Travels with Children

The adventures I embark upon with my four young children.


Shakopee, MN.  800-386-7433.  www.valleyfair.comVarious price structures available.  Pay parking. 
Stroller accessible.  Restrooms with changing tables available.  Concessions on-site. 

We convinced my husband to take us to Valleyfair on a Thursday afternoon in mid-June. I had admission coupons that expired mid-month, so if we were going to go this summer, now was the time. It turned out to be a nearly perfect day.

We packed a lunch and ate at the picnic grounds before going into the park. Then we paid our admission and stopped at the guest services office to get emergency ID bracelets for the kids so we could be located if we were separated from them. After that, we were off to the rides!

Although the foam ball factory was the boys’ primary destination, we convinced them to go on some of the other rides along the way. It was fun to watch our two-year-old go on some of the little-kid rides. Although she didn’t seem wild about them, she seldom turned down a chance at an age-appropriate ride.

It was very important that we have two adults along with the varied ages and sizes of the kids. With the different height restrictions on the rides, there were times when only one or two of the kids were tall enough, and/or had to be accompanied by an adult. That left the other adult behind to watch the smaller ones. Until all the kids are over 48″ tall, I don’t think I’d attempt taking them to Valleyfair alone. Besides, my husband is the one who likes the rides!

We caught the “Squiggles” show in front of the Foam Ball Factory . . . three times during the afternoon. The kids kept pulling us back to the Rockin’ Tug and the Foam Ball Factory, so we happened to catch the show several times. It was enjoyable, with talented musicians and fun “oldies” songs, and I’d recommend it whether or not you have little ones along.

Somehow we managed to pick a beautiful day weather-wise, and there was virtually no crowd in the park the day we were there. Our family got a private ride on the Ferris Wheel, and our five-year-old got to ride solo on the “Mild Thing” kids’ roller coaster. We seldom had to wait in line, so we all got to do what we wanted, as many times as we wished.

Mid-afternoon, we shared some snacks for a total of $12.60. While not a bargain, the container of fries, bag of chips, and two sodas were enough to tide us over until we left the park at 6:30 p.m. We really didn’t want to pay for an entire meal at the park, and we didn’t want to walk back out to the car to eat the snacks that we had along, so it was a decent compromise for us.

One of the best things about our day at Valleyfair was that we could let the kids take the lead, and since the rides were all paid for, they could go on as many as they wanted. We didn’t take advantage of the Imax theater or the water park during this trip as we were busy going on lots of rides.

I came away from our day at Valleyfair with some good memories. I loved the look of sheer delight on our four-year-old daughter’s face as she rode on the Scrambler, and the smiles that our five-year-old had on his face when he got to ride three different trains, twice each. Our not-always-so-brave seven-year-old rode the Flume with his dad and his brother, and our two-year-old loved dancing at the Squiggles show. My husband got to ride on the newest roller coaster, and I got my traditional carousel ride. It was a good day.

Valleyfair watching roller coaster

Valleyfair 12

Valleyfair 6

Read about our last trip to Valleyfair.


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