So I left about 6:00am and my first stop was in King of Prussia at a local WaWa for coffee and a toasted bagel and then it was the Pennsylvania Turnpike West! The Turnpike is lovely early in the morning - many days you can see deer frolicking along the verge and further out, horses and cows grazing in fields and meadows of the farms that become more frequent then housing developments. My first turn is at Morgantown, where I take 176 north towards Reading - but I don't go all the way because I just can't stand driving through Reading (and when you don't like driving on a particular road or through a particular area, it doesn't make for a great road trip); from there I weave through beautiful Berks county and pretty little towns like Shillington. Then its 422 and on to Womelsdorf!
Usually when I visit my folks, I like to go with my dad to Horning's Market in Bethel, and as I mentioned in my last post - Hornings needs a post of its own! This time, I needed to hit the market before getting to the farm, so I headed to Bethel first and was in line waiting when the store opened. I got my shopping done and headed back to Windy Knolls (my parent's place). The girls helped my dad fill the bird feeders (dad has a special garden for the birds, bees & butterflies). I printed the directions to the park from the internet and then we packed the cars and headed out for Knoebels!
Side note: my family might argue that my parent's place isn't a farm - but to me - any place with a house, several acres, a barn with a working farm tractor, and plots of growing things (say a garden) makes it a farm. Thus - my use of farm to describe Windy Knolls.
Now, I had been listening to my mix all the way up to the farm but I really began to appreciate it on the drive to the park. It was a beautiful day - sun shining, breeze blowing - perfect for a road trip! And my mix was PERFECT!!
My dad was leading and it was great to just follow and not have to navigate or fuss with directions. It was just over 50 miles from the farm to the park and many mountains to cross, so we had some fun driving to do. Now while the mountains may not be as high as the Rockies we crossed on a family trip when I was a kid, they are still high enough to make your ears pop!
As soon as we got to the park entrance, my dad found a ticket booth and purchased tickets for the rides - see, there isn't a fee to get into the park - you just pay for rides and concessions, gift shops, etc. My dad had a great time going on some of the rides with my nieces (the root cause of this great adventure). It didn't take us too long to meet up with some of my other siblings and their families who met us there to enjoy the day. The adults took turns taking the kids to various rides and all my nieces and nephews in attendance had a great time.
Other tidbits about Knoebels that I found impressive:
$2 for a 20oz bottle of water
$3 for a cheeseburger (a DELICIOUS cheeseburger I might add)
Didn't catch the price for fries, but I had some of my brother David's and
they were also delicious!
CLEAN! The park was really clean!
Lots of places to sit both in the shade and in the bright sun
Everyone was treated with respect - be it adults, children, people with
The lines at the rides moved incredibly fast - no agonizing waits
Dogs on leashes are allowed in the park, but their owners are responsible for
cleaning up after them at all times!
We spent hours in the park and when it was time to go home, we had a pack of exhausted and soaking wet children so again, that tram to the parking lot came in supper handy!
The only drawback I could mention about the park is its location - which is way out in the middle of somewhere Pennsylvania (actually between Danville and Bloomsburg) so for folks closer to the Philadelphia area, it will take quite a long time to get there but I cannot stress enough how worthwhile experience it was - for everyone of all ages. The clincher? I am not fond of amusement parks - but I am very glad I went along on this adventure and I can definitely say I would visit this park again (only this time I want some of that delicious ice cream I saw people eating along with my cheeseburger!)!!
Do yourself a favor and make this road trip and have a great time for yourself!