Have you ever heard of Kennywood? If you know anyone from Pennsylvania you probably have. It is part of so many kids childhoods, including my husband’s and his entire family.
His entire family goes to Kennywood every summer, and every Christmas. It is just something people from the Burgh do. It is a staple there. I will admit, I am a bit jealous we haven’t been there for Christmas yet. Maybe in a few years.
This wasn’t my first time there. I went awhile ago. Before kids, and maybe before I was married. Looking back on that day I don’t remember too much. Knowing that this was going to be the boys first time there I wanted to make sure we reserved a whole day for Kennywood. I was going to add a Kennywood mug to my growing collection, and my husband would get a new cap. I had it all planned out.
When we got there I was impressed that the lines weren’t crazy. We only had to wait a little bit to get on the first few rides. I can’t stress how important all of the tree coverage is. We went on July 3rd and it felt like a fall in Florida. Yes, it was still warm but nowhere near as hot as it would have been in South Florida.
I didn’t immediately notice the historical markers on some of the rides. But as we had been there a bit longer I started looking for them. The first ride we went on, The Kangaroo, is the last of its kind in existence. I thought that added a bit more intrigue to the ride. To think how many people used to enjoy rides like this, and now you can only experience it at Kennywood. There is something special to that.
I had no idea it had been around since the 1800’s and was a historical landmark. When I posted on my Insta Stories about Kennywood… people that are nowhere in the area were telling me stories about how they had been there. Some dating back almost 30 years ago.
No surprise Haven had to walk around with a map making sure we didn’t miss anything. I do love this about him.
One thing I loved about the rides there is that a majority of them I could ride and enjoy with the boys. The Whip, seen below, was my toddlers favorite. He’s 3 and it was perfect for him. I have to admit even though it’s simple, it’s a lot of fun.
Something else that is awesome is Kennywood’s location. There are awesome views from a lot of the rides. This is from The Turtle, which is another ride with history.
1927 y’all!!! It’s still a fan favorite.
They have just recently added Thomas Town, and considering the fact I have two little ones that were and still are crazy about Thomas… we spent some time here.
It is the perfect place to take your picture with a few of your favorite characters from Sodor.
Plan ahead tip: take socks. You would think my kids would have had them on if we were walking around all day. They won’t wear them with shoes. I’ve stopped trying to figure it out.
For the Thomas Town indoor playground your kids have to wear socks. Luckily enough they do have the for sale in the store connected to the playground.
The playground is for ages 2-10, but they seemed around 3-5 on the day we were there. Also, if you are looking for a family bathroom, make sure to head in here.
There are Thomas and Friends themed rides that are perfect for your little ones. It is such a fun place to explore with them… you can even take a ride on Thomas the Train. Something we did multiple times. I was the mom singing “They’re two, they’re four, they’re six, they’re eight…” Some of you know exactly what I’m talking about.
OK. So let’s talk The Potato Patch. This is probably the most talked about location in Kennywood, from the people I talked to anyway.
It only has french fries, and has different flavors and toppings to add on. I had the Cheese fries with BBQ Salt on the side. I also grabbed some vinegar to dip them into.
Yes, they were yummy. But in all honestly I think meat eaters enjoy these a little more, because they can also choose bacon or brown gravy. They are a little more fancy for those carnivores in your life.
I loved, loved, loved watching the boys with their cousins. They don’t have any relatives close to their age anywhere near us, so spending this time together was super special.
One thing locals do is take your own food or snacks. We were able to stop and dry off after a few water rides with PB&J’s and cheddar popcorn. There was no fighting over what the kids were going to get. They already knew. With 9 kids, it could have gotten really expensive.
You could also get ice water at any of the concession stands for free. I don’t know if it was just how busy we were that day but they had great water. 🙂 Maybe it’s a Pittsburgh thing.
Now let’s talk about why I didn’t get any souvenirs.
Yeah, completely slipped my mind until we were leaving. And we didn’t leave until the park was closed.
I was too busy enjoying the moment. Enjoying my kids. Enjoying making memories with them, that I didn’t even pause to say “Let’s go into the gift shop.”
Kennywood fully delivered… quite more than I expected. I was a little sad as we were leaving that this park isn’t anywhere close to us.
There was something completely different and special about Kennywood, that I haven’t felt at another theme park. I’m not sure if it was the history of the park, the family ties that were there or how it had something for everyone.
I know, without a doubt, that anytime we are in Pittsburgh this will be a must do on our family list.
If you are in the area I think this is a perfect way to enjoy a little Pittsburgh history and build memories with your kids. It was for us.