A few weeks ago, we took Sam to Idlewild for the first time. We went with Aaron’s parents and his brother and our sister-in-law. It was HOT. Not the best idea for an 8 months pregnant lady but we all survived and had fun.
It took about 1 hour and 20 minutes to get there from the South Hills of Pittsburgh. We got there at about 10 AM and they opened the gates at 10:15. We were able to park really close to where we set up our picnic. It was nice and convenient to be able to walk back to the car so easily throughout the day. I definitely took a break for about 20 minutes and sat in the car with the AC running.
We packed a cooler with sandwiches, water and snacks so we ended up spending $0 while we were there.
We walked through Storybook Forest first then went on the train then went back to the picnic table for lunch and a little rest. After we ate, it was around 2 PM and Sam was getting tired and cranky.
We reclined the stroller seat, pulled the shade way down and Aaron pushed Sam around the park until he fell asleep. He ended up napping for about 40 minutes which turned out great! We weren’t sure if he’d be able to fall asleep in the stroller so we thought we might have a totally exhausted kid on our hands. (We took the new stroller and so far, we love it).
After he woke up, I went to rest in the car for a bit and Aaron and his brother and parents took Sam to kiddie land to ride a few rides. He loved the rides! At just barely age 2, he was able to ride a few but he’ll be old enough to ride everything next year.
I met up with everyone in kiddie land and we walked over to Soak Zone, the water park area. Aaron and Sam changed into swim clothes and they played in the kiddie pool until it closed at 6. I think this was Sam’s favorite part. He loved the pipes that poured water.
We changed out of swim gear and then all took a ride on the merry-go-round. After that, we headed back to the picnic table, ate another sandwich and then Aaron, Sam and I left around 7.
It was a long day but a lot of fun! Kids two and under are free so Sam was free. Aaron and I bought our tickets 7 days in advance from the Idlewild website so I think we paid just slightly under $30 each.
Some things that worked well for us:
- Getting there right when it opened so we could park near the pavilions and have a shaded picnic table.
- Bring a cooler with food to save money and so we had a “home base” to go back to for rest.
- Bringing our big stroller with lots of storage so we could cart our stuff around and so Sam could be comfortably reclined for a nap.
- Bring lots of water. We brought 24 bottles and probably used 15 of them between the three of us.
- Don’t try to see everything. We only probably saw about 25% of the park and that was fine for us.
- Buying tickets 7 days in advance was the cheapest for us or check Giant Eagle customer service for coupons.
- Going on a Saturday of Labor Day weekend wasn’t as crazy busy as we thought it would be.