We spent the 4th of July at "Dutch Wonderland" in Lancaster, PA. Some wonderful friends of ours had extra passes and invited us along.
Now, I have never been a theme park kind of person. I can't usually stand the crowds, noise and heat. But this place is great. All the rides are geared to kids under 8, there is no annoying carnival music being blared out of every ride (at the same time) and there is a Kosher food concession on the premises.
And everyone who works there says, "Have a Dutch Wonderful Day!" How can you beat that?
Many of the rides are so small and tame that KosherCop and his friend were able to go on alone. And the ones that needed an adult were completely enjoyable despite my aversion to rides. There was only one that I didn't want to go on - the log flume - and that was pretty much only because we had been there all day and the fine drizzle that had been completely tolerable for the first 6 hours, had changed to actual rain. But our friends were kind enough to take KosherCop on with them one last time before we left.
The only ride KosherCop really didn't like was the "Fun Slide." This is a really, really, really tall slide that you have to ride down in a burlap sack. I couldn't bring myself to go up this thing - I had just discovered earlier on the "Sky Ride" cable cars that I can add "fear of heights" to my growing list of previously unknown phobias. But KosherCop was tall enough to slide alone and insistent that he wanted to go on, so off he went. I watched as my little boy carried his giant burlap sack up this very tall narrow set of aluminum steps, while I repeatedly pestered the ride attendant to make sure someone really was at the top to help him get into the sack and make sure he didn't fall down the slide.
I watched as he got into the sack (actually, sort of seated on it with his feet wrapped in the bottom of it) - with the help of an attendant at the top. I watched as he looked around not sure what to do. I watched as he saw the people next to him start themselves off and figure out how to get himself going with his hands. And then I watched as a look of sheer terror crossed my son's face as he flew down this ridiculously tall slide.
He got to the bottom just in time for relief to replace what would have been tears in another second, and then he almost collided with the person on the next slide over as he tried to extricate himself from the sack.
I felt absolutely horrible for letting him go alone and swore I would go with him next time if he wanted to go again. When he came out of the exit I asked him if he had fun and looking shellshocked, he said, "Yes. But I won't be doing that again!" Oh, such a brave sensible boy my KosherCop is!
It also turned out that KosherCook had been there as a kid. His mother told him this just before we went and as we walked around he started recognizing bits here and there - from almost 40 years ago.
Anyway, it was a completely lovely day, not in small part due to the wonderful company of our friends. When it was finally time to go home, KosherCop passed out 3 seconds after we got into the car. We drove back to Maryland in the rain and fog, hoping that the fireworks might be postponed due to weather so maybe we could catch them the next night. To our delight, as we drove East on Interstate 83, fireworks began exploding on either side of us the whole way back. Not only didn't we miss them, but we got to see a dozen more displays than we would have seen back home.
Happy Birthday USA!