"Tom, she got a hole in one! Maybe she's going to be the next Tiger Woods!" I gushed to my husband.
Okay, so it was MINIATURE GOLF, but still. That had to mean SOMETHING, right?
Three seconds later Natalie was moving to the ball where she wanted it to go. With her hands.
"Well, never mind," I sighed. The vacation bubble I had in my mind instantly popped. Of course Natalie would buy a vacation for us. We raised her after all. We took her to golf lessons.
We were at Discover The Dinosaurs, an event that had tons of...well, DINOSAUR activities. Natalie had seen the advertisement on television and she had raced over to me, hugged my knees and went, "Can we go?" I promised her nothing. So then she raced over to her Daddy, puffed her lower lip out, fluttered her eyelashes, and went, "There are dinosaurs coming this weekend. Can we go?"
He said yes.
Tommy said he'd pass. If video games aren't involved, he's not interested.
The event was downtown on the same day as a cheerleading competition. This meant all the free parking was gone so we had to pay $10. Cheerleaders were everywhere. They were beginning to frighten Tom.
Tickets to the event also frightened Tom. It was $15 for Tom and I. EACH.
We paid for the exhibit plus for Natalie. This meant she could ride the dinosaurs whenever she wanted and jump in the inflatables. Her ticket was $22.
"I hope you guys like ramen because we'll be eating it twice next week," I said, sliding over our card.
They thought I was joking.
It was cool inside, don't get me wrong. We saw displays like this:
Natalie wanted to keep this:
She basically wanted to stay in this. Hence why we paid extra for her ticket. (You could have just paid for a basic ticket for $18, but it wouldn't include the inflatables or unlimited dinosaur rides.)
This dinosaur made me giggle.
We stood and watched Natalie bounce. Tom whispered, "Did we just pay $22 for her to bounce?" I answered, "Perhaps."
It's a good thing we came early too. It started to get busy, which meant lines were forming at the inflatables which meant they were only giving kids a certain amount of time to bounce. Then they'd have to get into a long line.
We pulled Natalie from the inflatable and let her ride a dinosaur. Again, there were lines.
There were three different dinosaurs but each had a line. Natalie was like, "WHO are all these PEOPLE?" My thoughts exactly.
We moved over to the Dino Dig where she found some fossils.
Here's what bothered me. If you wanted your kid to get their face painted, you had to pay extra. What the CRAP did I just pay $22 for? If you wanted them to do a gem and fossil dig, you had to pay EXTRA.
"I feel like I'm at the State Fair," I muttered to Tom as we forked over MORE money so Natalie could do a fossil dig.
She got to keep the stuff she found. There were fake bones, teeth, shells...
Not worth the $12 we paid. If you wanted to do the Gem portion, you had to pay ANOTHER $12. And look, we wanted to EAT the following week, so we declined.
However, Natalie had fun. That was the whole point.
Was it a rip off? Yes.
Would I go again. Maybe.
But I do hope they combine everything into the $22 ticket. If I'm paying extra for my kid to do more, it should include face painting and the fossil/gem dig.
So if your child likes dinosaurs and you don't mind eating ramen for a couple of days, go!
(Or if you're rich like Burt Reynolds, go! You can afford to do everything then!)
**I was not compensated for this post. We forked over all the money mentioned.**