Saturday, August 30, 2014

Canobie Lake Park

We were provided with complimentary tickets to Canobie Lake Park to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

We had such a fantastic time at Canobie Lake Park last weekend! Canobie Lake Park is an amusement park located in Salem, New Hampshire that is packed full of fun for the whole family. I grew up going to Canobie Lake Park but hadn't been in years, and certainly not yet with my four year-old, so I was so excited to be invited there for the day!

Canobie Lake Park offers something for everyone.

There are huge roller coasters...

Lots of kiddie rides...

And tons of family-friendly stuff in between...

Even Castaway Island, a water park...

Photo courtesy of Canobie Lake Park

Speaking of the water park, if you plan to visit it, make sure you are ready to get wet. There is no way to not get absolutely drenched. And if you have a small child, an adult must join them. Just be ready! It's wet and chilly and tons of fun! There are lockers within the water park if needed, a bathroom, changing rooms, and lots of lounge chairs for the by-standers. Don't lug your water gear around all day though - leave it in the car until you're ready and bring it back when you're done! Just get your hand stamped on your way out of the gate for easy re-entrance.

I really loved that at four years old, my daughter could ride almost every ride at Canobie Lake Park that I could (with the exception of the huge roller coasters, which was fine by me!). We made a lot of great memories and I heard more than once, "I like the rides that make my belly feel funny!"

Sorry for the blurry photo but this is inside The Caterpillar!

Every ride was staffed with friendly, cheerful, and happy-to-be-at-work employees. They greeted each child with a "high five" on every single ride! They were easily identifiable throughout the park and always helpful and courteous. This isn't exactly one of the staff members I'm talking about, but if you can see the hawaiian-looking blue shirt on the far left, that's one of them!

We didn't brave the biggest rides on this trip since we had a four year-old in tow, but the familiar Canobie screams tell me that the old roller coasters are as good as ever and the newer ones are just as great if not better!

A general admission ticket to the park gives visitors unlimited access to every ride, including the water park, and all live performances. You'll pay extra for any arcade games and food. Parking is free, free, free!

If you're planning to eat at Canobie Lake Park, you'll find lots of food options inside, both meal type options and typical park treats like cotton candy, fried dough, and popcorn. Unlike some parks that allow you to pack a picnic lunch, you may not bring any outside food or drink into Canobie Lake Park. If you'd rather pack a lunch, you'll need to leave it in a cooler in the car. Like I mentioned previously, you can leave the park during your visit; just get a stamp on your hand when you exit (what a great idea so as not to have a hold up on entrance lines!) and you can return to the park throughout the day (as long as your stamp doesn't rub off). For the record, the pizza is pretty yummy!


We visited Canobie on a Saturday which made me a little bit nervous about crowds. It certainly was crowded but the lines were reasonable for much of what we intended to do. The kiddie rides are fast and the lines are short. The rides for the "cars" for bigger kids and grown-ups were very long, as with the roller coasters, and Sky Ride. The good old Log Flume had a long line but we decided to wait in it and it moved super fast... fast enough that there were no complaints from the four year-old... and we did it three times in a row! The log boats in this ride never stop moving so as soon as one group gets off the next groups climbs in so the line really doesn't stand still.

After you ride the Log Flume (which you really must), do consider purchasing, or at least checking out the photo Canobie took of you on your way down! Just visit the little hut to your right after you exit the ride and you'll see yourself up on the screen with some different purchase options. I know, I know, totally gimmicky... in fact, I never buy stuff like this! But let me tell you something. I bought it this time, and it was worth every penny.

This is the picture that my mother took of my daughter and me coming down the hill (for the third time).

And this is the picture Canobie captured for me.

Priceless. I tried to walk away after I saw this picture and then I turned around and went back to purchase it. Bring a little extra spending money... it's worth it!

By the way, don't confuse the Log Flume with the Boston Tea Party! You get much wetter on that one... even just watching it... so keep your eyes open for wet walkways... a sign of what's to come if you stand there too long!

A fantastic new feature that is live at Canobie Lake Park is their new mobile app! It is perfection. I would download it to your phone before you go because when you arrive you can mark the location of your vehicle in the parking lot and it will show you, like a GPS, how to get back to it at the end of the day. You can open it to view a map of the park and it will tell you how close you are to whatever attraction you are interested in and it will show you how to get there. It will also give you a description so you know what to look forward to! It will even show you where the nearest bathrooms are (all of which were large and clean, by the way). The app is great. If you have it, you won't need to pick up a map at the gate.


Canobie Lake Park is tons of fun. We were there from about 11:00 AM until about 8:00 PM, didn't even make it on every ride, hated to leave, and can't wait to go back!

Labor Day starts the fall season at Canobie Lake Park and they will only be open on weekends, but there are lots of fun seasonal things to look forward to. Just check their schedule for hours and special events and plan your trip today!

We were provided with complimentary tickets to Canobie Lake Park to facilitate this review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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