Trading Toys for Experiences and Why We Love Silverwood

May 21, 2021 | LIfestyle

Do you ever feel like you are constantly cleaning up toys and clutter? That disheartening feeling of going in circles doing the same tasks over and over again can be overwhelming at times.

Last May we downsized from a house to a townhome and it was one of the best decisions we made. That move forced us to purge all of the unnecessary toys and clutter that had been lying around our house, with no purpose.  I was surprised by how much decluttering decreased our stress and saved us time from constantly cleaning up. Even when things are shoved away in a drawer, those things still consume space in our minds, adding to our stress and anxiety as mamas.

Given that we had less space to work with in our new place, we decided to start requesting and giving experiences, rather than toys for birthdays and Christmas.

This opened the door for more opportunities to make memories as a family. Our kids realized how much more fun it was to enjoy experiences around our city, rather than opening a toy and forgetting about it soon after.

One of our favorite family experiences was going to Silverwood in Athol, Idaho as a family last August. I have fond memories of Silverwood as a child, teenager and young adult, but this was a whole new level of joy. Seeing the look of joy and excitement on our kid’s faces was so fun for us as parents.

Last year, as a kindergartner, our oldest boy earned a free ticket to Silverwood through Silverwood’s “Read to Ride” program, so we decided to go as a family.  To date, it is our favorite family experience. Since then, he has requested Silverwood tickets for Christmas and his birthday.  Our youngest, who was 4 at the time, has a strong passion for anything full of sugar, so one of his favorite memories was using his own hard-earned chore money to buy a Blue Razzberry slushy from Downriver Slush. We used this family vacation as a way to teach our kids that earning money takes hard work and taught them to be wise with their spending choices. Needless to say, they were both pleased with their slushy choice.

Our oldest was in awe of the FREE magic show, as were the rest of us. Definitely a highlight of the entire trip!

Here are a few of our Silverwood favorites:

Theater of Illusion Magic Show on Main Street

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this magic show, but we all left with our jaws dropped in awe and amazement of the illusions performed. 

Tip: There is a delicious Pizzeria in the Theater which is perfect for dinner or lunch. I suggest arriving 45 minutes early to the show if you plan to eat so you can get a seat at a table. (Gluten Free crust available for no extra charge!)

Tiny Toot rollercoaster in Garfield’s Summer Camp

This was a family favorite. It went fast enough for adults to enjoy, but it wasn’t too intense for the kids. We must have ridden it at least 6 times!

Lindy’s on Main Street

This place is great if you need allergy-friendly food options. The food was excellent (with gluten and dairy free options!) I am so grateful that our server was more than willing to accommodate my allergies.

  • Tip: This is a sit-down restaurant. Plan ahead because Lindy’s doesn’t do orders to go. Since I knew my family was going to be eating pizza at the magic show, I sat down, ordered my food, paid and then took it to go.

Elkhorn Creek and Polliwog Park at Boulder Beach

  • Tip 1: Looking back, we should have started our day here!  We saved it for last with hopes that we wouldn’t spend the entire day wet, but it can get chilly as the evening goes on.
  • Tip 2: They have life jackets available for free, but you can bring your own to guarantee one is available. 

Bumper boats in Country Carnival

Bumper boats are a kid favorite. What’s better than driving, shooting someone with water and getting wet when it’s 80 degrees outside as a kid?

  • Tip: Plan to be in line for 45 minutes-1.5 hours on busy, hot days during the weekend. I recommend having a snack and water in hand to keep kids occupied.

I was surprised there were so many activities and rides for young children, even for young toddlers. The younger kid rides were not only fun for our kids but for us adults as well. Our only regret was not showing up earlier. We decided to go around 11 am so we could save money by eating lunch in the car because we didn’t think our kids would last the whole day. We were wrong! When it came time to leave, all of us were bummed we didn’t have more time to experience the entire park!

Side note: we didn’t know you could take your own food into Silverwood in a 12×12 soft sided cooler. Lesson learned!.

The memories we have made at Silverwood as a family far outlast the excitement of opening up a toy and forgetting about it a few weeks later. That’s why I decided to become part of the Silverwood Conductors program. I will be writing and sharing blog posts specifically geared towards you, my audience. Stay tuned for upcoming posts on ways deal with weather, save your sanity, allergy friendly options, behind the scenes of kid and parent specific fun and ticket giveaways. There may even be an upcoming playdate at Silverwood for FREE!!

Follow along all summer for more tips and ways I save my sanity during the summer.

Heartfelt blessings until next time!