I ventured back to Victorian Gardens on August 6th and fell in love with it all over again. My brother John, an executive at the Harry Fox Agency and my seven-and-a-half year old nephew, Frank (a second grade student at The Success School in Brooklyn) joined me once more. Yes, Frank did every ride and I did just about every one of them with him. I looked a little foolish being age 55 and boppin’ up and down in a blue frog on the Jump Around ride. I have to say that this ride packs a lot more punch than it looks like and riders never know when the frog they are riding in are suddenly going to jump up or down!
The only new attraction this year is The Convoy, featuring large, colorful adorable trucks that go on the same track previously occupied by a cute train in the past. Boys between three and eight years old particularly love this attraction and they lined up in droves on the Saturday I was there!
Among the dozen or so rides at Victorian Gardens, I think my favorites are the Aeromax because it simulates really being in flight and the Family Swing because it is based on an American classic that goes back to Coney Island’s early days. The Rainbow Wheel is a classic if not very large ferris wheel that gives you a great view of Central Park and the Magic Bikes are based on an early 20th Century French amusement park ride that uses people power to make the bikes go up and down in the air.
There are the same great games this summer although they are up to $4 each now (just as the rides are $4 each if you do not buy a ride-for-one-price wristband). My favorite is still Whac-A-Mole, and the odds of winning a prize is greater at the Victorian Gardens games than at any area amusement park. All the prizes are high quality plush toys! I also love Rising Water, where anyone with a steady hand when it comes to squirting a water gun can win an adorable large whale or dolphin plush toy!
If you get hungry at Victorian Gardens, you can go inside the “club house” and have a fabulous homemade crepe filled with Nutella and banana or strawberries for only $6.50 and each one is made slowly and carefully before your eyes. Nearby is a fabulous array of homemade ice cream. Delicious lunch items like hand battered chicken fingers and taco salad cost about $12 each.
On this visit to Victorian Gardens, I spotted two birthday parties in action–one outdoor at their picnic tables and one inside their special white tent that looks like a “bounce house”–for $50 on weekends, each guest gets park wristbands, food and party favors and parents get in free. There is a minimum of 15 kids necessary for this pricing. For more info on parties or the park in general , go to http://victoriangardensnyc.com or call 212-982-2229. The park is generally open until mid-September, so you still have time to go if you have not made it there yet!
One big secret about Victorian gardens: if you speak to the ride attendants (who are all so super nice), they will let you “repeat ride,” especially when the park is not crowded! I just love that!