Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Best Kept Secret Amusement Park... Knoebels

For those of you who have never heard of Knoebels... it is a true hidden gem in Pennsylvannia!  Shhh... don't tell too many folks because it is not super crowded and we want to keep it that way!

During 4th of July weekend, we went there with our three kiddos and even camped.  Yes... with my prego belly and all, I decided to brave the heat and discomfort and just do it for the sake of the kids.  They loved it and had a blast.

So Knoebels is an amusement park that is extremely family oriented.  There are many positive things to say about it but I'll just list a few here...

There is no admission fee!  You only pay per ride and most of the kiddie rides are around $1.  This is a huge money saver because most of the time, my husband and I are not riding any rides anyway.  In fact, this trip my husband and I went on zero rides.  Most other parks, adult tickets cost more than the children tickets.  So paying close to one hundred dollars per adult to just walk around the park and watch the small kiddos ride their small kiddie rides is pretty silly.  Maybe when our kids grow older, we can go on rides again.  Either that or we somehow find a way to take turns going on adult rides by ourselves but how fun is it to go on a rollercoaster alone?  

Next time we go, we need to go to a Weis Market where you can buy a $20 ticket book for $16!  They also have something called Bargain Nights where certain Wednesday and Friday nights, you can go on unlimited rides after 5pm for $7.50 per kid and $10 per adult.  We just bought for our kids and watched them have fun.

There is hardly a wait to get on rides!  At least this was the case for the kiddie rides that my kids went on (ages 5, 3, and just turned 2).  This is a gigantic plus... especially if you compare with Disney where you have to sometimes wait half an hour or longer.  Little kiddies (at least my little kiddies) are impatient and have a very hard time waiting in general.

The park food is great with very reasonable prices.  In fact, they are the 13 time winner of Amusement Today's Golden Ticket Award for Best Food.  I got a tip to try their perogies and hash browns.  $3 per order and very delicious.  They also have very yummy home made ice cream.  In addition to the food being pretty good and reasonable, this park allows you to bring outside food in.  I don't think I've ever been to any other amusement park where you can do that.  They all seem to want you to buy their overpriced food!  Knoebels also has lots of waterfountains where you can bring your own water bottle to fill instead of buying overpriced water bottles that you'd expect at other parks.

They have plenty of rides and even free entertainment.  Currently, the park has 60 rides and my kids love that they have so many little kiddie rides that they can go on by themselves.  Even little E who just turned two was having a blast riding by himself.  While waiting to go to dinner at the Alamo (the one sit-down air conditioned restaurant in the park) we were able to watch some singing/dancing shows.  It was all very entertaining.

The waterpark was great on a hot day.  They charged $4.50/child and $6.50/adult for full day of access to their pool and kiddie splash area.  My kids had a blast.  It was a great way to escape the heat.  In fact, we spent the majority of the day in the water park area and then did the bargain all-you-can-ride after 5pm.  Was a wonderful tiring day...

Camping at the park was icing on top for the kids.  My youngest was probably too young to really enjoy it, but the two older girls had fun sleeping in a tent and doing the whole smores and campfire thing.  Sure, it was hot and noisy... but overall the kids were so tired by the end of the day, they slept through the night.  I loved that we picked a site so close to the bathroom.  However, I did not love that other campers would constantly walk through our site to get to the bathroom.  We'll have to be more strategic next time and camp next to or diagonal to the bathroom or something instead of directly across.  Also... next time, I think we'll go in the fall.  Weather would be cooler then.  So in terms of campgrounds, this is not the nicest we've been to since it is so crowded and loud but it is fairly well kept and walking distance to the park.  We will likely make this a tradition and we'll be back!

Oh... I forgot to mention... parking is free, too!  I love this park.