Did you know that Six Flags America in Bowie, Maryland is debuting it’s new Holiday in the Park for the first time ever this winter! What better way to celebrate the season than sharing joy and laughter and making memories with your family at an amusement park that has been decked out in holiday lights and décor. Our family had a spectacular time and I would like to share our adventure to this transformed magical winter wonderland.
HOLIDAY IN THE PARK HIGHLIGHTS
First you need to know that the park is divided into ten different sections that form a loop around Holiday in the Park. Holiday in the Park features Main Street, Retro Christmas USA, Candy Cane Lane, Silent Night, Holiday Magic, Silver bells, Snowflake Avenue, Whimsical Wonderland, Merry Masquerade and North Pole.
The park entrance leads you down Main Street where you can meet your favorite characters and get pictures in front of a beautiful 27 foot Christmas tree. We entered the park right when it opened and were able to get hugs and take advantage of the photo opportunities without any long line. Also on Main Street you will find The Grand Theatre, Flying Carousel, souvenir stores and treat shops such as Cold Stone, Liberty Funnel Cakes and The Confectionary. These sweet treats are located in the perfect place to grab a treat on the way home too!
My favorite town to visit is Silent Night. There is a display called Reflections of the Season that has one of the most beautiful manger scenes I have ever set eyes on. It is truly breath taking; especially at night. This is a great section for families to visit as the rides promote bonding and time together. Everyone can go on a classic Carousel ride or squeeze into a four passenger classic car and enjoy The Great Race!
Silent night leads to the Whimsical Wonderland; a section with tons of rides for young children. The rides in this section include: Loney Tunes Prop Warehouse (fully enclosed playhouse), Sylvester’s Bounce and Drop, Elmer’s Around the World (hot air balloon ride), Foghorn Leghorn Tinsel Town Train, Taz’s Film Works (mini flying swings), The Giant Chase (mini coaster), Pepe Le Pew’s Tea Party, Yosemite Sam’s Hollywood Flight School (flying airplanes) and Looney Tunes Stage (outdoor stage) featuring a Holiday Dance Party. This is probably the section we spent the most time in. My four year old son really enjoyed the miniature roller coaster and said it reminded him of the Glacier Gulch scene from Polar Express! It was a lot of fun to see this section at night as it is lit up in vibrant colorful lights with giant holiday bulbs.
We made our way through the Merry Masquerade and Retro Christmas USA which featured rides for older children, teenagers and adults. This section highlights four different thrill/roller coaster rides: The Wild One, Voo Doo Drop, Ragin Cajan and Bourbon Street Fireball. There is also Zydeco Zinger (360 degree Trolley car ride), French Quarter Flyers and a present pick game. In Retro Christmas USA was my son’s favorite ride The Cocoa Mixer. He smiled ear to ear as we got dizzy spinning in a giant tea cup all while listening to the song Hot Chocolate in the background. Yet again another Polar Express reference!
Holiday Magic, Snowflake Avenue and Silver Bells are best to view at night. Holiday Magic features a Holiday Express Train which is only open for meet and greet. I think this attraction should be open as an actual ride next year for Holiday in the Park! Our favorite part about this section is the Holiday Magic Light Show; where you can cozy up by the fire and watch a magical lights display. Snowflake Avenue highlights the popular roller coaster ride Apocalypse: The Last Stand; while Silver Bells features the classic coaster The Roar. Don’t miss out on Mistletoe Moment and the 40 foot tall Silver Bells Tree that is simply stunning.
Candy Cane Lane is another section perfect for families to play together. You can ride the peppermint swirl or watch Defenders of the North in the stunt arena.
Last but not least you won’t want to miss visiting North Pole where you will find Santa at his workshop. Also at the workshop are opportunities to meet and greet an ice princess, snowman, gingerbread man, reindeer, toy soldiers and silly holiday elves. There are photo packages available for this attraction too. While in North Pole you can ride Reindeer’s Flight (an inverted roller coaster), Holiday Round Up (scrambler), Claus’s Crazy Cars (bumper cars.) I highly recommend getting dinner at Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen. You can watch Winter Rock while munching on a holiday feast. The turkey leg was amazing!
While in the park we went to a few shows and saw Home for the Holidays on the grand stage, a hilarious stunt show called Defenders of the North and Winter Rock at Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen. Home for the Holidays is a salute to the armed forces with a heartwarming musical that delves into the meaning of love, family and sacrifice during the Holiday season. This show is indoors and is a great way to stay entertained while staying warm. However, my four year old son had a difficult time sitting still and seems to be meant for older school aged children and beyond. The stunt show The Defenders of the North was a lot of fun to watch and perfect for all ages. The only downfall is it is out doors. Winter Rock shows cases classic and modern songs where you can rock out to holiday tunes. Since there weren’t any children’s shows indoors; I wish this one would have featured songs for the kids like, “All I Want for Christmas is a Hippopotamus” instead of songs such as “Santa Baby.”
- Dress very warm…coat, scarf, gloves and hat are a must! I even backed those little Hot Hands warming packs; every kept one in each pocket to stay extra toasty.
- Take lots of pictures so you can treasure the memories and fun you had.
- Make sure you pay attention and use all your senses. I love that each section of the park has a theme that plays on different senses…from sight (twinkling lights) and sound (themed music) to smell they are all covered! Candy Cane Lane smells like peppermint, Main Street has a fragrance of evergreen and Retro Christmas is sweetened with the aroma of hot chocolate! The foods and rides even follow the theme so you can delight in the holidays. Not to mention you can walk through snow flurries when you first walk into the park.
- I know in previous posts about theme parks I have suggested bringing glow sticks. Apparently you can’t at Holiday in the Park. So leave those at home!
- I highly recommend this park for families with children middle school to high school age. I think if you surprised your kid with tickets to six flags for the holidays they would be ecstatic!
- Purchase your tickets online to save time and money.
- Don’t forget it costs $20 for parking
Dates: Open weekends and select days November 19, 2016 through January 2, 2017
13710 Central Ave
Bowie, MD 20721
***The playful parent doesn’t receive payment for featuring attractions. All opinions are my own; I like to share my experiences so that parents have resources on fun family outings. Discounted or complimentary tickets are an advantage but not a requirement.***