By some incredible stroke of good luck, a PR company working with Lake Compounce – the oldest amusement park in America! It’s historic! And full of charm! And quaint…itude! – found my blog and offered me 4 tickets to take the family and go check it out. Since kids 3 and under are free, I invited along Little Evan’s two best friends (and their mamas). I even talked E into taking a day off of work so we could avoid the weekend crowd – a very wise choice, because we had a GREAT time.
And if you live within a couple hours of Bristol, Connecticut, you’ll want to scroll to the end of this post so you can enter to win your own tickets!
You’ll have to excuse the terrible and/or highly edited photos. I didn’t know what to expect in terms of carrying stuff around all day so I brought the pocket-sized point and shoot instead of the Nikon. Also, the battery died half way through the day. And I was too busy having fun too care.
I was really doubtful that there would be much a 2 year old would enjoy at an amusement park. Maybe the Ferris Wheel (which, actually, was closed) and the trolley and some splashing in the water park (but with temps only in the upper 70′s we skipped getting wet). But the kid section was FULL of cool rides for small people and Little Evan was the bravest little daredevil ever. He even rode the kid-sized roller coaster with E with his hands up! I almost cried watching my kid ride rides by himself – who said he was allowed to be that grown up?! Why is this permitted? Isn’t someone going to yell at me for putting a baby on the motorcycle ride?!
The weather was a little questionable – although after the 100+ days we’ve been having, a high of 78 with the occasional sprinkle felt FANTASTIC – so the park was not even a little bit crowded. We never waited in a single line and the kids were allowed to ride multiple times in a row without getting off.
I think the two most surprising things were that the park was super clean (despite the paper cups at all the free – FREE! – Pepsi fountains, I never saw a single one on the ground) and that the employees were crazy nice. Brainwashed levels of nice. DISNEY NICE. Where Lake Compounce found all those pleasant, polite, toddler-loving teenagers I have no idea, but I can’t even tell you how much nicer it made our day. They were helpful and patient and smiley and didn’t roll their eyes when we dragged a stroller onto the trolley (“Sir, you can put that up here by me in the front, there’s a lot more room”) or when I brought the baby onto the grown-up sized carousel (“Just hold on, it goes kind of fast!”). Maybe management puts Prozac in the free soda or something.
There were also a LOT of places to sit down. Benches, stone walls, chairs, tables, loungers. I had no problem finding a quiet spot to nurse Caroline (three separate times) and never got a single LOOK for doing it. BTW, she was a doll the whole day, taking an afternoon nap in the stroller that gave E and I a chance to take turns on a few of the grown-up roller coasters. I would HIGHLY recommend The Revolution, even for non-roller coaster lovers. It might look scary but my friend Megan pronounced it “just like a baby swing!”
Megan and I also rode the Wildcat, an old-fashioned wooden coaster, and E rode the Zoomerang, which goes upside down and looked sufficiently terrifying. We unfortunately picked the one day all summer the great big huge award winning wooden coaster that goes up the mountain was closed (boo-urns!) but I’ve heard it’s awesome.
But I think the best ride all day was the antique carousel.
Are you jealous of our trip yet? It was a really, really, really good time and I promise no one is paying me to say that. I imagine if it had been hot and crowded and I’d been dragging around a screaming, napless toddler this wouldn’t sound nearly as glowing, but because we picked a semi-rainy weekday and the kids were all on their very best public place behavior it was one of the most fun summer days we’ve ever had.
OK! Here’s where you win a chance at your own set of tickets. They come as a 4-pack and are good for anyone (although remember kids 3 and under are free) so you could bring extra hands to hold your baby while you rode The Revolution. Lake Compounce is located in Bristol, Connecticut, right outside Hartford and minutes from I-84. We spent 5 (FIVE!!) hours at the park and didn’t even do the water stuff, so I would say it’s definitely worth a day trip from most places in the tri-state area.
To win the 4-pack of tickets, simply comment on this post and include the words “I WANT TO GO TO THE LAKE!” I’ll be picking winners from people who use that phrase, so if you’re NOT local and CAN’T make the trip feel free to comment without it. Please be sure to use a real email or link to your blog so I can contact you if you win (although you don’t need a blog to win!). Tickets will be mailed to the winner directly from Smarter Social Media. One entry per person.
I’ll pick a winner on Friday! Giveaway is now closed, and “I want to go to lake!” -er number 17 won: Christa, who lives in Bristol! How convenient! Have a great time!