Thursday, August 29, 2019

Knoebels: Hidden Gems



Knoebels was really kind to us again this year and hosted our family again for another amazing visit.  The thing I just can't get over with this place is how well they do EVERYTHING. The park design, the food, the free admission it goes on an on. I think the best part for me is the tradition of it all. I know so many families who visit here year after year with the children and grandchildren. They keep just the right amount of tradition but also change up just a few things - enough to keep it interesting and intrigue you to try a few new new things items each year.



It really never ceases to amazing me how really wonderful this place is.  I'm not an amusement park person - like really, its not my thing. But there is something special about Knoebels that just doesn't make it feel like an amusement park. It is really a lot more to me (and our family).  It is amazing to me to see how many of our friends build this place into their summer plans every year despite having one of the regions largest amusement parks quite literally in their backyard.


I want to focus one some of my favorite hidden gems of this place.  Since there is a bit of know how required in order to find these hidden gems, we're excited to share these with you!


We have had multiple friends visit the park this summer some of whom we even unexpectedly ran into while we were there! Whenever people visit I was drop them a few tips on our favorite hidden gems. Knoebels offers some truly unique rides and food items - if you missed last year's write up on 10 things to know before you visit Knoebels make sure to take a look theres even more insider's information there!


Boom Its a Burger!

One of my favorite hidden food gems is the the Boom Shakla Laka Burger - its a mouthful both literally and verbally. Located at Phoenix Junction - and kind of on the outer edge of the park this dining option is underrated in my opinion. You'll see far larger crowds elsewhere during the lunch rush but the burger really sets the bar high. Topped with an onion ring, and a tangy/spicy sauce and all the basic burger fixings this is a must have. You can also order with a chicken or veggie burger as the patty.  Phoenix Junction is an underrated food option in the park in our opinion. The crowds at the International food court can get pretty busy and while we LOVE the International for their vast and delicious options sometimes the kids (or you may not want to wait in lines to order).


Tiger Tails!

You'd never find this unless you were really looking. After seeing this treat posted on Instagram a few summers ago my sister and I hunted them down by asking a few staff members. The Phoenix Junction is also home to our favorite dessert treat - the Tiger Tail. A Sweet treat for just $2.50. These also are something that are pretty easy to grab in the evening hours (or any time) when the typical sweet spot stops are busy with lines! This hot pretzel is covered in cinnamon sugar and drizzled with caramel and chocolate and every bite is delicious!





Push Cart Fun!

Its easy to walk by this ride because its not flashy and doesn't have much flair but the attraction lies in the vintage charm it offers.  The hand cart ride in the kiddie section is such an old fashioned treasure. I can't think of anywhere else I've seen a ride like this.



It literally runs on the power of your kid's ability to crank the wheel. The track has a very satisfying clicking sound and built in hills that help the kids pick up a bit of speed as they go. All three of our kids (8, 5, and 3) were able to ride this and its adorable. Its one of their (and my) favorites.


Oh Pickles!

Deal alert! Pickle on a stick for $1 this just can't be beat! Its a refreshing treat on a hot day and the pickle is sizable too! We love these and you can find them at Totem Treats just on the end of the Kiddie area, near the band shell. I have also seem them offered in the small food cart across from the log flume.


Flying High!

I needed to let the kids have some say in their top picks - since they're the ones actually riding the rides. One of the most ridden this year were the Fighter jet airplanes (near the ferris wheel) Our middle kiddo last year rode like 3 rides the entire trip and really wasn't interested in riding much but these she liked and kept asking to go back to the "tiger planes" or "shark planes" which we couldn't actually locate - we had no idea what she was talking about the other airplane ride we found in the kiddie area was NOT what she was looking for. The reason for this... these are not located in the kiddie section of the park. They're a newer ride and located on the outskirts of the park (near the whip). Make sure to track them down since they are a bit off the beaten path.




Watch them Whip!

Kiddie Whip - This ride is so vintage and while the kids are happy to ride the adult version of this as well the intensity of this kiddie version is just prefect for a little thrill. The kids all rode this one many times and asked to go back over and over.






A Sweet Deal

A sweet treat at a sweet price! The Antonio sundae for $3.50 at the international - is a steal and offers a pretty darn good sundae for the money. It features vanilla ice cream, a cinnamon sugar coated fried tortilla shell, Caramel or chocolate sauce and whipped topping.  The Mill - Knoebels ice cream spot is often busy especially in the evenings so if you are looking for a great sundae without a wait stop by and grab one of these, you can choose to top yours with chocolate or caramel and the cinnamon tortilla is delicious.



     Bumper Car Fun!
Kiddie Bumper Cars - Auhentic Kiddie bumper cars aren't easy to find. These little cars run just the same way as the big ones and powering your own car is a pretty thrilling thing!


There tends to more aimless driving and turning in endless circles but these are really a blast and we're sure to hit them multiple times with each visit. Additionally watching the kids ride these might be more fun than the kids have while on the ride. Win win!


Splash and Play!
The Crystal Pool at Knoebels is something we've never really taken advantage of before in past visits. Either the weather wasn't ideal or the kids really weren't into it. This year though we made a point to spend time time here and the kids really had a blast. 

The splash area is really fun. Something to keep in mind with this element of the park is that if its hot it will get crowded. We visited on a pretty warm and sunny day and got there around the time the doors open (11am) and stayed until about 2pm, which was plenty of time of us. After about 2pm the place will get busier so if you prefer a more low key crowd we recommend visiting early in the day. 




I had in my mind for some reason that the pool passes here were expensive, which is why we never really took time to go there while we were visiting - they really aren't. I believe our whole family got a full day's admission for around $28.  You can upgrade for unlimited water slide riding as well for a few extra dollars or purchase individual rides as you like.  We definitely will be back here in the future.


   










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