In case you've been under the false impression that being frugal means you can't have any fun, I just want to let you know that is so not true. It just means you have planned for having fun in a way that makes the most of the money you spend....so you are getting real value for your dollar. This blog, and others in the future, will feature places where our family has had some really great fun and frugal times, and I hope you might find them to be memory-making experiences for your family too.
Remlinger Farm in Carnation has been a great place to take the grandkids the past few summers, and is ideal for families with kids up to about 10 years old. This year the family fun park opens on Saturday, May 7th, the day before Mother's Day, and the regular season lasts up to the first part of October. There are rides perfectly suited for young kids...some they ride alone and some will accommodate adults too. Our favorites are the spinning barrels, flying pumpkins, old-fashioned cars and pony rides. The 1/4 scale train is a wonderful way to have a tour through the park, shout out an occasional whoo-hoo! and have a little rest too. There are also animals to pet and feed, a guy who leads the kids in singing some great farm themed songs (with audience participation) and a straw bale maze.
Admission most weeks is $10-12.00 per person for the day and includes all the rides. They generally have coupons on their website http://www.remlingerfarms.com/index.htm for $1.00 off admission, as well as other savings on produce or concessions. There are some times, like the Strawberry Festival in June, when admission is more, so check the website before you go. There is a restaurant and concession stand within the park, as well as a very large produce market and gift shop. The produce market has all kinds of fruit and veggies, salsas, jams, jellies, syrups, sauces, canning supplies, fresh cinnamon rolls, AND the famous Remlinger Farm pies. You are not allowed to bring in outside food, so we usually pack a lunch, eat on the grass or a bench next to the parking lot as soon as we get there, and then have some ice cream while we're inside. We have taken in water bottles and some small munchies for the babies in the group who need to snack frequently. If you need to go back to your car you can get your hand stamped for returning, and the parking lot is conveniently located just outside the gate.
The park gets busy, but we have never experienced it to be crowded. We've waited in line for a few minutes, but never anything like going to a fair or theme parks; and the admission is a bargain in comparison. So, plan on packing up a picnic, putting on some comfy walking shoes, maybe asking some friends or extended family to join you, and have a wonderful day in a very family-friendly environment. And don't forget to take along a cooler to bring home some fresh produce or pie!