Friday, February 28, 2014

Flash Back Friday: Enchanted Forest Old Forge, NY

Summer of 2005 sent me, three of my children and my friend Mary with her two children north to the Adirondacks for a few days of out door family fun at Enchanted Forest in Old Forge, NY.

We had decided to take a few days to simply unwind a waterpark on the brain, and a camp out in the woods to relax.
I don't think I had ever been to Enchanted Forest before that trip, despite making Adirondack trips past this older park nestled in the wood for summer camping. It certainly seemed like a perfect place to spend a few days with the kids.
Originally the plan was to camp in tents, but we hit the right time and there were cabins available, at a decent rate and I had somehow convinced myself that if we stayed in tents the BEARS would get us. I was WEIRD back then. It worked out nicely but it was not as comfortable as I would have ultimately liked, I think I slept on the floor and Mary's youngest cried most of the night. But anyways....we had
a great time at the park.

Upon entering you are greeted by Paul Bunion in all his GIANT glory.

 I had purchased a history of the park book while I was there, but I have no idea where that went today. I am sure there was some great information on Paul, as well as all of his friends that scatter the park.
 The kids pose in a GIANT tree trunk, must have been Paul's handy work.
 Cinderella's carriage after it turned back into a pumpkin....
 If I remember this is the little crooked man's house and the home was on a slant.
 Peter Peter Pumpkin eater had a wife and couldn't keep her..put her in a Pumpkin shell and there he kept her very well. (My I never realized just how abusive Peter was)
 Gavin rides of the Three Blind Mice, while Nick gets into The Witches oven from Hansel and Gretel.

There's the witches house of candy....Now who wouldn't be just slightly tempted to take a bite.
Like many of the older Adirondack theme parks, (Lake George area) the park is filled with statues, small houses, and characters that kids can climb on, enter and play pretend. Does anyone REMEMBER playing pretend??? Now a days...these kids don't need to use their imagination.

After some IMAGINATION; We made our way to one of the live shows. The Elephant show, as well as they family performing had been with the Park since it's original opening sometime in the 50's. (I wish I could find that book, it was pretty interesting). We had perfect seats.

This was the BEST elephant show I had ever seen. Donti was amazing and the family did so many tricks with her. I wish I had photos of people on her, and her doing fun tricks, back then I was more into enjoying the show then catching the moment forever on film. I didn't have digital back then either so pictures were taken much more selectively. I am even pretty sure all these pictures were taken with one of those popular throw away camera's.  I know I had given the kids one of those underwater camera's to play with for the day.

Donti did some amazing things, and the best part is she like MONEY!!!For a dollar, you can get a carrot to feed her. She would take your $1- out of your hand and the staff would give you a carrot to feed her. Gavin gave her the dollar and Nick feed her the carrot. It was super fun.  Gavin was so mesmerized.

Of course there are rides at the park as well, and we made our way to all of them. At the time there were NO roller-coaster and I don't know if there are any there today either. Bigger kids might not get as much excitement about the kiddy train, boats, or old fashion cars. However, the Water rides; clearly their signature name "water safari" are a whole other story.

We finally made it to the awaited water park area and the kids were off.  
There were tons of water slides.....
 of course a LAZY river...and swings in the water
 Animals to climb.
 and a giant wave pool to jump around in. We almost lost Will in this part as a wave came up over his head. I grabbed him and he was fine.
We spent most of the afternoon in the water and we totally lucked out with the weather in mid-June.

Gavin, Will and Alex stayed close to us, while Nick and Lex were off to the bigger slides and rides.

Here is a picture of the water park from a postcard. These fun areas for the smaller kids are always a big hit at any of the water parks we have been to.
As the day lingered on and the little kids had enough water fun, Mary and I made our way with the youngest member to the small petting zoo.

Mostly filled with goats, this petting zoo will forever be remembered as the place I got totally spooked by a goat.  
Mary tell's the story the best, but I had been assisting Gavin in some anticipated goat petting when one of these fellows quietly jumped up on a stump behind me. Unknowing of his presence I turned around just as he bleated...(or what ever noise Goats make) in my face with his big old goat mouth and  tongue vibrating at me as he screeched. I think I screamed while I just about fell over in fear, and Mary nearly pissed herself laughing. Anytime we have been near goats together since or even when were together and animals get mentioned she tells the story. It changed my perception of these "harmless" petting zoo animals forever. Gavin too has a different perception of these looks like he is telling this guy to.... "leave my mother alone" in the picture above.
As the day finalized we packed it up and headed back to the campground for the night. Ever so grateful we had a cabin instead of a tent by the time we were all said and done.
 Love this picture of Nick, Gavin and Alex...
Mary, Alex and Will pose in front of the Kabin first then my little family pose' Alexis, Me, Gavin and Nick.
After dinner we had a late night swim at the campground beach.
 We had the beach to ourselves.

The water was peaceful, not especially warm if I remember, but the kids didn't care. I simply LOVE the color of the Adirondack water. It reminds me of tea. When I was a teen my friends mother Karen would take us up in these woods to camp every summer and we spent hours swimming, boating and having a great time. These woods remind me of my youth. These woods are some of the most beautiful, and their quaint towns are so comforting. I spent many a night in these deep woods, no tents and no cabins so it was funny that I would be so frightened by the prospect of a bear... we never did see any bears, but we saw this fellow crossing the street.

and came up on this wooden bear and his mother.

The next day we headed south towards home. There is always ton's of things to do in the village of Old Forge, but honestly there wasn't much open while we were there so early in the season.

 We did stop at the railroad and climbed some train cars before heading back to the big city of Syracuse. All aboard.
It was truly a great few days. I think we all had great fun at the Enchanted Forest, now called Enchanted Forest Water Safari theme park in the heart of the Adirondack Park. Thumbs up to anyone who questions making the stop!!!