New Hampshire Fairy Tale Parks

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Story Land
Glen, NH

Story Land opened in 1954 and has now expanded to a huge, 35-acre park. It has maintained many older structures (I believe the Shoe and the Humpty Dumpty are original) and preserved the fantasy flavor of the place. While attractions have been added over the years, the emphasis has been on the sweet rather than the scary (focusing on kids from 2-12 years old).

In addition to the tame rides (Whirling Whales, Dutch Shoes, Swan Boats, Polar Coaster, etc.), there are also plenty of opportunities to just get wet and scream. The Spray Ground is a nice big area with water-spitting coral and the like. There are also misting tents.

The Loopy Lab is a wild, foam ball fun zone. These balls fall and shoot unpredictably from contraptions. There are also guns for kids to fire down the balls on people below.

The carousel is a Heyn German track machine from around 1900. It traveled with carnivals throughout Bavaria before going to Canada in 1960. In 1965-1966, this carousel operated at the Canadian National Exposition in Toronto. Story Land moved the carousel here in 1967 and converted it from steam power to electricity. The 36 wooden horses move back and forth on springs when rocked by the rider. They do not move up and down. The platform spins clockwise (most carousels go counter-clockwise).

For more, see these websites: 1 and 2.

Benson's Wild Animal Park [closed]
Hudson, NH

Benson's Wild Animal Park was not a fairy tale park but it did have this "Old Woman's Shoe" which was built around 1960. In addition to the exotic animals (lions, tigers, bears, etc.), the Park had some unique statuary. Benson's opened in 1927 and closed in 1987. In its last few years, it was known as New England Playworld. A local group is trying to save/restore what remains of the "strangest farm on earth" as the site is being converted into a park.

Fairy Tale & Santa Parks
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