After its closure last summer, Busch Gardens has packed in several exciting activities for families at the park this year. The first event is Kids’ Weekend, taking place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday June 4-June 20. RVA on the Cheap sent writer Lindsay Garrison and her family to review the first Kids’ Weekend of the season. Check out how the Garrison family enjoyed the activities and the park.
Upon arriving, we were relieved that Kids’ Weekend takes place in Sesame Street Forest of Fun, which is conveniently located near the entrance of the park. In this one area, there is a large splash pad, several family friendly rides, like Oscar’s Whirly Worms and Grover’s Alpine Express. Our crew especially loved Prince Elmo’s Spire and the kids loved Bert & Ernie’s Loch Adventure, a ride they could do by themselves!
The activities from Kids’ Weekend were ideal for breaking up our time in Sesame Street. For example, the story time at 12:30 allowed for a bit of rest, while the children listened to Family is Forever, a poignant story about Julia, a 4 year old with autism and how she navigates her day. Better than simply listening to the story, Elmo and Julia were on stage engaging the audience as they listened to the story.
Both Abby and Zoe stopped by the 1-2-3 Smile with Me Station. While we did not stop for the photo op, there were plenty of Abby Cadabby fans agog at seeing their favorite character. Other activities included in Kids’ Weekend: crafts, dance parties where the kids got to jam with Elmo in the splash pad and the all-new flower maze. To create a reservation for Kids’ Weekend, click here.
There is plenty more for families outside of this area at the park; our fun did not stop after Sesame Street! We finished our day at Land of the Dragons; a kid-centered play area with more family-friendly rides. The climbing nets, treehouse and splash pad were a huge highlight for both our children. Although we loved our time in Sesame Street, Land of the Dragons was our favorite place because it was less crowded, with no wait time for rides.
Riding the train back to the area closest to our car proved to be an ideal way to cool off and relax after our fun (and very tiring) day. We chose to park in preferred parking so we could be closer to the park and eat lunch, reapply sunblock throughout the day without riding the tram. Parking in the general lot is $25; pay $40 for preferred. We figured it would be worth it to pay for preferred, as the cost of park food would easily be more than $15 for a family of four.
When purchasing tickets for Busch Gardens, consider buying the 2-Day Pass. For only $7 more than a one day ticket, you will have a second day to enjoy the park through Oct., 2021. A similar option is the three-day pass, which offers 3 days of admission for only $15 more than one day admission. A Busch Gardens Fun Card is $99.99 and covers admission through Sept. 12. Memberships, though pricey at first glance, will save you if you plan to visit multiple times throughout the summer and seasonal events like Count’s Spooktacular and Christmas Town.
— By Lindsay Garrison
Richmond on the Cheap contributor Lindsay Garrison is a Richmond, Virginia based mom to two young children. A graduate from Chesterfield Schools and Randolph-Macon College, Lindsay is proud to call Richmond home. In the years prior to planning activities and outings with her own children, she was a French teacher. During her tenure she earned accolades for her creative teaching style and ability to connect with her students. Lindsay now applies the skills she learned when she was planning student trips to France, to her own family adventures. She can’t wait to take her own children to France one day! Follow the Garrison’s family adventures on Instagram: @thegarrisonsrva
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