Last week, my sister-in-law and I took my 5-year old son, 6-year old and 8-year old daughters to Waldameer Park and Water World in Erie, Pennsylvania. I was a little leary about doing so because my oldest and youngest do not like the “scary fast” rides while my middle child thinks the “baby” rides are too boring. My son is just at 42 inches, so we were worried that there would be many times when he would be left out while the other kids were riding rides. You can imagine my surprise when I found that the only ride he could NOT ride was the Scrambler. We started out in the water park where we all had a great time on inner tubes riding the “Lazy River.” it’s a big windy trail of water where you coast on innertubes, sometimes going under waterfalls and squirters, but those are optional and avoidable, of course. The kids had a great time pushing each other under the falls while my sister-in-law Kris and I lazed about keeping an eye on them while being lulled by the gentle flow of water.
You would have thought it was Christmas. There was a very large water slide which my children eyed. Kris and I were very worried that they would be disappointed upon finding out that they were all too small to ride, but they were able to! Kris took them up the slide while I waited at the bottom to make sure they all came down okay. It was a very windy slide and I was afraid the children would panic upon getting to the top but then the splashes came and there were the kids! They were so excited to ride a “grown up slide.” After the slide and the river, us grown-ups wanted to work on our tans. There was a perfect enclosed kiddie pool about 1 foot deep with lifeguards manning every station. We sat on lounge chairs and could see the children the whole time. There was no rough-housing by the older kids because there were signs posted that it was for small children and their parents only.
We spent two hours in the water park, enjoying every minute when we decided to see what the park had to offer. We changed our clothes and meandered onward. I walked to the van and got drinks for everyone. The park has picnic areas and you are actually permitted to bring your own food and drinks inside the park, unlike so many that require you to buy their food only. The parking lot was big and open yet it was very close to the park. You did not need a shuttle to transport you from the parking lot to the amusement park.
After everyone was fed and watered, we all rode the Merry-Go-Round. What park does not have one of them? After that, we were all able to ride the Bumper Cars, Sky Ride, Paratroopers, and Tilt-A-Whirl. The kids did ride a few of the rides for children only, but I did notice that every child ride had the capacity to let an adult ride as well, in case the children were afraid to ride. I think that is a great way to break the children in without being scared. There were kid “Semi Trucks,” boats, horse and buggies (mechanical), and even a children’s roller coaster that we all enjoyed! It was fast but did not have a steep incline. There were so many rides that we all were able to ride. There was a haunted house made for children and adults, however my children were a little scared. They acted like typical kids when they got out commenting on how scary it was but also that they will try it again next year.
When we looked at the time on the way out of the park it was hard to believe we had spent 8 hours there, it felt like such little time. We had not eaten dinner yet but it wasn’t hard to find a restaurant. There were Arby’s, McDonalds, and Burger King within a mile of Waldameer in various directions and there was also camping for out-of-towners on Presque Isle Peninsula, where Waldameer is located. It was a really great time for all of us and cannot wait to return next year. It was a perfect mini-vacation for August, right before school starts up again.
You can check out their website at www.waldameer.com. Their prices are 18.95 for the whole day for both parks for 42 inches and above. Their other prices and group rates are listed on their website.