Diggerland Construction Amusement Park

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Over the weekend myself, my kids, my aunt, my niece and nephew visited Diggerland in West Berlin, NJ. It is a bit of a drive from Central NJ, about 1 and a half hours, but it is well worth it and an easy trip right up the NJ Turnpike to exit 4.

This is a dream come true for any child who has a thing for construction. Even though my boys were never into it much, they had huge smiles on their faces all day!

It is toddler friendly, there are many things they can do even if they do not meet some of the ride height requirements because many allow for an accompanying adult, so although they cannot go alone if they do not meet the requirement, they can still ride the ride and enjoy all of the experiences.

One thing to note is that when we went, on a Saturday, it was not at all too crowded which I loved. The kids only had short waits in the lines for the rides and activities. That means a lot to me. Especially on a hot Summer day, nothing is worse than standing in a long line with the sun beaming down on you and cranky hot kids. That is not the case here, so feel free to go on a weekend if that is when you’re free.

Let’s check out some of the awesome things we saw and did during our visit this June;

RUGGED RIDERS –

The kids absolutely loved this! As long as they’re 48″ or taller they get to drive the RTV themselves, yes by themselves! There is a track that you go around twice. My 11 year old did it all by himself, and I went on with my 7 year old just for the ride, but he did all of the driving and steering. The smiles on their faces were priceless.

Driver Minimum Height 48″, Minimum rider height when accompanied by parents/guardian: 42″

Ride or drive the comfortable and versatile off-road Kubota RTV-900. Weighing almost 2000 lbs and with 21.6 HP, the ease of using the Rugged Riders might surprise you.  Read all about the release of this new ride in the press release.

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BIG DIGGERS –

This was another hit with our kids. Actually operating the construction machinery. The REAL, big, construction machines. They had digging pits filled with dirt set up and the kids get to dig away. The machines are set on a few minute timer, but again, there were not many long lines or waits so they were able to go on as many times as they’d like. I was amazed at how easily they all figured out how to operate them and maybe they are some construction workers in the making!

Operator minimum height: 42″ | Lap rider must be: 36″ – 48″

Learn to operate a real digger! Weighing in at a whopping 7,092 pounds, and with a powerful 26.8hp engine, kids can dig until their hearts are content on the JCB 8030’s. This supervised attraction offers family-friendly machinery and the chance to really get down and dirty!

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MINI DIG: DUCKS

Similar to the Big Diggers attraction above, they got to operate the real machinery and in this case, had some arcade like games with it. There were different ones set up, some to pick up a row of ducks and see how many you can get in the limited time (maybe 2 minutes or so) and a bowling setup of “pins” to try and knock over in the same amount of time. Again, I was impressed how quickly the kids picked up how to operate it. My 11 year old got almost all of the ducks (except 1) in the time frame and I had watched adults do it prior to him, only getting 1 or 2, so I was impressed. It was fun to watch. Adults are welcome to join in on all of the fun including these game and verse your children or eachother.

Operator minimum height: 42″ | Lap rider must be: 36″ – 48″

Snatch floating ducks from a pond with a JCB 8018 CTS mini-excavator! At 2,200 rpms with its piston-driven motor, grabbing all the ducks from our pond is not as easy as it looks!

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MINI DIG: BOWLERS

Operator minimum height: 42″ | Lap rider must be: 36″ – 48″

No special shoes required for this game of EXTREME bowling! Your “bowling ball” is attached to the arm of a JCB 8018 mini-excavator! Manipulate the arm and see if you can knock down all of the pins! Sounds easy—but not when you’re controlling over two tons of steel!

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DIG-A-ROUND –

This is the more awesome version of the carousel that you’re used to. Instead of riding on a horse, the kids get to sit in actual cranes that have been made into a fun ride we all know and love. Is this a kids dream or what?

Minimum height 36” to ride

Half merry-go-round, half excavator! The Dig-A-Round is Diggerland’s version of a carousel! Climb into the bucket of a JCB 8065 and enjoy the breeze as you are elevated and circled around this 14,515 pound 8065 excavator!

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DIGGER DERBY –

Your classic go karts, but they’re rigged to go bit slower for little ones. Easy to start and stop, the “pedals” to go are actually on the steering wheel making it easy for even the smallest of drivers to have fun.

Driver minimum height: 38″ Driver maximum height: 60″

Hop behind the wheel of one of these individual mini cars and prepare to burn some serious rubber as you operate the vehicle around our exclusive racetrack. No better way to test your speedway skills and get the adrenaline pumping! (Note:  This ride has a 38” minimum and 60” maximum height to drive)

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THE KID ZONE –

This is a cute park in the coolest rainbow colors for the kids to enjoy when they need a break from such coolness surrounding them. Slides come from every angle of the main unit, accompanied by some swings and standard park-like fun.

Children Only, No Height Requirement.

Kids have a place of their very own in the Kids’ Zone! Packed with activities to keep them busy, mom and dad can relax and know that their child is safe and having fun in a place built just for them!

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VIDEO ARCADE –

The arcade is simple and small, but packs a lot of fun. My nephew got a whopping 1800 pts to spend at the prize counter and my kids enjoyed the video games and claws. It’s a nice break from the heat, and a chance to escape the little rain we got on the day we went.

Diggerland has a full arcade center stocked with some awesome prizes! Take a break and play some Skee-Ball, air hockey, or one of the many other game systems to enjoy.

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Diggerland is open Mon-Fri 10am-6pm and Weekends 10am-7pm. Get your Tickets here or go to diggerlandusa.com.

There are many other rides that we didn’t have time to visit, 25+! Check out their site for more.  They also have tractor pulls and fun activities that vary per day.  The Elmwood park zoo was there with some animals the day we went which was a perk!

Check out our fun time:

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Sahara Sams Oasis Indoor Family Waterpark

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My family and I had the chance to visit Sahara Sams Oasis Indoor & Outdoor Water park this past weekend. Yes, we went to a water park in New Jersey in late January. I have to admit, it took a lot of courage to utter the words “Do you want to go swimming” to my 6 year old and 2 year old, knowing the answer would undoubtedly be “YEAH!”. The thought of entering a swimming pool when it is under 40 degrees outside was scary, but I am so glad we did it.

The drive there from my hometown, which is just off of exit 10 via the turnpike was an hour and 15 minutes. It was an easy drive, and the kids kept occupied in the back the entire time with the exception of a few “Are we almost there?”s thrown in. Sahara Sams is located in West Berlin, NJ right off of exit 4 on the NJ Turnpike. Had I known there was this amazing family retreat so close to home, I would’ve gone a lot sooner!

When we went, Sunday January 25th, it was a perfect day out. 44 degrees, and blue-grayish skies above. We were bundled up tight with our winter coats and hats on and our bathing suits on underneath, with our beach bags by our sides carrying beach towels and changes of clothes. I know… it felt just as silly as it sounds. We arrived at just about noon and there was ample parking throughout. Parking is free, first come first serve.

When we entered into the place through the front doors, our whole atmosphere totally changed. You can feel the slight burst of heat hit your face, and see all the fun games ahead of you with bright colored lights and sounds. There is a worker at a table directly in front of the door waiting to check through ALL of your bags to ensure you aren’t carrying any weapons, or any outside food or drink because it is not permitted in the park. He did let us keep 1 bottle of unopened water, and the “check in” went pretty quick as there wasn’t a long line at this time. Be prepared – you need to bring an ID card to the check in counter. There are signs stating this prior to reaching the check-in desk as well.

Another ‘know before you go’. My youngest son is only 2 years old, and children under 2 are FREE. If you have a child under the age of 3, make sure to bring proof of age if you do not want to pay for them. Yes, they said they needed a birth certificate or anything proving age. I do understand this because of the issue of people trying to get over and pass their older children off as 2 or under, but I believe it should be stated somewhere in the ticket purchasing section or online somewhere “Children 2 and under FREE with proof of age”. The gentleman at the counter was nice about it though. He also explained they may go to a height restriction instead for the free ticket – such as any children under 34″ free” or something along those lines. To be safe, just make a copy of the child’s birth certificate and bring it with you prepared to show it if younger then 3 for free entry.

They have the option of purchasing a locker for a fee, or you can rent a private Cabana which looked really cool for $85. Cabanas must be reserved in advance which can be done over the internet.

OK, so onto whats INSIDE! It is an understatement for me to say that once we walked into the actual Indoor water park section, I immediately felt like I was on vacation somewhere beautiful and definitely NOT in NJ in January. Did I mention it is a steady 84 Degrees in there? It was so great to be so relaxed and WARM! My 2 year old was initially scared of the giant bucket that dumps tons of water down, but eventually he forgot about it. My 6 year old, on the other hand, was ecstatic to see that giant bucket!

One thing I must note, is that for ALL of the attractions, the life guards were on their “A” game. They were extremely attentive, and did their jobs well. It made me feel so comfortable with my 2 young children there and other children all over as that can sometimes feel overwhelming.

The first thing we did is head over to the CONGO BONGO which is essentially a lazy river. They provide tubes for you to use and float around a winding path filled with tropical surroundings and fun sporadic sprays of water and waterfalls. It was not crowded at all when we were in it, although later in the day it did get a bit more crowded. We went on this 3 times. Once, and then another 2 times consecutively around. That is one of the great things. It is a “free for all”. You can go around as many times as you’d like without being kicked out. I’d imagine there would have to be some type of limit if it was overly crowded, but that wasn’t the case this day.

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Then, we headed over to the LIZARD LAGOON which is an area geared toward toddlers. My 2 year old had so much fun going down the water slide, and on the tiny bungee swings. My 6 year old even had a blast in this area going down the water slides helping his brother. It was such a safe area and so cute. You have to just watch the stairs, because they are wet, and there are many toddlers trying to get up them at once. There is a lifeguard at the top of the stairs, and the bottom of the slides as well.

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Onto the SAMS SLAM DUNKER pool! The boys, including my husband, had a blast shooting some hoops in the pool. The pool was 3-4ft deep and it was so warm. We actually kept coming back to this throughout the day to just hang out. It did get crowded at times, but still fun. The only concern I had with this, is they use REAL basketballs. 3 of them.They are heavy in my opinion to be tossed around above heads of others including young children held by their parents. It would be much better if the used pool balls or something lighter like a small beach ball. They had a blast in here though.20150125_123943

My 6 year old couldn’t get enough of going on a real, big water slide by himself in the TIM-BUK-TU area. It is the same area with the giant bucket. It has a smaller park like slide for younger children, and some do-it-yourself spray sections that kids can control the spray bursts on each side. I got hit a few times with water unknowingly, but it was all in fun.

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The CROCODILE FLATS is an area sectioned off from the slam dunk pool that has lily pads for kids to try to walk across while holding onto a net above. Unfortunately, my 6 year old isn’t a great swimmer yet, and wasn’t tall enough to really reach the net yet, so he couldn’t try it but it looked really fun!

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My favorite part, the ADULT ONLY Warming pool. Hubby and I had to take turns going to this because it’s 18+. That is what makes it so great. A little retreat to what feels like a giant tub. You have a view of the Congo Bongo, and can just kick back and relax with no kids splashing around. It isn’t a Jacuzzi, because the water is the same temperature as the rest of the pools, but because it is much smaller, it feels a lot warmer, hence the name “Warming pool”.

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Across from this is the adult pool-side bar on one side, or the doors to the food court on the other side.

The FLO-RIDA section looked really cool. It is a simulation of surfing, but we didn’t get a chance to try it this visit because the kids are too small and wanted to keep busy with other attractions. I definitely plan on trying this one out my next visit!

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There are some additional attractions we did not try out due to once again, the kids wanting to be on the other attractions, but they’re geared more towards older kids and adults. There are also outdoor attractions including a splash area, some more giant water slides, and a RIP-N-ROLL wave pool I can’t wait to try!

After the water attractions, we wanted to dry off a bit and let our hair dry before going back out into the cold so we got dressed and hit up the Arcade. The arcade is all digital. You load money onto a card, and then use that for the price of each game. The tokens also load onto the card as well and can be redeemed at the reward counter which is much easier then carrying around a handful of tickets.

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I am definitely planning to visit again this Summer so I can check out the outdoor section and their neighboring Diggerland (a construction site with sand for kids!) My 6 year old already proclaimed that he is having one of his birthday parties there in the future.They have a great birthday party package that include an annual full year membership for the birthday child! We had such a blast and miss it already. I highly recommend it to everyone!

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DO Bring your own towels

DO NOT BRING floatation devices or pool toys

LIFE VESTS ARE PROVIDED FREE OF CHARGE

Check out their website to see details about each attraction and more pictures and videos – SaharaSams.com including their current SALE on annual membership for ONLY $69.95! You can even decide to upgrade your day pass to membership by paying the difference that day.