There's a little amusement park in New Hampshire, called Storyland, that it seems everyone (around here) takes their kids to at least once in their lives, but to which we hadn't gotten around to going yet.
It's geared for younger kids, and I realized this summer that we'd better go now, before it was too late. I was surprised that M, who had gone when he was about nine with relatives, was happy to go with us, and happy to go on even the tamest of rides.
There were a few more thrilling rides, including the Polar Coaster, and a brand-new wooden roller coaster. It's been a good 20 years since I last rode a roller coaster, and while the Roar-o-Saurus wasn't the wildest roller coaster I've ever been on, it's clear that I've gotten old. My thoughts each time I rode went something like this: "I'm not going to like this. I don't like this. Oh, that's not so bad. Never mind, I don't like this. I really don't like this. Wait a minute, I kind of like this. Yes, I do like this. Let's do it again!" Kind of like having babies.
The park, as you may have guessed, is fairy-tale themed, but is uncorrupted by commercialized versions of those tales and has a quaint, old-world feel to it.
With attractions like the antique German carousel.
And antique car track (the only one we had to wait more than five minutes to ride).
I loved Heidi's grandfather's hut (which just might have been the spark needed for the boys to let me read them that book, which is one of my childhood favorites).
And the Cuckoo Clockenspiel is probably the most beautiful amusement park ride ever, with adelweiss-embossed beer barrels spinning around Maypoles.
When we first arrived, I saw mostly toddlers and little kids, and was afraid I'd missed my chance of getting there before it was too late, but after a while we saw more older kids and teenagers (and possibly some unchaperoned adults).
The low-tech attractions we as entertaining as the wild rides.
(She had so many children, she didn't know what to do...)
We stayed at nearby inn that I'm certain was haunted (with generations of dead mice in the walls, if nothing else) and which had an old-school playground in the backyard.
They had as much fun trying out these novelties--they had never seen a teeter-totter before--as they did at the amusement park.
And considering the injuries Z has already acquired from the school's brand-new playground, I don't think these are any more dangerous.