Monday, April 25, 2016

Quassy Amusement Park

Sally and I talked about this last night, and neither of us is entirely sure that Quassy Amusement Park belongs as part of the NYC and the Area series.  But I took these pictures, so...

Quassy sits on the banks of Lake Quassapaug in Middlebury, Connecticut, not far from Waterbury.  It's about forty-five minutes north of our house in Stratford, which ought to put it at something like two and a half hours outside of Manhattan, depending on traffic.  It seems unlikely in the extreme that someone visiting New York would make time for Quassy, and folks living in Connecticut must surely already know about the place, but if you're wondering, the easiest ways to get to there are via I-84 or up CT Route 8 from I-95 or CT 15.  Middlebury is itself a quaint little New England town, complete with a six-mile paved bike path, so if you've never been, I will heartily recommend it.  However, I don't know that you would necessarily cross state lines just for the purpose of visiting Quassy Amusement Park.

Quassy Amusement Park ticket booth.
Lake Quassapaug
Map of the park.
We love Quassy.  It's close, it's far less expensive than the larger parks like Six Flags, and it's small enough that I don't mind letting my kids wander free in the park with minimal adult supervision.  We took advantage of Quassy's opening weekend special on Saturday, which let us bring in an entire carload--us, plus our kids, plus a couple of friends--for $35.  We then gave the kids their freedom and enjoyed an afternoon date.  With the park being both close and cheap, we could go and spend a few hours and then leave without worrying about whether or not we'd gotten our money's worth.  At $6/head, it was worth it just to bum around with Sally for a couple of hours on the banks of a gorgeous Connecticut lake.

Lake Quassapaug is gorgeous.  Quassy hosts a number of my favorite triathlons, including Connecticut's Rev 3, and the Pat Griskus Olympic Triathlon.  The lake itself is a large, clean circle, maybe a mile and a half in diameter.  The surrounding countryside is littered with the kinds of sharply rolling hills that make racing in upstate Connecticut such a challenge.  In addition to the amusement park, Quassy has a very nice picnic area, a small boat rental, a beach area, and a water park built right on the shore.  I like all of that stuff at least as much as I like any of the park's actual rides, but since it's only April, none of that was open this past weekend.

Sally poses outside the carousel.
Selfie atop our trusty steeds.
Sally and Hannah both love to ride the Music Fest.
Most of Quassy's rides are permanent versions of basic carnival rides.  If you like those--as my kids do--then you will probably enjoy the park.  They also have a small, old-school wooden roller coaster called The Wooden Warrior that we all love passionately, along with a carousel, a kids' train, bumper cars, and an arcade.  They also have an entire collection of ice cream shops, a little restaurant that serves Harpoon IPA and wine along with fries and chicken fingers, and various games where you can try to win prizes for your girl.

You pass the Wooden Warrior as you head into the park.
Quassy Restaurant's back deck has the best views in the park.
The water park sits above the beach.  This
crazy flume-thing is my favorite of the park's rides. 
Selfie on the steps of the Wooden Warrior.
We stayed three hours, rode the Wooden Warrior twice and a few of the other rides once, and kissed in the tunnel on the kids' train.  As dates go, this one was entirely acceptable.  I have no idea what the kids did, but they all made it back, and no one vomited, so... who cares?!

Froyo World!
Hannah spotted a Froyo stand on the main drag heading up to the park, and we stopped there on our way out.  This was a blast.  I highly recommend it as a way to cap off your day at Quassy.

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