ryan and i really tried to take advantage of our long holiday weekend for the fourth of july and crammed in as many fun activities as we possibly could. on sunday, we spent the day at knoebels amusement park
. both of us have been to knoebels in the past, but neither of us had been there since we were kids. (i'm really not sure why it took us so long to get back there since it's only about 1 hour 20 minutes away from our house!)
knoebels is so unique because it is america's largest free admission amusement park (with free parking, free admission, free entertainment, and free picnic pavilions). the whole park has such a great classic old-fashioned feel to it, and when you're there you really feel like you're stepping back in time a bit.
we found a great deal on ride tickets by purchasing them in advance the night before at a local grocery store. we spent the entire day at the park and had a blast! we both felt like little kids running around from ride to ride. i didn't lug my big dslr camera around the park with me, but i did snap a bunch of photos on my phone of our day at knoebels . . .
^when we drove up and saw the "welcome to knoebels" sign over the road we both squealed like little kids because we were so excited!^
^the first ride we went on was "flying turns" which was a trackless roller coaster. we absolutely loved it and neither of us have ever seen anything like it at any other amusement park!^
^we rode the scenic chairlift after lunch in order to take some time to digest. the ride is 14 minutes long and the view of the park from the chairlift was great.^
^ryan and i were both excited for the motor boats. i wanted him to drive, but he insisted that i do it. oh my goodness, we were both laughing so hard that we were crying because i was so incredibly bad at it. normally i'm a really good driver, but that boat had a mind of its own! it was all over the place. i felt like i was driving a car that had lost its power steering. good thing that wasn't a test because i would have failed at getting my motor boat ride license for sure!^
^when we decided to go to knoebels the ride i was most excited for was this rocket ship slide because it was my favorite from when i was a kid. i kept telling ryan about it and when we got to it he wasn't sure if he wanted to go on it! he amazes me that he will go on crazy roller coasters but wasn't too sure about this little slide . . . as it turned out, he liked it after all and it was exactly the same as i remembered it from when i was a kid!^
^the old-fashioned train ride was super cute. we both tried to squeeze into a seat together but ultimately decided to each take our own seats because we didn't fit!^
^the italian trapeze swings are always one of my favorites too!^
^another awesome thing about knoebels is that they have several museums in the park which are free, like the carousel museum which had so many animals from the late 1800s and early 1900s. it was so neat to see them up close and how they were in such great condition even for being so old!^
^other than the rocket ship slide, my favorite ride is the grand carousel at knoebels. it is over 100 years old and as the carousel goes around you can try to catch the brass rings if you get a horse on the outside of the carousel. we both sat on the outside and had so much fun reaching for the brass rings. (it is much easier as an adult than i remember it as a kid!) i got 9 and ryan got 8 out of 10.
^we packed sandwiches from home for a picnic lunch and bought dinner at the park. instead of grabbing something at one of the walk-up restaurants, we took a few minutes to rest our feet and enjoy the air conditioning at the alamo which is a sit-down restaurant in the middle of the park from 1926 (the year the park opened). knoebels is known for its award-winning food so we tried several of their signature items off the menu. the food was great and we even had leftovers to take home with us.^
^we digested our dinner before going on any other rides while sitting outside and watching some of the free entertainment.^
^the giant ferris wheel was great and had such a great view of the park^
^another free attraction at knoebels is the bald eagle habitat which is home to two bald eagles who we visited at the end of the night before we headed home.^
we had a great time and definitely can't wait to go back!