Friday Fun – Diggerland, USA!
Ever wanted to operate some heavy machinery? Does looking at bulldozers make you want to dig a hole?
You can indulge your fantasy at Diggerland, USA, a new construction-themed amusement park in Berlin, NJ.
Over the Thanksgiving holiday my in-laws took us to Diggerland on a very cold day. I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical at first. I was worried it would be about as interesting as the Barbed Wire Museum in Kansas. But I was pleasantly surprised that park goers got to operate construction machinery on their own.
Personal attention. After some instruction from park workers you could dig holes or knock down pins with their diggers or drive through obstacle courses with tractors, dumper trucks, back-hoes and skid-steers.
It was amazing the amount of personal instruction each person got. This wasn’t a park in which hordes of people were shoved in one end and released at another. Each ride in which you were the driver had a person that instructed you how to use it.
As I said earlier, it was really cold the day we went. There were probably only a few other families as crazy as us to go that day. I’m curious to see how the park handles large crowds.
Group rides. There are a few group rides at Diggerland as well. They hold a handful of people and include:
- The ground shuttle, which raises you up high and drives you around
- Spin dizzy
- The excavator express in which a dumper truck tows 3 carriages
- The dig-a-round, think carousel with construction equipment, and
- The barrel train (mostly designed for littler kids)
For older and younger kids. For the more adventuresome older kids there is a ropes course and a rock wall while younger kids can play on the playscape.
Drawbacks. Most of the family had a great time at Diggerland. Unfortunately, Number 5, who is 4 and small for his age, was disappointed. Although he is at the perfect age for enjoying construction equipment, he didn’t meet the 42″ mark required for the rides he was really interested in.
Diggerland is also pricey – a regular admission costs $34.95, but they run online specials and we bought tickets for $19.95 a person. And unlike a lot of parks that charge non-riders an entrance fee, non-participating seniors and children under 36″ are free.