Fun In The Sun, Summer 2015

I love Central Park in the summer time! The scenery, the people, and all the wonderful things to do. Wollman Skating Rink becomes Victorian Gardens just before Memorial Say and stays open till well into September.

Victorian Gardens might just be the cleanest amusement park you have ever seen and rides are geared to the four to eleven-year-old crowd. Only one ride (the fun helicopter ride that you have to pedal) has a height requirement of 48″ or over–but if a child is shorter than that, they can go on it accompanied by an adult.

Wristbands for unlimited rides on weekends is $26 per day and it’s only $9 to enter for non riders. (Children under 36″ inches tall enter the park for free with a paid adult.) The snack area that exists when the area is when Wollman Skating Rink is still there while Victorian Gardens is in session–but there are special summery eats like waffle cones and ice cream floats. There are great wraps, salads and brisket sandwiches at the sandwich bar for about $7.50. An eight-ounce fresh smoothie is $5.50 and I thoroughly enjoyed the mango flavor!

Victorian Gardens pays tribute to the great American amusement parks of yesterday and today with their attractions. There are about 13 rides including the legendary Family Swinger much like the classic ones found at Coney Island and the late, great Palisades Park (although they are on a smaller scale for kids). There are boats that go around in a circle of blue water, frogs that go up and down in a bumpy motion, and planes that you get to lie down on while they spin around in the air. My six-year-old nephew Frank declared, “I could LIVE on this ride!”

There are only three games of chance, and while they cost $4 per person to play, the odds are outrageously good at winning a decent sized plush toy animal. There is the classic Squirt The Clown (which usually has a few players so odds of being the winner are 1 in 4, and parents can help kids squeeze the trigger), Grab A Duck (where the numbers on three ducks the winner chooses are tallied up for a small, medium, large or XL plush toy) and Whac-A-Mole where contestants have to hit an antsy mole on the head with a mallet and win a plush toy that appeared to be a fox.

The polo-shirted staff is so helpful and often lets guests do multiple “trips” on one ride if it is not crowded. For more info, of to www.victoriangardensnyc.com for hours and dates. It’s a fantastic place for birthdays as well and their event planners know all the ins and outs of a great party!

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