A toddler’s adventures at Kennywood

Greg and I took the kids for their first trip to Kennywood.

Kennywood is a Pittsburgh staple. It’s been here since 1898, and though going through some serious changes over the past 113 years, it’s still awesome.

This tunnel is the entrance to the park. It adds to the anxiousness of getting to the coasters, food and fun. In the past few years it has been painted. The last time Greg and I were there it was peeling and dull. Now, it’s the city’s colors. Black and Gold.

The kids were happy in their wagon and oohing over the tunnel. They had no idea what they were about to see.

The Skyrocket is the first coaster you see in the park. Unfortunately to put the Skyrocket in they had to take out the Turn Pike. While the Skyrocket is more thrilling, the Turn Pike was a tradition and I was not happy when it was taken out. It was the one ride I used to ride with my Grammy (or dad if Grammy was riding with someone else.)

The second thing that you can’t miss is…


It is in the spot that the Old Mill used to be. The Old Mill was Kennywood’s haunted ride. It was lame, but it was better than what Garfields Nightmare is. There was another creepy ride called the Gold Rush, but it was taken out in 2007-2008 and replaced with Ghostwood Estate. The line was WAY too long to even attempt to get on, but I’m hoping next time we’ll get to try it out.

My boys… love trains.

They are absolutely obsessed with them. So it made sense to go to the train first.  This is the one thing we (Greg and I) were looking forward to the most. The look on their faces when they say the big train pull up. It was priceless. They were in complete awe. In fact I think Eli’s little mind went into shock mode. He stood up in his wagon and stared open mouthed. I do believe for about 10 minutes Greg and I were the absolute coolest things in the world to that kid. Yeah, I was officially cool for about 10 minutes…to a 3 year old.

The actual train ride, though,  left them bored. Excited to be on a train, but bored.

A few years back the train ride would take you on a small loop and talk about the wars in the area. It was informational and the exhibitsish statues they had set up were pretty cool. Well, not anymore. It’s the same loop but it’s just about the history of Kennywood. It’s really is boring now. Eli kept giving me a look like, “Why is this so slow?” I just laughed.

Brett and Eli had never been on any sort of amusement park ride before then, so we decided to try out Kiddieland. It’s the land of kids and miniatures of the adult rides.

The boys were excited to get started on riding and rode a good bit of them. When we came to the Lil Phantom (a smaller version of the Steel Phantom) they were smiling and yelling. They couldn’t wait to ride it.

My kids were bored. That’s right, they were bored on the kid rides. Unfortunately they’re only 36 inches tall…not tall enough to ride even half of the adult rides.

We spent the remainder of our time walking around the park, eating potato patch fries and corn dogs. I don’t think I’ve ever seen my boys attack fries and corn dogs like they did at Kennywood. I’m fairly certain we created monsters with the food. Of course I can’t blame them. I went nuts for it too.

While we walked around we came across the Sky Coaster (Not the Skyrocket, the Sky Coaster, they are two completely different rides. The Sky Coaster costs extra. It’s NOT included with the ride admission.) which Eli was fascinated with. I think if he was allowed to, he would have been strapped in and pulling the rip cord. He was pretty mad when we told him he couldn’t ride it yet. I have a feeling I’m going to be nagged about it every year until he is allowed.

What we didn’t know when we went was that they were having the Fall Fest parade. I was excited when I realized that my Alma Mater, Belle Vernon, was playing. The percussion section still kicks ass 8 years after I graduated. (No, I wasn’t in the percussion section…I played the clarinet)

By time we left Greg and I were exhausted. The kids though seemed like they could go another 7 hours.

They were asleep before we left the parking lot.

It was a good day and I’m so relieved that the kids like roller coasters, it’ll make Cedarpoint that much nicer.


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