Lighten Up Already!

We definitely needed to lighten the mood around here so after a night (finally) of uninterrupted sleep we packed up and headed into the wild outdoors. (Thanks for the awesome advice everyone, but I was desperate last night and took a Tylenol PM.) 

The fresh air was calling so over the George Washington Bridge we went to our favorite park, other than Central Park of course.  Van Saun Park is nestled in the mall crazy town of Paramus, NJ.  According to Wikipedia, Paramus is one of the largest shopping meccas in the country, with over $5 billion in annual retail sales, more than any other ZIP Code in the United States. Because of all of the malls, strip malls and distractions Paramus does a good job of making you think that you need to shop, shop, shop!  You would never even know that Van Saun Park existed.  But it does…….

As we entered Van Saun Park we passed by the ponies. It’s so cool  that you can park your car, hop out and let your child enjoy a pony ride.  For only $2!  The ponies are sweet and the trainers are very nice.  It’s a great perk to the park.  We, however, did not stop.  We are big wimps and weren’t sure that Jack was old enough for pony rides and kept on driving.  We keep saying that we are going to let him do it one day, but just look at that pony.  He’s got trouble written all over him if you ask me.  I know they say that New Yorkers are tough, but that pony looks tougher.  The hair alone is making a major statement.

So, we drove right on by those crazy, yet sweet ponies and went to ummmm…..feed the geese and ducks.  I know, I know.  We fed the geese.  No more geese police for me.  We fed them Cheerios today and they were quite well behaved.  There were a few moments when, I have to admit, my husband and I got a little scared, but I totally blame those Bronx geese who scared the poo out of us last November.  The trauma those geese caused us has really done some damage I’m afraid.  Jack was completely brave and totally protected us by waving his shovel around while saying, “Hi Geese!”  Thank goodness someone in this family has the guts to stand up to the geese.

After the tranquil geese feeding we were off to ride the train at the Bergen Zoo, which is also located inside Van Saun Park.  You have to drive out of the park and re-enter to get to the zoo, but what can I say?  It’s Jersey.  The state where you have to go left to make a right and a right to make a left.  Sorry all of you from Jersey, but you know it’s true.

We love this little zoo.  Right now it is free.  Which is awesome!!  It currently houses two cows, goats, sheep, pigs, donkeys, monkeys, more geese, peacocks, lamas, two mountain lions (so sad), some owls, and other assorted animals I can’t remember.  I did say it was free right?  Love that!  There is also this super cool train that will take you on a thrilling ride around the perimeter of the zoo.  Alright, it’s not thrilling, but your kid will think it is and it is only $1.50 per person so I don’t mind taking a ride or two.  Heck! Make it three.  We only went around once today due to a miscommunication between my husband and I, but I will not go into that right now.  One ride was fine.  I guess.  Wahoooo.

I mentioned how we were trying to lighten the mood so next we were off to the carousel.  That’s right there is also a carousel at Van Saun Park.  It’s also totally cool.  It costs $1.50 as well, but the ride only lasts about 2 minutes.  Not very long, but you don’t have to pay for yourself if you stand next to your child.  Plus, you don’t have to get back in line to pay.  A nice woman comes along and takes your token from you. How convenient.

We ended the afternoon with a trip to the newly renovated playground.  Pictures do not do this playground justice.  Maybe I’m just used to New York City playgrounds where glass is embedded in the dirt and the occasional rat will cross your path because I am blown away by this playground.  It is gorgeous.  It is separated by age, but all are welcome.  There is a huge sandbox, at least four swing areas and I have lost count of the slides.  Is this normal in the suburbs??  Are all parks like this??  If that is the case than maybe we should start researching a different place to live because every child deserves a playground like the one that we experience when we go to Van Saun Park.  I’ve heard it said that New Yorkers have seen everything, but that can’t be true because if New York City parents got a gander (no geese pun intended) at this playground then they would be raising money by the mountain to build one of their own.

We were all exhausted at this point.  So with one last spring in our step we made our way back to our car and headed back to the city.  The day was wonderful and completely stress free.  Thank you Mother Nature for giving us such a beautiful day.




Filed under carousel, geese, ponies, train, Van Saun Park

4 responses to “Lighten Up Already!

  1. Awe sounds like fun:) Great pics thanks for sharing:)

  2. Sounds like Mother Nature really came through this time in soothing the insomnia beast. What a great park to visit on a beautiful day. I thought the pony was very cute and gentle looking. Probably dying to give Jack a ride.C'mon Mom!!!

  3. glad you were rested to enjoy this marvelous park! we have a lot of those types of parks in our suburbs and something new called a "sprayground" … playground with water!! sweet dreams 🙂

  4. Wow Iowa!!! A sprayground?? That's it. We are moving. How super cool. I am awfully jealous. I think I might have to visit Iowa to check this "Sprayground" out. Road Trip!Thanks for the encouraging sweet dreams too. Tonight will be a good night. I know it.

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