Saturday, August 2, 2008

Adventure Park USA

I've seen Adventure Park USA from my drives along Interstate 70, which goes from Baltimore to Chicago (and beyond, but we stop there :). Just before you hit Frederick, Maryland you can see a roller coaster from the freeway and I've always wanted to give it a shot.

My husband spent the last half of last week at Boy Scout Camp, so I thought I'd kill an evening giving it a try. It was way too hot to do it during the day. My sister and her two little girls came along.

When we pulled up my kids freaked out - very old west flavor and you can see a couple kiddie rides and the roller coaster from the parking lot. When we got inside it was all I could do to keep them with me because you could see a huge ropes course, a Chuckee Cheese type game area and a massive climber toy (also reminiscent of Chuckee Cheese). Here is the thing: you pay PER THING. It's not particularly cheap - so I decided to get a pass for $12 that I thought would include pretty much everything we'd want to do.

We went outside and there was NO ONE there. No workers, no other people, nobody. I had to wander around and FIND a teenager worker to hook us up with the rather small carosel. Then I made her follow us to the little helicopters. The teacups were broken (DARN IT, the kids would've ridden that one a lot). Here is the thing: all around are huge and fun things that are super fun but also super expensive and not included in my pass. Bumper boats, the roller coaster, go carts, etc etc. So my 5 year old was having crabby time about all the things he wanted to do and couldn't - and my 8 year old was ticked about the roller coaster being not an option either (FOUR DOLLARS a ride people!!)

But we dragged them inside and jumped in the single moonbounce ($1.5 a ride without the pass). They liked jumping but the thing was in the corner of the game room and it was SO DARK inside there!! And since all the car driving arcade games were right there, Preston lasted about two minutes and spent the rest of his time pretending to be a race car driver. Xavier really wanted the ropes course, also not included. They did enjoy the huge climbing thing and played in there for a long time.

I kept adding in my head how much we'd done and we STILL hadn't even hit the $12 mark - so I took the three big kids outside for some mini golf. The sun was setting and lovely and they were playing nicely (if not by any sorts of rules...). Then Preston came out with my sister because he'd peed himself. Good times. Luckily, his actual shorts were mostly dry so I took him and my younger niece on the carousel again (after finding a worker, AGAIN). Then we wandered around the nearly empty mini golf course as the big kids finished.

Since I actually ended up having $4 on my "card" (like a Dave and Busters type card, that's how you go on the rides unless you have a pass wristband) since I'd used some gift cards I won at the silent auction to pay for this event. I told Sheely she could use the extra to take a ride on the rollercoaster. After finding a worker the guy told me there was no money on the card. AAARRGGG!! I had to go BACK up to the front and make the teenager fix the problem and go find ANOTHER worker to get her on the dang ride. She did really like it though, so that was something.

After some more moonbounce and climber toy, we called it a night. We did kill two hours and I think the kids did have fun. I may have had one mommy tantrum at my 5 year old because of all his whining about what he COULDN'T do. Maybe I raised my arms and said, rather loud, FINE, then we'll NEVER COME BACK HERE!!! I felt a tiny bit bad about that but it did do the job and he canned it for the rest of the night and found the bright side.

All in all - if you've got big kids and more cash than me to spend on this sort of thing, it's probably worth trying. The go-cart tracks looked fun, and so did the bumper boats. I also saw paintball. The rollercoaster does look fun. I think they have a pass for adults where you can do all that stuff all day - which might be worth looking into. For me, though, until my kids are bigger, I don't think we'll be back.

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