Yesterday I took the kids out for one final summer outing to the Nut Tree Theme Park, a charming little theme park in the middle of the Nut Tree Village, a shopping a restaurant complex in Vacaville, CA. The park is small and low-key with no waiting lines to speak of, so we had a great stress-free afternoon. Despite the burning hundred-degree heat, we kept our cool with the help of some sunblock, hats and ice-cold water, not to mention the park's thoughtfully-placed shade canopies and misting sprays (and did I mention no waiting lines, so we didn't have to stand in the sun?).
The rides, geared for kids ages 2 through 8, are small and simple, guaranteed not to whip the kids up into a frenzy. My kids (ages 4, 4 and 7) understandably preferred the "big kid" rides: the bumper cards, the spinning balloon ride and their favorite, the roller coaster, but are still young enough to enjoy "the rides that go round and round": the carousel, plane, car and train rides.
My favorite was the carousel, mainly because I love the brightly-colored animals (And by the way, did you know the difference between a carousel and a merry-go-round? According to one of the park employees, a merry-go-round has only horses on it, while carousels have different types of animals). This particular carousel had some intruiging animals on it that I've never seen before, including a panda, a frog and a crocodile.
All in all, we had a great day, and the kids are already asking me when we can go back. It's quite a small park --with just seven rides, a games area and some outdoor play areas -- so you can see the whole park in an hour or two-- perfect for leaving Alfie there with the kids while I hit the nearby stores :)
Individual ride tickets work out to be quite expensive ($1.40 to $3.40 per ride, and height restrictions for "big kid" rides mean that most 4-year olds still need an adult to ride with them), so if you're planning to spend more than 30 minutes in the park, your best bet is to buy an unlimited ride wristband for $10.
For added savings, here's a coupon code you can use to receive $3 off each wristband when you buy them online! Just go to Nut Tree's online ticket sales and buy online from the Nut Tree Theme Park website, select the number of wristbands (they're called Fun Passports) you want and enter the Promotion Code BLOG08 to receive $3 off each one.
And here's an even better deal: I'm giving away some Fun Passports to the Nut Tree Theme Park so you can take your kids to the park for free! To enter, just leave a comment on this post before September 30 (and be sure to include your email address so I can contact you). On October 1, I'll randomly select ten lucky winners, who will each receive 4 unlimited ride wristbands (Read the full contest rules here). Good luck!