Last week our kiddos experienced a staple experience of Pittsburgh children…
A trip to Kennywood Amusement Park.
Although now in their late teens, my three oldest kids hadn’t experienced Kennywood Amusement Park firsthand (with the exception of a visit when Grace was a toddler.) We have always been loyal Idlewild enthusiast, taking advantage of their annual “Carload Days” that allows our family to visit once each summer for a fraction of the cost of typical amusement park tickets. At a cost of $45 a ticket for a day at Kennywood we’d never felt that the park justified the cost, but when Toby’s coworker invited us to take advantage of discounted tickets through his wife’s place of employment we decided to take him up on his offer and give the kids their first taste of Kennywood fun.
Since Brandon was staying with us we invited him to join in the fun.
Brandon and Ozzie were the only ones who had visited the park before, both of them with previous foster families, so they eagerly let the kids know what to expect and what rides they could look forward to.
We arrived as the park opened, taking advantage of the low crowds at the start of the day to ride some of the bigger thrill rides and roller coasters.
In our group we have a wide range of likes and dislikes in regards to amusement park rides. We have some that will ride anything. Others that prefer spinning rides but hate anything that drops from a high height. Then there are those who love roller coasters but get sick on rides that spin. The nice thing about this park was that there truly was something (many somethings) for everyone.
As the lines began to grow longer for the roller coasters, we moved on to some of the smaller rides and had fun riding as a family on rides that appealed to everyone.
Around noon we met up with Toby’s friend, Fernando, and his wife and daughter for lunch. Included in the cost of our discounted tickets was a catered lunch compliments of the University of Pittsburgh (Anastasia’s place of employment.)
We enjoyed a delicious buffet of BBQ pulled pork, chicken, hot dogs, coleslaw, rolls, watermelon and salad. It all tasted delicious and it was so nice to sit and rest in the shade of the trees while filling our bellies.
Then it was off to more rides!
Following lunch we chose some of the tamer rides and attractions to ease our stomachs back into ride mode.
It was a hot day and by afternoon we were all feeling a little wilted. We found ourselves near the Pittsburgh Plunge, a water ride that sends off a huge wave of water that soak spectators standing too close.
Some of us took advantage of the next wave, cooling off a bit as we waited for the 5 braver members of our crew who chose to climb aboard Black Widow to cool down by soaring through the sky on that spinning, swirling thrill ride.
As dinner time neared the sky began to darken. I settled down at a covered table to wait while the rest of the family got in line for The Exterminator. That turned out to be the best decision of the day. The sky soon opened and crowds of people, including my family, made a run for the covered tables where we all were trapped for the next 90 minutes while the sky provided a brilliant light display and the clouds dumped buckets of water.
I was grateful we nabbed a table before the crowds descended. The kids kept themselves entertained with coin spinning challenges as we crowded around the table.
Soon the worst of the storm had passed, though the rain continued, so the kids moved out from under shelter to play in the puddles and create their own fun since rides were all shut down due to weather.
We waited, hoping that the rain would soon pass, rides would reopen, and as a result of patiently waiting out the weather, lines would be considerably shorter once they did reopen. Instead, an announcement was made that the park would be closing due to weather. After the initial groans of disappointment we realized that what might appear to be bad news was in fact great news because with the early closing came “rain checks” issued to each guest to return for free another day…
Which meant for the cost of our discounted tickets we would be getting almost 2 full days of fun instead of one. It was decided that we would return again for Tyler’s 12th birthday in August with Brandon joining us for another round of Kennywood fun!
It is true what they say…
Every cloud DOES have a silver lining!!