Sunday, August 31, 2008

Able To Slurp Independently

After Q-ster’s long (well, five day) trip away last week, I wanted a boy & mommy outing this weekend, where we could hang out without being interrupted a hungry baby. After a 3am feeding when said baby was unwilling to return to sleep, I googled a few likely places and picked one that boasted its existence as California’s only horticultural theme park. Right. I didn’t read the website too carefully, but it looked like there were a few rides situated around an original park of unusual “circus” trees, and I figured we could get a couple hours of fun.

Q-ster and packed our sunscreen and water, turned on the tunes, and drove off, waving to SwingDaddy and Buster, who apparently had a happy, if drooly day. The park was quite a bit more elaborate than expected and was priced accordingly. $42 admission for adults! Fortunately, they were running a promotion that converted our day tickets to a season pass, so we can go back for free during the next three months.

The little dude was game for all kinds of things. First, we rode a strawberry.
That led to a more adventurous “hot air balloon.” I didn’t notice that someone (ahem) was playing with my camera and left it among the stuffed animals on his bed, so we only have a few blurry cameraphone shots and the park promotional photos.

Q-ster really wanted to try out the paddleboats, enticed by their duck and swan shapes. I eyed the hour-long line, noted that he’d probably need to use the bathroom before we got to the front and we hadn’t eaten lunch yet, that paddling on a hot day on a lake might not lead to the best of moods for either of us, and was relieved that he was willing to be tempted away by the offer of a cherry ICEE and a ride on a (self-propelled) garden boat instead.

Shortly after, we found the best ride of all. Cars! Q-ster was delighted to “drive” the 1920’s car and we returned to try out the 1950’s side of the attraction. The track was charmingly surrounded by period props (20’s in one direction and 50’s in the other, to match the cars), and it made my heart happy to see my little boy grin and spin the wheel.

Even if our next trip to the park is spent entirely at the car track, it’ll be worth coming back. They have a lot to offer young children, and I was amused to see their complicated chart of who is eligible for which rides.

We enjoyed several rides where the criteria included the ability to “Sit Independently.” Indeed, a place geared for little ones. I thought that was the youngest range of rides, but no, there was also “Able to sit if supported by chaperone.”

When we boarded the garden boat earlier, I noticed a sign that said, “This ride is not intended for infants,” and thought, “well, duh. What rides are?” Later, I found out that they did indeed have rides marked “Infant OK.”

After slurping down a big ol’ soft serve ice cream cone and driving a roadster around the track one more time, we headed for the car, hand in hand.

“Mama, that was fun.”

Yes, it was, my love.


kittenpie said...

We have those kind of cars at Centre Island here - but $42! Wow. I hope you manage to use that a few more times! I keep thinking we should take Pumpkinpie to Centre Island, but this summer has been far too busy. Maybe next year?

Bob said...

That really sound like fun. We were talking about visiting. Is this the same as Bon Fonte?

Bob said...

That really sounds like fun. We were talking about visiting. Is this the same as Bon Fonte? If it is, after Oct. or Nov., there will be no rides and the entrance is half price.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it's the old Bonfante Gardens. I heard the owner "donated" it to the city because it wasn't doing that well financially. There was some controversy about whether taxpayers should cover the delta between ticket sales and operating expenses. Not sure how it turned out in the end, but that's why it's now Gilroy Garden. I've always wanted to go and glad to hear there are infant rides!! Have to see if there are discounts through work...

Fourth B

Mayberry said...

Nice recon mission for the whole family! Glad Q is back home.

Desiree said...

We love Gilroy Garden - we have been going every summer since Andrew was 18 months and there are a surprising number of rides that toddlers can go on.

FYI for next year, if you get a Great America gold pass ($69) you can get into both Great America and Gilroy Gardens for free all season.

wayabetty said...

THAT sounded like a great time! It's been tough to have a one-on-one with each of my 4 kids, but I agree with you that they need that time alone with you. We call it "date day with mommy or daddy".