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Santa's Land Fun Park And Zoo

571 Wolfetown Rd, Cherokee, North Carolina

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Visited: September 2013 | Submitted: Oct 6, 2013 | I traveled with tots (0-2), little kids (3-5) and big kids (6-8)

Great little theme park geared for small kids

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This park is geared towards small children and santa themed. The rides they have are mostly kiddie rides ( About a total of 8 rides) with the exception of the Rudi Coaster which is very intense for such a small steel coaster. They are set in the woods and the place is not fancy at all, but your small children will love it, as they can ride everything here. They also have a great little animal collection including a camel, monkeys, deer, sheep, goats, etc.. and they have baby bears you can feed, or watch the owners bottle feed several times a day. They also have a great little family oriented magic show several times a day. There is free paddle boat rides in the back of the park, where you can feed fish and cruise by monkey island. Santa is available all season long for the children to meet and have a picture with. They also have a nice little train ride for the family that travels around the park. Be sure to pick up a reindeer homemade nail ring for a donation only before you leave. They are made out of recycled hoof nails, but my 2 year old though they were the neatest thing ever The price is about $20 a person and includes all rides and attractions. 2 and over pay full price and there is no reentry after you leave. Discount coupons can be located in the Gatlinburg Coupon books available at most gas stations and hotels. Parking is Free.

Tips for Families

Not recommended for kids over 9. Judge this place by the fun your kid will experience and that makes this place priceless.

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EnterTRAINment Junction

7379 Squire Ct, West Chester, Ohio

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  • Little kids (3-5)
  • Big kids (6-8)
  • Tweens (9-12)
  • Teens (13+)
Visited: August 2013 | Submitted: Oct 6, 2013 | I traveled with tots (0-2), little kids (3-5), big kids (6-8), tweens (9-12) and teens (13+)

One of a kind attraction

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I live close to this attraction and never visited it until we had our son, as I thought an attraction based on model trains would be boring. Boy, was I wrong. The owner of this place did not build a simple model train attraction, he built an entire model train world. The displays will blow your mind and so much detail are added such as people, animals, building, eras of time, etc.. The displays are also interactive allowing your child to push buttons to make things move, go, and sound. My two year old loved the displays and was fell in love with trains after one visit. They also have a lot of educational things about trains in general and very helpful and friendly staff. They have two train rides for children. One is a train ride they hand crank to go around a track and the other is an outside small train ride that parents can ride with their kids. They also have a very nice indoor play area with many things for children to do and play on. The equipment rivaled what some of the indoor play areas like jump-n-jacks sport. The attraction is mostly indoors and makes for a great rainy day getaway for the family. They also have a section dedicated to things like a mirror maze, and zany fun house type adventures. This was a lot of fun too and great for a few family laughs. You have your choice whether to just do the trains or do the trains and the fun house in a do it all pass. I recommend the do it all pass for first timers for sure. They have a small concession stand and a toy store onsite as well, but I would recommend eating at one of the nearby restaurants instead. This place is located right off I-75 just north of Cincinnati.

Tips for Families

Check Cincinnati Groupon or Living Social for great deals on a do it all pass, or Google "EnterTrainment Junction half off deals" to save money and buy beforehand. Holidays boast themes such as Halloween and Christmas that add to this attraction.

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Holiday World & Splashin' Safari

452 E Christmas Blvd, Santa Claus, Indiana

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  • Little kids (3-5)
  • Big kids (6-8)
  • Tweens (9-12)
Visited: June 2013 | Submitted: Oct 6, 2013 | I traveled with tots (0-2), little kids (3-5), big kids (6-8) and tweens (9-12)

The Best Family Owned Park In America

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Holiday World and Splashin Safari is a one of the last dying breed of non corporate owned amusement parks. It is family owned and operated and the owner is usually outside the gate every day at open and close to greet you and thank you for visiting. It is a Holiday Themed park with themed areas such as Halloween, Christmas, July 4th and Thanksgiving. The park also offers a world class water park that is connected to the park and included in your admission. The park offers FREE parking, Free Sunscreen at stations throughout the park, and Free unlimited soft drinks, green tea, iced tea, and powerade drinks at Pepsi Oasis stations located throughout the park and at the restaurants. They also offer free tube and life savers at the water park known as Splashin Safari. Because the park is family owned by a religious family they take very good care of the park and their guests, while not tolerating offensive behavior, alcohol, etc.. The make the park safe and very family oriented. The water park is always on the top ten list of best water parks in the USA and boasts some world record water coasters. They have tons of water activities for all ages of children and plenty of lifeguards for their safety. Some people attend the park only for the water park as it is that nice. The theme park boasts the number one wooden coaster in the world known as the Voyage. Because they are family owned they do not have steel coasters, but do have three world class wooden ones. They have a lot of family type rides like the scrambler, swings, log flume, etc.. They have a very neat turkey shaped tilt o whirl ride in in the Thanksgiving area and a ride through shoot type family attraction that has you trying to catch turkeys for a farmer that the kids will love. The food prices are fantastic in the park compared to other parks and with the free drinks you can save a lot of money as a family. Their pizza is some of the best around and they also have many healthy alternatives. Santa Claus is in the park all season and is not some guy in a fake beard but a guy that takes his job seriously. The theme park is located amongst a lot of trees which makes for a beautiful time. Every year we venture here for a short two night getaway and always try and take a new family with us to experience american nostalgia and every time the park is added to their family traditions as well. Oh and did I mentioned the entire small town is Santa themed year round as it is Santa Claus, Indiana.

Tips for Families

Santa Claus, Indiana is about an hour from Louisville, Ky and places to stay close are hard to come by. Might want to consider renting a cabin at Lake Rudolph located right next door, or santa cottages, if you dont want to drive so far to the park. Holiday World offers their best discount to heroes such as police, fireman, etc. with id and that gets everyone in their party in for the low price. Or you can pre-buy your tickets at a great little candy shop down the street called Santa's Candy Castle for the same discount. While at Santas Candy Castle be sure to try the frozen hot chocolate. Make sure you get a park map, because the park is set amongst trees is is sometimes easy to miss some attractions, especially the ones for children like the nursery rhyme train. Weekends are crowded as the parks name has gotten out there via the Travel Channel and word of mouth. Try a weekday for the best experience. Consider staying two days to fully enjoy both parks. But, wait to buy your second day ticket in the park before you leave as it is much cheaper that way.

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Crystal Palace

Main Street U.S.A., Magic Kingdom, Lake Buena Vista, Florida

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Visited: May 2013 | Submitted: Sep 18, 2013 | I traveled with tots (0-2)

Great Character Buffet

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We ate here our first day at Disney World and our 2 year old had no idea who Pooh was but fell in love with him after 5 minutes. The characters are so great they almost seem real. They are patient, spot on, and lovable. We had to eat here 3 more times we loved it so much during our trip. The service as great each time and the food was way above average chef prepared buffet food. It was always fresh, hot, and tasty and no comparison to any chain buffet. Is it cheap? No, but the food coupled with the experience is well worth the price. I would pay more just to see my son so happy again!

Tips for Families

Make reservations months ahead of time, and if on the Disney Dining Plan use for Dinner to really get your monies worth. Also, get there a little before your reservations, as check in takes a little while

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Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom

4720 Caribbean Way, Lake Buena Vista, Florida

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Visited: May 2013 | Submitted: Sep 18, 2013 | I traveled with tots (0-2)

Magic

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There is no other place or amusement park in the world like Disney World. The look in your child's eyes when they first set foot in the park is magical in itself. No other park has as many characters to meet, as many rides that you can ride as a family, or as many free great shows and attractions. Every ride is unique and every experience is fantastic. We loved the park as much as our two year old did!

Tips for Families

Research the park and plan ahead what you want to see and do. Utilize the free Fast Pass Ticket system for popular rides Make your character dining reservations months before your visit as they book fast Yes it is not cheap, but research and budget for a great time.

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Disney All Star Movies Resort Lake Buena Vista

1901 West Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista, Florida

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Visited: May 2013 | Submitted: Sep 17, 2013 | I traveled with tots (0-2)

Great Disney Hotel on a Budget

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If you want to experience Disney Magic, but do not want to drain your bank account consider the All Star Movie Resort. The staff and grounds are great and the bigger than life Disney Movie decorations will have any kid in awe. They have a huge outdoor pool with fun and free kid activities and a nice arcade and playground ( Kind of hidden, so ask or check a map) A great food court that is part of the dining plan you can choose and even a full service bar for the adults. They also offer a great and free shuttle service to all their parks. Rooms are outside entrance, but elevators are available and the inside of the rooms is disney decorated and very clean. My two year old loved everything about this hotel, including chasing the small lizards that run the grounds outside.

Tips for Families

Great budget hotel for disney where you can experience the magic. Consider the adding on the disney dining plan for unlimited drinks at resorts and select meals according to your plan.

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Glenstone Lodge Gatlinburg

504 Historic Nature Trl, Gatlinburg, Tennessee

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KID-FRIENDLY AMENITIES

  • Rollaway beds available
  • Can accommodate large families
  • On-site restaurant(s)
  • Refrigerator in room
  • Microwave in room
  • Complimentary breakfast
  • Cribs (infant beds) available
  • Outdoor pool
  • Kids' pool


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Visited: August 2013 | Submitted: Sep 17, 2013 | I traveled with tots (0-2)

Nice median Gatlinburg Hotel

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The Glenstone is a mid level hotel in the Gatlinburg Area that is short walk to the downtown attraction area. The hotel is clean, but rooms are very basic and more on par with a 2.5 star hotel than a 3 star as rated. They have a great indoor pool with a fantastic waterfall that the kids will love. Plenty of free parking and a friendly staff. Not a lot of kids activities besides the pool though. No free breakfast, but a buffet is offered for $8.95 young kids free. Just remember the Gatlinburg area is a great family destination, but there are no Ritz Carlton Hotels there.

Tips for Families

You can get this hotel for cheap through Travelocity and expedia secret deals, or Priceline and Hotwire. Rates as low as $40 a night which is a bargain.

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Kings Island

Mason, Ohio

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Visited: August 2013 | Submitted: Sep 17, 2013 | I traveled with tots (0-2)

Great Clean kids section

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We are season pass holders to Kings Island and they have a great and clean kids section that receives awards every year. Its nice that all their kids rides are in one location. The boo Blasters are a shooting ride through ride that is family friendly, but may be scary to some kids inside as it is dark and has some scary scenes. They have Charlie Brown Character shows and meet and greets that are nice. Unlike Cedar Point, there are not as many rides that you can ride with shorter 2 year olds, but it is still a great place to visit and they have a nice kid friendly water park.

Tips for Families

Buy a refillable cup and share it for drinks. The first day you buy it all refills are FREE

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Cedar Point Amusement Park

One Cedar Point Drive, Sandusky, Ohio

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Visited: August 2013 | Submitted: Sep 10, 2013 | I traveled with tots (0-2)

Great Kids section

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Cedar Point is a world class amusement park with some of the best coasters in the world, set on a beautiful lake. One thing I never knew it for was kids rides. My two year old could ride way more rides than at Kings Island and other amusement parks there. They have two major kids sections one in the front of the park and one in the back by Gemini that if you are not careful you will walk right by as it is hidden amongst trees near the dinosaur exhibit. They have great peanut character shows back here as well and your kids can meet and greet the characters. They also have a small petting zoo on the other side of the park. My new favorite park for taking my two year old and it doesn't hurt that I love the coasters there too!

Tips for Families

Consider the all you can drink souvenir cup

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Maui Sands Indoor Waterpark Resort Sandusky

5513 Milan Rd, Sandusky, Ohio

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Visited: August 2013 | Submitted: Sep 10, 2013 | I traveled with tots (0-2)

Nice Family Hotel

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This is one of the nicer hotels in the Cedar Point area. The rooms are clean and well furnished and the location is great. There is an Applebees a short walk via parking lot and a Super Walmart across the street. They have a free hot breakfast. The water park is nice but is not properly staffed so it makes enjoying the park difficult due to having to wait for attractions to be opened, or life guards following you around in the lazy river. Over all great with families though and rates and great

Tips for Families

Free Breakfast saves you some money. Walmart across street for snacks and drinks.

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