Beech Bend Bound

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Before the kids head back to school, enjoy one last hurrah just one hour away in Bowling Green, Ky.

“The Wild Mouse! The Wild Mouse!,” 4-year-old Matisse shrieked when asked about her favorite ride at the end of our day-long excursion at Beech Bend Park and Splash Lagoon, located a short one-hour drive up I-65 in Bowling Green, Ky. Matisse’s excitement about The Wild Mouse is not surprising. After all, who can resist the fast-paced, twist-and-turn thrills of a roller coaster when riding in a colorful, kid-friendly, rodent-shaped car?

My friends Tammi, Chevy, Matisse and I decided we were long overdue for a day of outdoor excitement, and we had more fun than we anticipated.

From thrill rides and games to miniature golf and a fantastic water zone, this family owned amusement park offers fun for everyone.

 

Let’s Go for a Ride!

Beech Bend boasts more than 25 rides, offering a mix of classic fare with contemporary thrills.

Several rides are geared toward tots. Favorites include the Tea Cups, the Jitterbug (swings), the traditional Ferris wheel and the Hip Hop Family Drop ride, a much smaller and less scary version of the park’s Shock Drop free fall experience.

We could barely tear Matisse away from the Bumper Cars. She rode them repeatedly before taking her turn behind the wheel on the antique cars. Zipping down the enormous Super Slide on burlap sacks was equally exciting, and the classic Tilt-A-Whirl brought back great memories among us older folk.

After a few laps around the track on the go carts, riding the Whitewater Express log flume was in order. The giant, water-soaked drop at the end is a great way to cool off.

Older kids will love the Kentucky Rumbler, a massive wooden roller coaster modeled after the classic coasters of the ’20s and ’30s. It’s not surprising that Amuseument Today magazine ranked it in the “Top Five New Rides in the World” when it opened last year. Travelling at 70 feet per second, this breathtaking ride features 30 crossovers and about 12 points of weightlessness.

When you need a break from thrill rides, there’s plenty to keep you occupied. The Arcade features a lot of games from air hockey to skee ball. Little ones will love visiting furry friends in the Petting Farm.

 

Splishing and Splashing

Bring your swimsuits and towels, because Splash Lagoon is a must. This huge water park features the Raging Rapids water slides consisting of one open tube, one partially open/closed tube and one completely enclosed body slide. Tots will fixate on Lotta Watta Island, the children’s interactive splash pool featuring a four-level interactive play tower and two slides. The bottom of the wading pool around the tower is lined with soft padding, so if a little one falls, the impact is cushioned.

The Food Court features typical amusement park fare; my hot dog, fries and Slushi cost $6.51. Be sure to treat your family to a yummy funnel cake before you call it a day.

Beech Bend truly delivers a wonderful day of excitement in a down-home atmosphere.

 

 

Chad Young is the managing editor and arts/entertainment editor for this publication.

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