When I was little, my parents took me to Dutch Wonderland (I don't remember it at all) and I've always heard good things about the park and how it was geared towards kids. I told Ben over the winter that I really wanted to take the girls there this summer so we decided to do a little overnight trip there! We went up on Thursday and headed straight for the park. It's only about 90mins from us but we ran into traffic and it took closer to 2 hours for us to get there. The girls cat-napped some and didn't really fuss in the car.
I had read some reviews online before the trip and all of the suggested heading to the little water park first since it gets more crowded as the day goes on so that's what we did. The water park is small. It has three areas, one for babies/toddlers, one for older toddlers, and one for big kids. The three areas are all connected. It also had two water slides which we didn't do. The girls LOVED running around the water park and had so much fun playing. Noelle especially loved the slide that she could do mostly by herself (she can slide on her own but this one had water running down it so I helped her hold on so she wouldn't fall) and she loved standing under the water that ran off of the jungle gym. Natalie loved running around and trying to catch the streams of water that shot out of the ground. Both girls liked trying to drink the water (ew!) that shot out of the ground and got hit in the face a few times instead!
Noelle (in the pineapple suit)
Natalie (in the seafoam suit)
Daddy & Noelle
Waiting in anticipation of being squirted!
This is where Noelle would stand under the falling water.
We tried to get a family picture with smiles and had to settle with having everyone's face in it.
After an hour at the water park we got dried off, changed, and went to find some lunch. It was HOT when you weren't in the water. The first ride we went on was the merry-go-round. The girls weren't sure about sitting up on the horses but once the ride started they LOVED it! Natalie looked like a merry-go-riding pro with her hands on the post and all smiles! That one was probably their favorite ride we went on.
After the merry-go-round we walked around the park and did a few other rides like the monorail that went around the entire park, rode some of the rides that go around a track, and "drove" a car on the grand prix. We ended the day with looking at some dinosaurs and one more ride on the merry-go-round for Natalie since Noelle fell asleep in the stroller.
Dry, snack in hand, ready to go!
Natalie's waiting for the ride to start.
Natalie thought the cars on the speedway were too loud so she put her fingers in her ears! I've never seen her do this before.
Noelle and I on the Grand Prix ride. I promise she was awake, the sun was just in her eyes.
My favorite dinosaur, the Ankylosaurus.
One was wiped out.
Daddy & Natalie on the merry-go-round one last time.
Trying out the ride at the hotel.
The one ride I really wanted to go on but wasn't able to was a train ride around the park. The train just looked like so much fun! I told Ben that was the first thing we were going to do next time we came. I'm already looking forward to coming back in the next year or two when they're a little older. There were a lot of rides that we could go on with them but there were even more that they could do themselves if they were just a little bit older. Next time will really be fun!
After leaving the park we checked into the hotel and went to the Texas Roadhouse for dinner. The girls were a little wild since they hadn't really had a nap at all but didn't cause too much of a scene. After dinner we headed back to the hotel and put the girls to bed early. Since we were only staying one night I got us a one-room suite so we could put the girls in the bedroom and not have to go to bed at the same time as them!
Check in tomorrow for part 2 of our family trip!