Has summer felt like a bummer because you haven’t had a vacation? A great summer idea that will feel like a staycation is some theme park fun. Part of the thrill of summer is the thrills. Those coasters, slides, lemonade and funnel cakes that make summer memories linger. Theme parks are a true rite of passage for summer. And you don’t have to jump in a plane or do a ton of planning to get to a good one. Jumping on the thru way and heading to the nearest coaster is a sure way to enjoy a great staycation. Right in our own backyards are some of the best theme parks and resorts. For Western New Yorkers like me, a great staycation spot is Darien Lake located just 6 miles down Route 77 off the NYS thruway.
Some shy away from theme parks because they think it’s only about the rides. While it is true that thrill seekers will get their fill at Darien Lake Theme Park Resort it’s more than rides. It offers a comprehensive family vacation experience including on-site special events, a 20,000 capacity concert venue, four different lodging options, a beautiful water park and of course amazing rides.
On my families’ trip to Darien Lake this summer we had the opportunity to enjoy the on-site special event Kingdom Bound. The annual event which has been happening at Darien Lake for 25 years is a faith based extravaganza offering everything from musical concerts, prayer and praise events and Christian memorabilia. Amazing performances from the likes of Alvin Slaughter, Disciple, the Casting Crows to personalities and speakers like Delia were on hand to entertain the thousands that come down annually for this event.
My little one is in her glory at the theme park. She gets such joy from watching other kids have fun. Although she is just a toddler she was able to get in on the fun too. Darien Lake offers Adventure Isle for young kids and has shows such as Thomas the Train to entertain little ones.
SplashTown is also a great place for all ages. SplashTown features are the Tornado funnel ride, the huge Big Kahuna family raft ride, the ‘Cuda Bay and Swirl City slide towers, the Crocodile Isle wave pool, and Hook’s Lagoon, an interactive water play area for the young kids.
What I didn’t know about Darien Lake is that is a fantastic campground. I have never been a fan of roughing it in the great outdoors. However, with Darien Lake’s new Brown Bear Lodges you can feel like you are camping with the luxury of a flat screen tv, wifi, a beautiful bathroom and even an upstairs loft for the kids. Darien Lake actually offers 1200 sites for RVs and tents as well as the Darien Lake Lodge on the Lake Hotel.
For rollercoaster enthusiasts Darien Lake won’t disappoint. The Ride of Steel is so massive it’s the first thing that you see when you approach the park. Classic rides like the Giant Wheel and Grizzly Run river run raft will also await you.
My daughter simply couldn’t get enough of the Carousel. After her 7th ride she was simply exhausted from a full day of fun. The rest of the family and I got to enjoy a phenomenal light show which illuminated the park and was the end to a perfect summer day.