Monday, June 25, 2012

Story Land Adventure!

Our trip to Story Land in New Hampshire last week was our very first vacation as a family of four. (We have traveled to visit family, but since that is typically for an occasion, we don't really consider it a vacation.) We weren't sure how the kids would do, so we decided to keep it short, only staying 2 nights. The whole trip turned out to be a huge success, and we can't wait to take more trips like it with our little family!

The drive up took us about 5 hours, including a 30 minute stop for lunch. (I brought bread, peanut butter, fruit, snacks and water bottles so we wouldn't have to buy food on the road.) Stephanie chatted with us, sang songs, and looked out the window for most of the trip. When she started to get antsy we pulled out the bag of fun that I had prepared ahead of time. (It contained books, Crayola Color Wonder coloring books,  and some leap frog electronic toys.) This kept her entertained until we reached Story Land. (Joseph slept for most of the ride.)

Our Lunch Break
One of the best parts about Story Land is that if you arrive and purchase tickets within the last 3 hours of the day, you can use the same tickets for a full-day pass any other day of the season. So for the price of 1 ticket, we got almost a day and a half of park time.

When you enter Story Land, you're entering a story book world. There are plenty of rides, but you can also visit Cinderella's Castle, Mother Goose's house, the home of the 3 little bears, and much more.

Entering a Story Book World
Both children were in awe of the park, and had a blast that first afternoon. All of the rides are child-friendly, and some are even infant-friendly. Stephanie got to visit with Cinderella at her castle, ride on the polar coaster and flying shoes, and play a giant piano. We took a family ride on a big swan boat, where we saw "butterfly island." 

Stephanie & I on the Polar Coaster

Dan & Stephanie riding on the Dutch Shoe ride

We made it through about half of the park before it closed for the day and we headed to our hotel to check-in. We stayed at the North Conway Grand Hotel which is loaded with family friendly amenities. There are life-size animals in the lobby (including this moose that Joseph befriended), an indoor pool, heated outdoor pool, kids pool (which wasn't open for the season yet while we were there) and a huge playground. It's situated right in an outlet center, which is great if you need to do some shopping while you're on vacation too.

We ate in the hotel restaurant, and then headed up to our room. Joseph fell asleep right away, and slept the entire night. Stephanie watched some Baby Einstein in the King size bed, and fell asleep when we turned off the TV. (I slept with her while poor Dan was banished to the couch.)

Here they are in front of the ride that Stephanie detested!
The next day we returned to Story Land for another day of fun. Stephanie continued to enjoy every ride except for the water ride that Dan took her on. As soon as she got hit in the face with water, she started screaming and continued to do so through-out the entire ride. She loved everything else though, even the Turtle Tilt-a-Whirl that made Dan feel sick. (Somehow I lucked out and didn't wind up on any of those drama-filled rides!)

We left before closing that day, since we felt we had seen and done everything that we wanted to. We stopped off at a scenic viewing station on our way back to the hotel, and took in the breathtaking views of the gorgeous White Mountains.

When we arrived at the hotel we made use of the pools. Both kids love the water and had so much fun swimming.

Once we showered off the chlorine we headed to one of the outlet restaurants for an Italian dinner. We capped off the night with a quick stop at the hotel playground. Both children slept just as well that night as they did the night before. I joked to Dan that we should just stay there forever, since they never sleep that well at home!

On our final morning we went to a local diner for breakfast, and hit the road to head home. We made a quick stop to visit some friends who live in New Hampshire whom we hadn't seen in almost 2 years. When we left them we got stuck in some traffic, but both kids did amazingly well. (It was only during the last hour of the trip that we had to resort to letting Stephanie watch TV on my phone because she was getting truly antsy.)

All in all, it was a fabulous trip, and we loved seeing how excited the kids were to experience their first vacation.

*I was not compensated in any way to write this review of Story Land or the North Conway Grand Hotel. However, I do highly recommend both of them if you're looking for a New England trip to take with young children.


  1. I think you should send this link to both Storyland & the hotel...maybe they WILL compensate you to go back again :-)

  2. Looks like you had a wonderful trip! Can't wait to take G one day. Ahhhh, the memories!

  3. Such a wonderful, detailed post about Story Land!! Thank you for sharing!!


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