This gem is pure bliss for little kids. The Land of Make Believe is a family owned amusement park that features both a water park and carnival rides. It’s surrounded by the Kittatinny Valley, in Hope Township, NJ. It was specifically built for small kids, so it’s set up perfectly for families with youngsters. This amusement park has a ‘county fair’ feel with a grass parking lot, fair like foods, carnival games and rides. The water park definitely differentiates The Land of Make Believe from just another county fair and it truly is a land where kids can run, splash and play all day. The vibe of this 30 acre property is unique and special with a real family owned business feel. It’s mix of wholesomeness and fantasy would be hard to replicate.
We began our adventure on a Friday arriving around 1:00 with a one year old and two four year olds. It was busy but not too busy to enjoy. Upon entering the park, you see amusement games and tons of rides. It was hot so we headed to the water park first. If you bring a stroller you’ll have to park those outside the gate surrounding the water park (we did and even left a few thing in them and all was safe). There are lockers available to rent in this area so you can lock up any valuables if you choose. We couldn’t find any lounge chairs so we put out beach bag and towels in an unclaimed area on the concrete, so things got a little wet. It didn’t take long for chairs to open up which we secured as soon as we could.
Our kids bolted for the giant wading pool and within seconds we were chasing the happiest kids we had seen all week around this kid heaven. We spent about half of our day here playing on several small slides, fun water features and a pirate ship. We also rode one of the tube slides. Since the kids are just 4, I was impressed they were so ambitions. One was brave enough to go alone, the other shared a tube with me and we all laughed our way to the bottom. The slide feels like a legit adult slide but you only have to be 36″ to go solo. We rode this several more times throughout our stay in the water park area. We spent about half of our day in the wading pool and never even made it over to Blackbeard’s Pirate Fort or the lazy river. We’ll have to come back for these. In total there are about 9 different water rides/areas to experience. The water park has two high thrill slides, Pirate’s Cannonball and Pirate’s Plunge which are straight drops and far too scary even for me to try. Next time we’ll bring Monte, he’ll do anything 😉
After changing into dry clothes and an ice cream break we ventured to the amusement ride section. We hopped on the adorable open-air miniature steam locomotive which runs the perimeter of the park and we got to see everything they had. We saw all of the rides, 15 in total, and even drove through a tunnel then around the outside of the whole water park. After about 10 minutes we pulled back into the station where we pick up our strollers and hit every ride in the dirt lot filled with perfect kid-sized rides. The four year old’s were big enough to ride everything and nothing was too scary. I joined them on some, but only to participate in the fun. Our favorite ride was probably the Thriller, the park’s only roller coaster. We also really enjoyed the classic Tilt a whirl. Again, The Land of Make Believe masters wholesomeness with each ride being surrounded by a white picket fence and kind staff.
After splashing and spinning we took a stroll through the petting zoo which had rabbits, a cow and a couple little lambs. We also took a walk through the Land of Make Believe Mining Company where you can purchase gem stones them mine them a trough. Our last stop was a walk through Santa’s barn. You walk through a chimney which takes you to stairs leading you to a fabricated winter forest which is supposed to be Santa Claus’ summer home. If you wait, you can tell Santa what you want for Christmas ahead of time and get free cookie cutters. There is also a gift shop, ice cream parlor and pizza place inside.
It’s still early in the summer, I forecast we’ll be back really soon. The Land of Make Believe marks the top of my list of places to take kids before they grow up!
- Parking is free.
- All attractions once inside are free except the mining activity.
- Bring towels, sunscreen, hats & sunglasses.
- Coolers are not allowed but you can bring in food and drinks.
- Their food is good and very inexpensive.
- Best for ages 2-8 but could go up to 11 since they’ve added some new slides.
- Under 2 is free.
- Very stroller friendly.
- Flotation devices are not allowed.
- Many bathrooms and changing areas.
Check out our fun day:
For more family fun ideas in New Jersey check out: