Thursday, August 15, 2019

Can You Dig It? You Should At Diggerland


This is a sponsored post for Diggerland USA where they provided me and my family tickets to the park to experience firsthand what Diggerland is all about. All opinions are my own. 

In a wide open area in New Jersey there is a place where hard hats reign and safety orange is en vogue; a place where construction vehicles rumble and drown out the din of excited children.  It's a place where even the smallest engineer can feel at home and get hands on experience with things they only read about in board books or see in cartoons. If you're close to it, consider yourself lucky and if you aren't, make it a point to take your children there as there isn't any place in the world like it.

Kids who love trucks are going to freak out. Literally. Diggerland USA is a construction based theme park in West Berlin, New Jersey just an hour outside of Philadelphia where we drove from to get there. I arranged to meet up with a friend who brought along his five year old daughter who was pumped to see what this was about. I brought along my fourteen year old son and eight year old daughter. 

These are not just construction based rides molded in fiberglass after the real thing, these are the real deal heavy equipment you see on the road. From the SpinDizzy, a specially designed 3 ton high, torque JCB JS220 which spins you around in a circle a high speeds to the modified JCB 540-170 Telehandler which raises you five stories into the air to view the entire park, these modified vehicles to rides are a unique experience that will have your kids pointing to machines in construction zones telling you how easy it is to dig.



I mean, let's face it, our kids are better at this than us. We've sat by watching their wheels turn as they built sandcastles at the beach or brought shovels and rakes to the playground to dig in at the volleyball pit. But, at Diggerland you have the opportunity to put your children behind the controls of actual machinery used in the field and watch them as they try their hands at those activities we only watch going 55 mph in a construction zone.

Now, let's not just write this off as a place where a future Bob the Builder just goes. This also isn't a place where you have to sit on the sidelines and check your phone a hundred times because you only came here for them. There are plenty of attractions for bigger kids and adults as well.

The ropes course was challenging for myself, my 14 year old son, and my 8 year old daughter. It is a four story course where you are strapped in to an overhead rail system that keeps your lifeline constantly attached. You get to decide which way to go, which course you will try, and many of the paths were downright challenging for myself as a not-so-agile big guy.



But, we all managed to traverse to the top where I nervously snapped a selfie praying that my sweaty palms were not too greased up to make me drop my phone. From the top, you can see the layout of the entire park and make plans for what is happening next in your adventure just in case the kids are asking.

Ride access, like any amusement park is based on height for safety reasons. It is helpful to figure out first which height your child is, and then make a plan of attack. If you check out Diggerland USA's website, it clearly maps out attractions your littles can and can't do and which one they will need a designated stand-in (sorry grandma) to ride with them.





Other park amenities include multiple food stands, and arcade game area, shaded areas and benches where you can rest, nice clean bathrooms, and a gift shop for gearing up with hardhats, safety vests, or toy dump trucks before you head home.  We opted for the ice cream at the end of the day because construction work is hard!

Our favorite part was probably the Soaring Eagle, a tandem zipline ride that is only six dollars per rider, half price for members. The 130 foot tower zips backwards until it reaches the pinnacle, pauses briefly and sends you soaring overhead of three-quarters of the park.

TIPS FOR PARENTS:

I highly recommend a day at Diggerland not only for the attractions but also for the excellent shows they put on as well as special events that they run during the course of their season.

Their online calendar will give you hours of operation as well as let you know if it is Mascot Monday, Truck Tuesday, Wacky Arcade Wednesday, Car Crush Thursday, or Family Entertainment Friday. The best time to go is first thing in the morning, usually 10 am to limit wait time for rides.

I suggest also going during the week if you can.  Despite the great food, my crew and I packed a picnic lunch and took a break in our car (because it was 90 degrees outside) and had a picnic lunch in the parking lot. Re-entry is allowed if you need to take a break.

Diggerland USA also runs special events on a weekend during the month as well like the BMX Stunt Show which is happening August 17th, 2019.

You MAY BRING IN one bottle of water per person though no other outside food is allowed in the park. It's important to stay hydrated as there is no shade created by trees and there are only opportunities for shade in the areas where there are overhead canopies.

QUESTION FOR FAMILIES:

What attraction would you most like to try and why?

Thank you for reading. You can also follow our adventures on IG at @dadncharge



A post shared by Chris Bernholdt (@dadncharge) on


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