I have been visiting Canada’s Wonderland alone with my two kids since they were both quite small. I love the open space when the park first opens in Spring. As they grow taller, the trip becomes even more enjoyable. These are my top tips for spending a day at Canada’s Wonderland with younger kids before the park fully opens for summer.
Let’s face it, we are all busy. The kids have school. You have work, housework and a million other things to do. The fact is you may always be busy but they won’t always be kids. My advice is to take a day off mid-week while the park is still empty and experience it as a family. Yesterday, my kids got to ride the bumper cars alone. It was the family therapy they had been needing from being locked inside together all winter.
At this time of year, it is worth taking a day off if you can. The longest line we stood in was 8 people long. We rode the Ghoster Coaster, one of the most popular rides for kids, 7 times without getting off before I finally decided I couldn’t take it anymore. You will have fun and they will have fun. Sometimes that is reason enough.
Let the Kids Decide
When is the last time you let your kids decide what you were going to do as a family? When at Canada’s Wonderland, that is all I do. When they ask what ride is next, I simply respond “You decide”. When they want to eat, I let them decide what and where. Frankly, its nice to have a day without any decisions besides where to park and when to call it a day.
Charlie even decided she was going to ride the Leviathan, a roller coaster that drops riders from 306 feet at an 80 degree angle. Luckily, the staff of Canada’s Wonderland decided she was not going to ride it.
Walk Amongst the Dinosaurs
Sure museums are fun and dinosaur bones are interesting but when is the last time a dinosaur roared at you? Dinosaurs Alive at Canada’s Wonderland is part Jurassic Park, part scavenger hunt and all fun. Kids visiting this exhibit get to control some of the dinosaurs’ movements and dig for dinosaur fossils. It is a great way to spend a half hour in the park just checking out the dinosaurs and trying to scare the pants off each other.
Relax in the Park
You are already playing hooky, why not chill out in the park in Kidzville? My kids love the Candy Factory, a large enclosed park at Canada’s Wonderland. They often prefer running around and trying all the slides to riding the rides. Outside the park, there is a pretty cool maze that your kids can play in for a decent amount of time. Parents relax on benches outside of the maze knowing that the entrance and exit are both together and visible.
Take Your Time
When the park is as empty as it is on weekdays in May, you might as well take things slowly. We arrived at 10:00 am to an empty kids section and by 2:00 pm had been on almost every ride. This includes the 7 consecutive times we rode the Ghoster Coaster. Unlike bigger parks like Walt Disney World and Disneyland, you really don’t need to rush around Canada’s Wonderland. There is plenty to do but with no wait time you can conquer Snoopy’s Planet is as little as 3 hours.
Whichever of these tips you follow, now is the time to visit Canada’s Wonderland. With the cooler temperatures and lack of line-ups, you and your kids are sure to have a great day. As we headed out of the parking lot yesterday laughing and smiling, I turned around to look at my two and realized they were sound asleep. It was a very quiet ride home.
In years to come, when they are too busy to hang out with me, I may not remember all the days we drove back and forth to school, had lunch at home and went about our lives but I will remember the look on their faces as they came around the first drop on their favourite ride, Taxi Jam.