Kid’s Castle Playground425 Wells Road Doylestown, PA 18901 visit website>
The Kid’s Castle in Doylestown, PA has been on my list for a while but Bucks County mom blogger and friend, Courtney of dailybloom.net gave me strict instructions to wait until school was back in session. I heeded her warning and today was the day we stormed the castle. I will start by saying there is a ton of rave reviews for Kid’s Castle on the internet and they are true. My boys loved it. They were impressed, challenged and totally intrigued by the whole place. But boy oh boy what a parental nightmare if you kids are under 3. Below is my guide on how to survive. At no time am I dissing this great place I just think that if you know exactly what to expect you can have an even better time. All my type-A’s out there will totally understand. For more pictures go to HipsterHenry Flickr.
Lay of the Land
From the parking lot you walk down the slope into the playground. It is more like a playground complex. You have the main castle which even to an adult just seem giant once you see it. Around it you have several smaller playground set ups. One has a bug theme, a rocket theme, a Johnny Depp Pirates of the Caribbean theme (yep) and a turtle theme. There is also a mini store front section. These smaller playgrounds are really similar to Freedom Playground in Havertown if you have ever been there.
Now let’s talk castle. This is a giant structure of wood, rope and metal fencing. There are tons of different ways to enter at every side of the castle. Henry was gone as soon as we got in there and Ollie and I were left to fend for ourselves. Once you are inside there is an internal wooden slope slide that we crawled up (don’t do that) but there are also various steps and metal ladders that get you to the different levels. Some of the floor is also really taught, sturdy rope sections. These sections are small but there are a lot of them throughout the castle. Ollie was able to walk across them with my help.
There are a few tube slides that take you back down to the bottom. The crazy thing is these tube slides are pitch black inside. I mean complete black out. Every time I yelled “Whoa this is dark” the pair of 4-year-old little girls behind me would start giggling. Clearly they were veterans. I have to say it really freaked Ollie out, who was on my lap.
So Henry at age three was fine in the castle on his own. Ollie at 21 months was not. I did have to accompany him in and it was cool inside but the passageways were low and narrow. I am 5’5″ and I hit my head and my back a ton. Ollie is a toddler and even he hit is head. Just something to be aware of. I would rock, paper scissors this responsiblity with your spouse if you can. The castle is fun but man is it disorienting. You keep going and going up but you have no idea exactly where you are. Underneath the castle there is a dungeon maze that is fun and a lot easier to navigate.
Just outside the playground are awesome park grounds where a lot of families of older children set up shop. A lot of moms brought chairs, picnic blankets and coolers. They settled in with their books and let their kids loose. There are also a ton of picnic tables under covered pavilions.
Right when you get inside the playground there is a “seating area” to the left of different levels that gives you a decent view of the playground and where many parents set up shop.
If you are potty training and you are not a boy you are out of luck. I did not see bathrooms anywhere. I am sure they might be up at the main building that you pass as you pull in but nothing close and easy.
The playground is enclosed but unlike most playgrounds we go to there is no gate to keep the kids in. With so many kids running around and all the excitement this is really tough.
Once your kids see that castle they are going to take off and unless you are right on their heels you will not be able to see them or hear them once they get inside. That is super tough the first five minutes you are in there. There are a bunch of different way they cold come out and if you are also watching another child that has taken off in a different direction it puts you in a tough spot.
*TIP: When you get inside the playground set up a family meeting spot. That way when the kids come out of the castle and don’t see you (which will happen… a lot) they know right where to go and wait. It worked several times for us.
If you have toddlers or new walkers you have to watch the roaming packs of 5 & 6 year olds that multiple as the day goes on. You might have to jump out-of-the-way of a competitive game of tag. I will say that Henry is a shy kid and he was so excited about being in the castle that the other kids did not phase him. I will mention that the majority of kids were patient and said excuse me if they need to rush by us.
*TIP: Take a stroller if you have a little on. Ollie is 21 months and I should have brought the one out of the car. I think if he could have taken a break in the stroller he would lasted a little longer.
*TIP: The parking lot is not a far walk from the playground but if you need something in a pinch like diapers it is not close either. I dragged my whole giant bag down and I was glad I did. I placed it in the parent seating area and it gave us all a meeting place when we got separated.
I must have gone on a day when kids did not have school or had a half day. At 10:00 am that place was busy but totally fine. By 12:00pm when we left it was a mad house.
*TIP: I recommend pants because there is a ton of climbing crawling and of course a little falling.
If you are coming from Philadelphia it will take you 45-60 minutes to get there. I took 95 to US 1 to 611 / Easton Rd. Then Map Quest will tell you to make a left at Edison Road. Once you do that Map Quest screws up. So take my tips…
Right on Edison. Then left at Quarry Road. *Map Quest does not tell you there are two Quarry Roads and they also tell you to go right on Quarry. First you will pass a sign for Quarry road that leads into a parking lot. Go to the stop sign right in front of you. That is the Quarry Road you want. Then make a left on Turk Rd and then a right on Wells Road. Once on Wells Road you want to make a right into the parking lot where you see the City Park sign. Pass that first parking lot on your left and wind down to the next one. That is the closest you can get to the playground.