Playland - Vancouver
notes from Mom
Activity:I don't know about yours, but our kids love love Playland at the PNE (Pacific National Exhibition). Although there are few things I dislike more than shelling out three bucks for Nathan and Jen to take their chances at winning a stuffed bear, every year I find myself doing it.
I have to admit, I do like the rides--especially the roller coaster. Rides are fun (so long you don't get sick or lose your money), and you can get a day's full by buying a Ride Pass to Playland. Theoretically you can go from 11 o'clock in the morning and stay until 9 o'clock at night and ride on almost any ride you want (Drop Zone and Revelation are not included) as many times as you want. My sister's kids went on the Octopus twelve times in a row. So if your kids are ride fanatics, but you want to avoid the PNE, take them in the off-season (April till the PNE starts) to Playland.
Age group:There is no age restriction for Playland, but you do have to be over four feet tall to get on the scary rides. To be honest with you, I'd think twice before letting Nathan try their two new rides, The Hellevator and Revelation described as the fastest most exhilarating extreme ride in the world. Don't leave your small children at home. There's a whole section of rides dedicated to them. If your little one is dying to try a ride, but too scared, ask the person running the ride if you can go on too. I've never been refused, although I have to admit the Dumbo elephant ride is getting a bit tight for me.
Expense rating:At $29.95 and $14.95 a pop for kids over and under 48" tall respectively, Playland can be an expensive outing--especially if your family takes up all the seats in a mini-van. However, if you know you're destined to go sometime, you may want to think about it. Consider that during the exhibition rides like the roller coaster start at $5.00 a ride, and some of them last only a minute. Believe me, it adds up quickly. Plus, if you go in with a child, adults pay only $11.95 to get in. That means you can go on any rides you want as well. Children under three years-of-age and seniors over 60 are free.
:As any kid and most adults will tell you, Playland is a lot of fun. It has 30 rides in all--12 kiddies rides and 18 adult ones. The two new rides for 2000 are The Hellevator and Revelation. Hold onto your hats (and wallets) for these. They're described as "state-of-the-art extreme thrill rides." Plus Playland also has Mini Golf, an arcade, batting cages, 3 on 3 basketball and a petting zoo. You could easily spend a day there. If you think your kids will get sick of it, before you get your money's worth, think again. One year my sister bought season's passes for her four girls. One week they went every night. Now, of course, she never wants to go back, but they enjoyed it at the time.
:The problem I have with Playland is my husband hates rides--he gets sea sick even on the Carousel. Then I've got Nathan who likes the thriller rides, Jen who never wants to leave the kiddy section, and Coleman (our new addition) who doesn't even know what a ride is. How do you make everybody happy? Your kids have to be willing to wait. Or maybe you can go with a friend and split your kids into groups.
Details:Playland is on the east side of the Pacific National Exhibition site located at the corner of Hastings Street and Renfrew Street in Vancouver. Call (604) 253-2311 for more information. Website: www.pne.ca/playland
Educational highlights:To say that Playland provides an enriching learning opportunity for children would be stretching it. It's all fun. But sometimes you need to have 100% pure fun. It balances out all those 10 pm homework crunch times your kids get into during the school year.
Fun for the adult?:If you like rides, I do, you can have two barrels of fun at Playland. One going on the rides and two watching your kids laugh and scream as they go on the rides. If you don't like rides, bring your camera and take pictures of your kids having fun--you'll have plenty of chances.