Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Vacation to Mahoney State Park

We had a fun vacation to Mahoney State Park with Adam's parents and brother's family. We stayed in one of the cabins near the waterpark. I will share quite a few pictures to give you a good idea of the activities available in case you are thinking about vacationing here.

We drove down on Sunday afternoon (including a run through McDonald's for a frozen strawberry lemonade) and got settled into our room and grilled supper. It was tricky figuring out how to fit 6 coolers worth of food we all brought into the tiny fridge/freezer. We also found out that the fully furnished kitchen meant no bowls, measuring cups/spoons, and not enough cups or spoons for the "sleeps 8" they claimed. But, we made do throughout the week.  Since the living room was upstairs and also served as a bedroom, we found ourselves hanging out in the dining room a lot.
Grandpa reading books on the dining room floor.
The kids were up bright and early on Monday (5 of us in one room probably didn't help) and after breakfast we headed down to the Marina. They had a craft area where you could pick out a project to buy and then use the paints and brushes to finish it. Cohen painted some maracas and Ryan made a cool ping-pong ball cannon.

Adam rented a paddle boat and took the boys on a little ride around the pond. They also had fun feeding the geese. There wasn't much fishing to do here so we never ended up getting out the poles.

It was SO hot this day with a heat index over 100 that we didn't even think it would be safe to have the kids at the waterpark. So, instead naps were taken by the little ones and then we headed to the indoor (air conditioned) playground. TIP: This place was not open every day and in fact Monday night from 4-8 was the only time it was open during our trip. Also, you need to wear socks in it and we were all in sandals, but a quick trip back to the cabin fixed this quickly.
Giant indoor playground.
The playground consisted of padded obstacle course/tubes/slides/ropes/netting/ball pits. There were sections for the littler kids but Cohen found his way through may of the larger obstacles as well. Ryan got brave enough to go down the longest tube slide (in the very top right of the photo above) and Cohen loved jumping off things and trying the rope ladders. Ryan spent 2 hours running around here and it was definitely worth the $2 admission.

We grilled that night and attempted some s'mores (the cabins have little hokey shelter-house-type grill things outside them but no firepits).
Cohen's s'mores
The second night's sleep went a little better once we put Cohen on the floor on a mattress. With the 2 sets of bunk beds and a Pack and Play, this means we had 6 beds in our room, but whatever you have to do, right?

The next day the humidity had broken quite a bit so while Grandpa, Andy and Kim went on a horse-back ride (you have to be 7 or older) we checked out the playground on site. It was a pretty fun one and Cohen had a blast exploring all the slides.

Capri Sun break at the park
We headed to the waterpark after lunch. All the kids had a great time! Cohen went right down the slide (Ryan refused until he saw Cohen do it).Avonlea loved just splashing around the zero-depth part and being held in the pool or just hanging out on the towel. We brought the boys back at night when there were far fewer people and they really enjoyed the wave pool.

We played some bean bags and had fun just hanging out together.
Madie and Avonlea
Avonlea with Uncle Andy
The last day of our stay, it was raining most of the morning which made it difficult to plan (and figure out how to keep 4 kids and 6 adults entertained in a small space).
Bowl for a hat.
Finally after lunch it cleared up enough to go play the on-site mini-golf course! We decided the winner got first choice as to what leftover they wanted for supper. (Isn't the last day "clean up the fridge day" on every vacation?)
After this, Cohen gave up the club and we just let him play other holes by rolling it while we golfed the real hole.

Then, we drove to the observation tower and they climbed to the top to see the whole state park.

Since I had to work the next day (and we all needed a good night of sleep in our own rooms), we headed home after supper on Wednesday, but not without stopping for one last vacation treat.
We had fun making memories together as a family. I would recommend this State Park for a 3-4 day stay if you have smaller kids or I would plan a few excursions out into "town" or the nearby Outlets, restaurants, etc. We cooked 3 meals/day in our cabin which was really good food and saved us money but did take time/planning/prep. It was  hard to have enough to do when the weather wasn't cooperating (in my pre-mom days, I would have loved this time to read).  I think we would have loved to have access to a lake/fishing/sandy beach and a firepit would have been very nice. The cabins were adequate (we all knew we were going to be in close quarters since larger cabins weren't available) and if you are a clean-freak, these are not for you. But it definitely served its purpose and we were happy it was less than a 3-hour drive away. If you are thinking about vacationing at Mahoney State Park, feel free to leave a comment or question and I'd be happy to share our experiences!

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