTW - (I should have told you this before you went) - Spring Creek - the one flowing through the park and full of carp - is a spring fed limestoner. In the Zoo area, if you spend some time looking at the right areas (below the falls, on the shady current seams) there are some BIG brown trout in those waters!

    Looks like a great time was had by all

  5. Blogwalking here.. very nice place to visit.. Peace and thanks :)

  6. Funner than my weekend. Give Lilly a year or two and she'll be wondering why you haven't gone to the Ren Fair again. I was actually the best man at a Ren Fair wedding. Had a blast and received a real sword as my gift.

  7. @ Dennis - It's worth the trip. The park is great, much bigger than I thought. Definitely a 2 day trip - waterpark one day, rides the next - if you and your family do make the plunge.

    @ Shoreman - I'm a chocoholic myself. Not afraid to admit it.

    @ Rick - Agreed. Have been very fortunate to be able to do a lot with the family this summer.

    @ Wolfy - I was shocked by those carp. I'd try sneaking my tenkara rod in past security, but I don't think it could handle one of those bruisers!

    @ Zona - Welcome to the blog, thanks for the kind words and stopping by.

    @ Casey - I knew if any of my readers would have something to say about the Faire, it would be you. A sword as a best man gift...that's pretty wild. So can you answer my question - where do you buy those clothes?

  8. I've been there with my family.
    A great vacation spot.

    You did a great job with you post...

    Hersey's is a riot! (and delicious too!)

  9. WTF if that clown / jester tried to talk to me, I would have punched him in the damn neck and run off, and I am a grown ass man!

    PS Even though we live <2 hours from Hershey, we've been only once in the 12 years since we moved to MD. We need to return....and of course hit Dutch Wonderland while we're at it.