Valley Fair Amusement Park With Amusement Rides

Visiting Valley Fair Amusement Park in Shakopee Minnesota is a great way to spend the day with the family. The park covers 90 acres and includes a water park with a wave pool. Admission to Valley Fair also gives access to Challenge Park, an area with some additional thrill rides for additional fees. Valley Fair has recently made some changes and improvements that will provide fun for the whole family. Here are some highlights of 3 different areas of the park.

1. Soak City Water Park

2. Challenge Park

3. Planet Snoopy

Soak City Water Park

This addition to the park was built on 7 acres inside the park, near the IMAX theatre. This fun water park includes an enclosed area for kids less than 5 years of age. This fenced area includes a small version of the lazy river, a splash pool and a small water slide. It is perfect for toddlers and younger kids.

Soak City also has a lager lazy river ride for older kids and adults. For those looking for a bit more thrill there are three water slides: Panic Falls, Hurricane Falls and Raging Rapids.

A new addition in 2011 is the wave pool. This area is extremely popular and the waves in the pool get quite large, much larger than those at the Water Park of America. Inner Tubes are available for rent to ride in the wave pool, but they are not required. There are also cabanas available for rent. The water park is generally open until about 8:00, rather than the 10:00 that the park is open. Soak City is a wonderful place to take a break from the park and get refreshed on a hot afternoon. Swim suits are required and towels are not provided.

Challenge Park

Challenge Park is an area inside of Valley Fair that is designed for those who are looking for even more thrills. There are three attractions in this area and they each require an additional fee. The attractions are:

1. Go-Karts - Starts at $6.00 per person per session

2. Ripcord - Starts at $24.95 per person

3. Adventure Golf - starts at $6.00 per round

The Go Karts require drivers to be 54" tall. Riders must be 44" tall. The course is ¼ mile long with many turns to navigate

The Ripcord allows guests to experience a fall similar to skydiving from 180 feet in the air. Riders must be 48" to ride

Adventure Golf is 18 holes of miniature golf in a beautifully landscaped course. There is no height requirement for this activity.

These activities are all together next to the popular Steel Venom ride.

Planet Snoopy

The younger guests may want to visit the new Planet Snoopy area. This area has Peanuts themed rides for kids who are under 54" tall and not yet ready for the larger thrill rides in the rest of the park. Planet Snoopy has such rides as Peanuts Road Rally and Sally's Swing Set. Each ride has its own requirements for height listed at the entrance so check the sign if there are any questions.

Other Rides

There are many other rides and shows throughout the park. Each ride has any restrictions on age or height posted prominently at the entrance. The park can be a little confusing on where entrances to specific rides are located and there are few unexpected dead ends. Pick up a map at the entrance and use it to help navigate through the park.

If the line for a specific ride is long take a quick look around as there are usually several ride entrances grouped together. Another ride may not have such a long line.


Carnivals Are a Wild Ride In the Amusement Park

The fascination with carnivals and carnival rides has been around since the first performer got on stage and wowed a crowd. The spectacle itself is as much the source of entertainment as what the performers are doing. But it all goes back to being entertained; people are social by nature and love to be around others. Tied to that sentiment is the fact that humans love entertainment. It takes us out of our normal, day-to-day lives in a way barely anything else can. The venues, carnival ride rentals, stage performers, and food combine to give customers something to smile and be joyous about.

Performers are arguably the bedrock of carnivals. While amusement parks rely on their ridiculously high roller coasters and complicated contraptions, carnival rentals that run on a smaller scale rely on performers to bring in the crowds and keep them entertained enough to have them stay longer. Clowns are often found in carnivals, though they are mostly associated with circuses. Their costumes traditionally come with puffy red hair, a painted face, a large colored nose, multi-colored top and bottom, and oversized boots. Clowns are known for their comedic performances and ability to make balloon animals for children. They are the modern day court jester.

With entertainment keeping customers at the carnival longer, there is a greater chance they will want to check out the rides and try their hand at the carnival games. Popular carnival games include ring toss, skee-ball, a shooting gallery, and Roll-A-Ball. Ring toss and skee-ball are easily the most popular carnival games. Ring toss may seem simple, but it is deceptively challenging. Skee-ball is a favorite for the very same reasons, as well as being a sort of distant cousin to bowling, minus the pins. Skee-ball setups are usually set side-by-side, which adds to the competitiveness of the game.

Besides games and performers, carnival ride rentals are also present, making them a sort of miniature amusement park. The carousel, with its mechanical horses that bounce up and down as the machine spins, is a popular, and classic, ride for kids and their parents; it does not spin too fast and it allows the kids to safely have enjoy themselves. The Round Up-arguably a more adult-oriented version of the carousel-has riders strapped onto the machine as it tilts and spins around, not a good choice for those with weak stomachs!


Family-Friendly Amusement Park Attractions in Chicago

From Michigan Avenue to the Magnificent Mile, Chicago boosts tons of kid-friendly activities to keep the whole family entertained. Visitors can hop on the Navy Pier Carousel horses for kids, admire the view from Sears Tower Sky Deck, explore the Museum of Science and Industry, and more. Here are some of our favorite family-friendly places to visit and things to do for your next trip to the Chicago area.

1. Shedd Aquarium includes a lizard lair, an 1,000-seat amphitheater with Pacific white-sided dolphins, a lizard lair, and more. If you're traveling with younger kids, then check out Tots on Tuesdays, which includes story time, crafts, videos, dancing, singing, and more for the preschool set.

2. Surrounded by restaurants, stores, and other attractions, Navy Pier Park combines early twentieth century charm with modern day excitement and thrill rides. Navy Pier is one of Chicago's most popular landmarks and tourist attractions. Go Chicago Card can ride the following attractions for free before 5:30 pm: the Ferris wheel, 18 hole mini-golf, a light tower, a wave swinger, and an old-fashioned carousel.

3. Conveniently located in Navy Pier, the Chicago Children's Museum has three floors packed with interactive activities, multicultural performances, workshops, and more. In Inventing Lab, kids learn about inventions by Chicago-area students and play on a giant Grand Piano Slide. Dinosaur Expedition lets visitors see what it's like to be part of a dinosaur expedition as they explore a recreation of the 1997 Sahara expedition that discovered a species of fish-eating dinosaur. BIG Backyard combines art and technology in a jumbo-sized garden filled with giant toadstools, over-sized insects, and more. Bring your Go Chicago Card for free admission daily before 5:00 pm.

4. Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry is the ultimate interactive museum with around 2,000 exhibits. Plan to spend several hours exploring the a U-505 German submarine captured in 1944, a walk-through human heart, and numerous other exhibits exploring computers, health and human anatomy, aviation, and more. Little girls will adore Colleen Moore's Fairy Castle, a miniature palace that cost almost a half million dollars to construct. Free admission with the Go Chicago Card.

5. First-time visitors to Chicago should be sure to check out the Sears Tower Skydeck, which is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. The Skydeck offers virtual tours highlighting Chicago's landmarks and history and smaller attractions designed for kids.
Find more amusement park rides at http://bestoncarousels.blog.com/2015/11/26/a-few-tips-for-finding-quality-merry-go-rounds-for-the-park/.


Rocking Carousel Horse Plans the Kids Will Love

Availability of rocking horse plans varies greatly. With varying sizes and styles, choosing the right rocking toy plan could prove to be more tedious than the actual process of making the rocking toy. Sizes can vary from toddler to adult. Detailed plans can allow your rocking toy to be transformed into knight's battling horse, or a carousel horse, or even a circus horse. If more than one horse is desired, plans for rocking teams of horses are also available. If a rocking horse does not meet your needs, plans are also available for rocking donkeys and cows and even a rocking Harley motor cycle.

Age Appropriate

Age is always a consideration when building a rocking toy. Height and materials should all be considered when choosing age appropriate designs. Toddler safety should be considered when choosing height. A rocking toy too tall could pose a safety hazard if the toddler falls, and certain materials used could pose a choking hazard to younger children. However, pre-school children would not be able to rock appropriately if the size is not correct. Some plans will provide helpful information as far as age appropriate designs. Woodworking plans for rocking toys, provide many details and pictures to assist you in choosing the right plan to provide hours of enjoyment for children of all ages.


Rocking toys can be constructed from many different types of wood. Pine is one of the easiest woods to work with, and very inexpensive, making it great for beginners. Since some horses, such as circus and carousel horses for kids, will be painted, the grain of more expensive wood will be covered and hidden underneath the paint. Once the plans become familiar, uniqueness of the rocking horse can be achieved by using different types of wood, such as, ash, cherry, oak and/or walnut. Using different types of wood will not only add to the uniqueness of your rocking toy, but the stability as well. Heavy hardwood will help to add durability and stability to the bottom of the horse while lighter wood that is not as dense provides easier movement of the rocking horse.


Finishes for rocking horses vary as much as the individual unique plans for them. Wood stains, varnishes, oils and paint are just a few ways one could consider when it comes to finishing touches. Many rocking horse plans will include changes, tips and suggestions. Stains are the perfect choice to show off the wood used to make the rocking horse, and stains are easy to match any decor. Finishing oils will produce a softer natural finish on the horse, while varnishes provide shiny finish. Uniqueness can be added to any rocking toy by using paint. These finishes make it possibly to construct that perfect knight's steed for at special little boy, or that vibrant, bright carousel horse for a precious little girl.