ValleyFair is back! It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to walk through the turnstiles and enjoy a day at ValleyFair. I was extremely excited when I heard they were opening at the end of May. Last year we definitely felt a void in our summer without our beloved ValleyFair. So we could not wait to go when we found out they were opening.
As soon as the kids saw Wild Thing from 101 the giggles and excitement in the car skyrocketed. Peyton and Morgan could not wait to get inside the park and head directly to Wild Thing. Peyton’s best friend came with us on this trip, however, it was her first visit to ValleyFair so she was just excited to be going!
Parking was a breeze. Just as I remembered. Get there early, find a spot near the front under the shade of a tree, leave my windows cracked just a little and head to the security area for screening. It was going to be a hot day so I wanted to get the kids in the park as early as possible so we could ride as many rides as possible.
As we were going through security and getting our tickets scanned you could feel the excitement in the air. The staff and guests were all excited to be back. ValleyFair is a Minnesota treasure, it’s our only amusement park. My family has been going here for as long as I can remember. My dad used to take my brother and I when we were little and as we got older we would visit with school or our friends. So getting to take my family brings back those treasured memories of my childhood. It’s like I get to share a little bit of my childhood with them and experience ValleyFair through their eyes.
As soon as we entered the park the kids turned to the left and started towards Wild Thing. But before we went too far I made them all stop so we could get some bottled water. It was going to be close to 100 if not 100 by the end of the day so we needed to stay hydrated. Now, you can bring in a reusable water bottle and there are plenty of places to refill them throughout the park. But I had forgotten ours on the kitchen table so we just bought some ice-cold water at the Cinnabon building. We may have also picked up a buttered pretzel while we were there. Oh, how I’ve missed those!
Once we had our provisions it was back on the mission to find Wild Thing.
It didn’t take long before the kids got sidetracked again. When we turned the corner and they saw North Star I knew we were going to have to stop. And sure enough, within seconds, I heard – Mom can we ride North Star? So we took a little side trip and got in line. North Star is a thrill ride that is not for those afraid of heights. It’s a swing ride that expands 230 feet into the sky where you get to swing and see the whole park! It’s one of Peyton’s favorite rides. I’ve been on it a few times but this time I sat out and held everyone’s belongings.
Once they were done with North Star we kept on our mission to find Wild Thing. I was surprised Morgan and Peyton knew exactly where to go without looking at a map. Even though we have not been here since 2019 they knew the way.
When we turned the corner and started up the incline for the Wild Thing the kid could not hold in their excitement. They pretty much left us in the dust and ran to get in line.
After they rode the Wild Thing – twice – we decided to head to Soak City. It was a scorcher of a day and everyone needed to cool off. ValleyFair did an amazing job at reminding people to drink water throughout the day and having plenty of water and ice available – at no cost – to refill reusable water bottles. They made announcements throughout the day reminding people to drink water. And we saw several first aid staff walking through the parks. I was extremely impressed with the care and guidance they provided throughout the day to visitors.
Soak City was a welcome sight! It was already in the high 90s and we were melting in the summer sun. But one word of caution – the sidewalks are painfully hot, bring flip flops to wear while visiting Soak City. The last time we were at a waterpark we were in Florida and the pavement was not hot but in Florida, they have water spickets that are constantly spraying water on the walkways to keep them cool. We don’t have that here in Minnesota. And on days like today, that sidewalk feels like hot lava burning your feet off. If you forget, don’t worry! ValleyFair has flip-flops and sandals for sale in and near Soak City. But trust me, you will want them.
We spent a fair amount of the afternoon at Soak City. It was just too hot out. So, we played in the wave pool for hours. Then the kids went on a few water slides, played in the splash area, and went back to the wave pool. The kid’s favorite place in Soak City is the wave pool. They would stay in there all day if I would let them.
There are a few food options in Soak City but Morgan wanted to go to his favorite place – Coasters. Coasters Drive-In is a throwback to the 50s, they have burgers, chicken tenders, milkshakes, and air conditioning. It’s one of the few places with air conditioning that you can sit down and eat in at ValleyFair. That’s where Morgan really wanted to go so we all headed back towards Coasters for a late lunch.
After lunch, the girls went to the game area and played a few games. Peyton even won! She was determined to bring home a pineapple cat and she was not going to give up on the goblet toss until she won. Then she won two prizes! A watermelon cat AND a pineapple cat!
We spent the whole days at ValleyFair, from the time they opened until a little before they closed enjoying the park. We didn’t get to all the rides but that just means we need to come back for another visit!
This year, ValleyFair does look and feel a teeny bit different than in years past. This year, you need reservations to visit. You also need a reservation to Soak City. Be sure to check ValleyFair’s website for the most up-to-date information on reservations and face masks. The hours are a little shorter right now, but as they higher staff the hours will expand and more and more rides, shops, eateries, and games will open. I felt there was a ton open while we visited but there were a few rides closed.
ValleyFair has a special place in my family. It’s a place we go and make lifelong memories with friends and family. We are so happy to be able to visit again!
If you are planning a day at ValleyFair, be sure to check out the website for the most up-to-date information. And if you are planning on visiting 2+ days this year, I highly recommend the season pass. It’s a great value for tons of fun!