Thursday, 3 September 2015

The Fairy Tale Song - Our Trip to Storybook Gardens

Molly and Jack received some birthday money this year and we decided this was a good opportunity to speak to them a bit about buying power and how they wanted to spend the money.  It was decided that the money would be used to go on a couple of family friendly activities together. A few weeks ago we packed up, headed west to London Ontario and had a day at Storybook Gardens.  This southwestern Ontario theme park based on fairy tales is a destination that Chris remembers fondly from his childhood and we thought we'd go and check it out.

The cost to enter the park is $27.00 for a family of 4.  Below are some photos from many of the  activities and sights that are covered in the price of admission.  Storybook Gardens recommends that you plan about 3-5 hours for your visit, depending on the activities you want to enjoy and whether or not you break for lunch.  We stayed for 3.5 hours and that seemed just about right for our four year olds.  There is also an elaborate splash pad in the summer months.

Storybook Gardens, Castle
 The castle entrance to Storybook Gardens.
The Cheshire Cat Wishing Well, Storybook Gardens
 The Cheshire cat wishing well (or if you're my children, the Treasure Cat well).

foam building blocks, storybook gardens
 Giant foam building blocks.

frog prince, storybook gardens
 Molly looks to see if she can turn this frog into a prince, unfortunately this was not a love connection.

Lily pad giant pillow, Storybook Gardens
 The Frog Kings Lilypad (Giant bouncing pillow)  - This was Jack's favourite activity in the entire park.
Pirate's Island, Storybook Gardens
 Pirate's Island features several large play structures and a giant boat to help all of the little pirates in training prepare for life at sea.

The Old Lady's Shoe, Storybook Gardens
Around The Village Square kids can play in the "Old Woman's Shoe" house, a  grocery store, a bank a fire station and more. 

For the "pay to play" activities, ride tickets can be purchased for $2 each or 20 tickets for $28.  Each ride requires one ticket per rider, kids under 24 months can ride appropriate rides for free.  These ticketed activities  include riding the Ferris Wheel, the flying elephants, a carousel, the train and the potato sack slide.  Tickets can also be used towards face painting, which the minions both enjoyed.  Note: the tickets don't expire or you can get ride all day passes for $12 a piece.  We purchased the 20 ticket pack, but could easily have gone ahead with about half as many tickets.

Basic food items like fries, chicken fingers, burgers, sliced veggies and sandwiches available for purchase (although when we were there they ran out of fries and it was an hour wait for those who wanted fries).  We bought our food there which ran under $20 for all four of us, however in the future we will pack our own lunches to save a bit of money.

Storybook Gardens remains open for summer hours until Labour Day Monday and then moves to fall hours.  The kids had a great time and say they want to go again.  If the kids are interested we may go back this winter to take the skating trail through Storybook Valley and visit Humpty Dumpty and some of our other Fairy Tale friends.

The only glitch in our day was that Chris had mentioned that we'd get to visit the Three Little Pigs at Old McDonald's Farm before we arrived.  Unfortunately because of a fire last February the farm animals have been relocated elsewhere.  Molly was pretty annoyed that she didn't get to see the pigs (particularly Practical Pig) or her on again, off again boyfriend The Big Bad Wolf.  I would say that the "sweet spot" age to bring your kids here is about three to six, but younger and older kids (parents included) will still have a great time.

Humpty Dumpty, Storybook Gardens
Assessing the stability of Humpty Dumpty

To read about Molly and The Big Bad Wolf click here.

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