the coney island of the midwest

arnold's park

I’m welcoming fall, but I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t miss slow summer mornings and dipping my toes in the lake. We had a very happy and healthy family summer filled with adventures and memories, and I’m so grateful for all the sun-drenched experiences we’ve had together.

arnolds park ferris wheel

We crossed almost everything off our summer 2014 bucket list — and added even more. Joseph is still talking about the train museum we visited. (And, we also celebrated his August birthday with a Thomas the Tank Engine birthday bash! Maybe someday I’ll get around to uploading those photos…)

arnolds park okoboji

We ended the season of sandals and sunglasses with a bang, and I thought I’d pop on here to share our old-fashioned farewell to summer. I’ve always heard about the mythical Arnold’s Park on Lake Okoboji, but after reading about it in the New York Times, I was convinced that we had to make it a point to visit. We spent Labor Day at the charming, old-fashioned amusement park, and had so much fun. I’m so glad we made the trip.

arnold's park okoboji

We bought tickets for family rides like the ferris wheel overlooking the lake and the big, old-fashioned train that winds around the throw-back amusement park. We sipped hand-squeezed lemonade and munched on popcorn and found favorite horses on carousel. We watched the clackety wooden rollercoaster (one of the country’s oldest) climb high and speed by us. The boys got brave and rode some kids’ rides together, like the mini-motorboats and the tiny train. We raced go-karts and slathered sunscreen and walked along the dock, breathing in the last few summer breezes.

arnold's park okobojiAmusement parks are notoriously chaotic, but Arnold’s Park was so quaint and charming. Walking the lakeside park was like stepping into a different time, where children balance ice cream cones and older couples walk hand-in-hand, remembering summers past. You only pay per ride, making it an affordable family trip. We splashed in the fountain and ended our old-timey adventure with Nutty Bars (chocolate dipped ice cream with peanuts, on a stick of course) and Monkey Tails (chocolate covered frozen bananas on a stick).

It was a lovely day, but after all the carnival games had been played and our last quarters spent, we were all ready to load up the car and go home.

We all have our limits.

family on vacation tired


3 thoughts on “the coney island of the midwest

    1. Thank you, Daisy! You are too sweet. Thanks for stopping by — your blog is lovely, too! Your lip color post inspired me to buy a little something when I was at the store tonight. 🙂

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