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Land of Make Believe, Hope, NJ *guest post*

lomb2This guest post about Land of Make Believe and Pirate’s Cove (and our first Amusement Park entry) has convinced me I have to go. I absolutely know for certain now that my kids will love it!!! Thanks to my extremely brilliant friend and mother Sue M. for taking the time to get great pictures and provide a mom’s perspective on this NJ attraction for young ones.
354 Great Meadows Road – Rt. 611, Hope, NJ 07844.

The Land of Make Believe is located in Hope, NJ (Exit 12 off Route 80). It was really easy to get to. It took us just over an hour to get there from where we live in Clark, NJ (Exit 135 off GSP). This makes the facility perfect for a day trip with the kids.

I was actually surprised to see that the admission fee for Adults ($21) was cheaper than the admission fee for Children ($23). We were able to get a coupon from the Kid’s Stuff coupon book for a free Adult admission
with the purchase of an Adult admission. We did make one mistake. Though I checked their website before going to the park, I did not realize that they only accept cash or Discover card to pay for admission. I would
have brought more cash if I had known that. But it will be a mistake that we won’t make again.

I really liked the fact that parking was free. I was also surprised to see that they allowed coolers into the park. Basically, they want to give everyone a great experience without charging and arm and a leg for it. While we saw many people take coolers into the park with them, we opted to leave ours in our car. It was just less to carry around. My husband made one trip back to the car around lunch to replenish drinks and get the sandwiches we brought with us.

It was just nice to be able to bring anything we needed into the park that we needed. The only things not allowed are grills, glass containers, and alcoholic beverages. I was happy to bring healthy snacks that I knew my kids enjoyed as opposed to typical junk food. This is also great for moms whose kids have food allergies. No need to worry about ingredients or how things were prepared.

The park has a number of arcade games and a lot of rides. The rides are geared towards younger kids. My kids loved the carousel, the balloon ride, the canoe ride, the flying dragons, the mini-roller coaster, the frog
ride, among many more. We really enjoyed the train ride to see the entire facility. There is also a hay ride, but we did not have a chance to ride it. Older kids may not find the thrill they seek from the rides there. My kids are 4 1/2 and 2 1/2. They loved the rides. There were very few rides that my younger daughter was not able to ride, even with a parent.

There was also a live performance that involves audience participation. Basically, all of the kids are encouraged to dress up in the many costumes they have and participate in the show. Some of the adults (including
me) got roped into helping out with the show as well. My older daughter actually enjoyed the dress up and pretending, so I was willing to go thru the humiliation for her.

lomb3The best feature is the waterpark called Pirate’s Cove. There is a large wading pool with some water slides and a play pirate ship. There were a few larger water slides. There is also a fort with a lot of ways to get wet,
including a 1000 gallon dumping bucket. We also loved the lazy river ride (only 28 inches deep) to just float around in a single or two-person float (there are some waterfalls and such, but most of them can be avoided if
you didn’t want to get soaked). It was a great way to stay cool and relax with the kids.

Overall, this was a great day for our family. We were able to give our kids a fun experience without breaking the bank. On the way home, my husband and I were trying to plan when we could go back again. We can
definitely see ourselves going there every year for a few years to come.

Sue M. from Clark, NJ is a freelance writer, Sybase DBA, and extraordinary mom of 2 girls. Thanks Ned too, for getting some good shots!

11 comments to Land of Make Believe, Hope, NJ *guest post*

  • Shari Scheckman

    Sheila… the best way to go is packing lunch… do all of the rides first, then eat lunch at the picnic tables then change and spend the rest of the afternoon in the pool! This way you are only wet once and drying up leaving is fun! The lazy river is awesome and the pool area for little ones is great!

  • sararall

    Land of Make Believe is one of my family’s favorites. My older two (12 and 9 last summer) still found several rides that they liked, and they LOVED the steep and scary water slides (which are in a separate section from the rest of the waterpark). There is also a haunted house that was much too scary for my little ones (4 and 1 back then) that the older ones approved of.

    We bought lunch at the park and found their food to be on the better side of typical amusement park fast food.

    We love the play the children can act in, though one year it got a bit too hot, as there is no shade by the stage.

    There is a Christmas house with a live Santa inside that was rather dark and too spooky for my 4 year old, but my 9 year old enjoyed it.

    The park aims to make every ride one that parents can go on with their kids, and they do a great job of it.

    Definitely my favorite amusement park for younger kids in NJ.

  • admin

    Finally went today, loved it Sue, thanks for guest posting. The Water Park was lots of fun for my 4.5 year old and they loved the Middle Earth show (they didnt’ participate but watched it) I definitely recommend bringing a cooler as Sue suggested, you can save some money. Bring a bjorn or baby carrier for the water park since they don’t allow strollers. I did use a stroller for the rest of the park. My only complaint was getting there too late, we should’ve planned better, as it closes at 6pm. I’ll be making a return trip soon, and the kidstuff coupon is great you save about $20 only I can’t find online how to get more or maybe a way to do a coupon swap

  • Susan

    The KidStuff coupon book is a fund raiser used by some schools. It’s like the Entertainment book, but with more coupons that I would actually use. I have found that many coupons in the Entertainment Book to be for more upscale places, while the Kid Stuff coupons were more useful (Payless Shoes, LOMB, Bowling, Friendly’s, etc.)

    We definitely plan on going back to LOMB. I agree that there were some places that my kids (2.5 and 4.5) are not ready for yet (rides, haunted house, etc.).

    We also found going in the water park early was good. There were very few people in the park let alone in the water park. We didn’t have to wait in line and we were able to dry off in the warm sun while eating our lunch. My girls then enjoyed more rides and then it was back into the waterpark.

  • Victoria

    One complaint – I had gone to LOMB with my son every summer for 4 or 5 years. The last time we went, I was told my bathing suit was not “appropriate” fabric. It was lycra and lined (and a modest 1 piece) but not “shiny” as most bathing suits are. I was told I couldn’t go in the water with it, as it would “shed fibers” into the filters. (Note: I’ve worn the same suit to countless OTHER water parks with no issues) The only solution, presented by a park employee (short of going home and breaking the heart of a 6 year old) was to purchase a pair of man’s swim trunks in the gift shop and wear them over my suit. How this mattered, I don’t know, as the TOP of my suit was still exposed, and could, theoretically, shed fibers into the filters. So, a word of caution – they are extremely strict about bathing attire, and you have no route of appeal in the park. The judgement of the lifeguards is final. The whole experience left such a bad taste in my mouth, we’ve never been back.

  • Maria Sherow

    I traveled nearly 2 hours to Land of Make Believe today to buy my favorite fudge and they refused to sell it to me because I didn’t have an admission bracelet 🙁 I was FURIOUS and sad 🙁

  • Grandma

    Just saw this park advertised – would like to take my 2 year old grandchild (and her mommy) -does anyone know where I can get discount tickets?

  • Be aware that they can get VERY rude at the gates when you try to explain your kid has a problem wearing the wrist band. When I tried explaining that my kid is autistic, the very rude gate keeper yelled “GO INSIDE FOR AUTISM GUIDELINES” “GO INSIDE”. In the store, they told me I could wear both bands and then just show it… but when I told them about the gate keeper’s attitude, I did not get an apology nor was I told anything about any actions that would be taken to fix the problem.

  • yaima

    hi we go tomorrow to the park but I have a problem my grandmother who is 80 years old is very active but still need to be comfortable in a chair,it’s appropriate to take her to the park or no???????????? plz i need know first….. thank`sss!!!!!

  • judith

    where is the land of make believe coupon??????????

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